The Williamsburg-James City school division is planning to launch its new website July 1, along with new staff email addresses, and a new student information management system to be unveiled later this year, according to a June 19 letter to parents from the school division.
The new web address will be wjccschools.org. The previous Edline.net web address will be taken down on June 30.
"These changes will allow the division greater capabilities in communicating with students, families and the community," Superintendent Steven Constantino said in the letter.
In an email to the Gazette, WJC Schools spokeswoman Betsy Overkamp-Smith said the new website will feature "a more robust calendar" that will allow users to choose the information they want and then download that information – for instance, School Board meetings, athletic games and arts events – to their personal calendars. The new site will include a search function, more interactive elements and videos.
"Navigation will be much easier with the new site – especially given the search feature," Overkamp-Smith said. "Additionally, there will be far fewer 'clicks' to get to information."
She said the new website comes with a one-time cost of $58,000 including the purchase of a new server to host the site, backup power, and other elements. Previously, the school division was paying Edline $35,000 annually for hosting services only since that website was launched in August of 2012.
Data provided by the school division shows that between August 2013 and March of 2014 the WJC Schools website averaged 66,491 unique visitors per month and 1,039,963 page views per month.
According to the June 19 letter, the new student information system, "WJCCVue," will launch at the start of the with 2014-15 school year. As part of WJCCVue, "TeacherVue" will replace individual teachers' websites and will offer students and parents "academic and curricular information, instructional resources, event calendars and class activities." Similar tools for parents and students, dubbed "ParentVue" and "StudentVue," will launch along with corresponding mobile apps in the iTunes and Google Play online stores. Parents will need only one access code to access each child's information in the new system.
In the June 19 letter to parents, Constantino said more options will be added to WJCCVue throughout the school year, including the capability by March 2015 for parents and students to make course requests online.
Sampson can be reached at 757-345-2345.