Education

H-F hires firm to redesign its website

Homewood-Flossmoor High School found parents, staff and students are using the website when searching for information, but they are often frustrated because the website doesn’t work well.

To overcome the website problems, such as broken links, missing information and difficult navigation tools, the District 233 school board approved a contract May 21 with Finalsite for a website redesign.  The contract has a start-up cost of $13,000 and an annual cost of $8,920 starting with the 2024-25 school year.

Carla Erdey, director of communications at H-F, outlined the positives of moving to Finalsite, including a new design, excellent search features, calendar integration, built-in ADA compliance features, a language translator, and an H-F branded mobile app.  She expects the new site will launch in January 2025.

Erdey said she’s been able to reduce her department expenses, in part by reducing the number of H-F printed materials, and the cost for Finalsite should be neutral to her budget.

Surveys found that the website is an important tool and used by students, staff and families throughout the week, but it doesn’t always offer them the information they need simply because the website is hard to search through pages.

Erdey’s department’s staff also finds that “It takes a lot of time to do things that should be very simple,” she said. They often need to call on customer support for very minor editing tasks.

Athletico contract

The school board also agreed to renew its contract with Athletico Management LLC, the athletic training services company, at $90,000. That is a 6.2% increase over the current contract.

The company has two full-time staff working with H-F athletes. Board member Steve Anderson said students have had success working with the trainers who are knowledgeable and encouraging and have developed personal relationships with the athletes.

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