District improves communication, saves money with website management software

Higley Unified School District has improved communication with its community while reducing costs, since its implementation of Schoolwires Centricity2.

“Within one year of implementing Centricity2 and creating an interactive, online community, we have increased our communications with our district; extended learning beyond classroom hours; and achieved significant, ongoing cost savings in school supplies,” said Justin Greene, Executive Director of Systems Services, Higley Unified School District. “As a result, our parents are more involved in the classroom, and our extended learning environment supports student success.”

All of the district’s approximately 500 teachers, as well as its departments and schools, are actively maintaining web pages that provide resources and information, and a host of interactive Web 2.0 tools. For example, teachers post classroom rules, calendars, projects, homework, notes, and articles on their pages, and blog and interact with students on assignments outside the classroom. The district posts course curriculums and class syllabuses and their alignment to the state standards; and the next quarter’s material. Surveys and student elections are executed online, while eAlerts enable mass communications to targeted audiences, sending registered recipients only the information they want to receive.

Another benefit of using Centricity2 as the district’s online communications hub is in reduced supplies, printing, and postage costs. Prior to implementing the platform, the district budgeted $25 per student to manage school supplies. Over the past year, the district made a concerted effort to go green by using the many features in Schoolwires Centricity2 for greater electronic communications. As a result, for the 2011/2012 school year, the principals were allocated $15 per student, to realize an overall school supplies savings of about $100,000.

“Storing documents electronically and communicating through our website is helping the district save money, which is critical in this economic climate,” said Susan Powell, Principal at Gateway Pointe Elementary School.