Harrison students redesign school’s website

Harrison Schools are getting an upgrade to their website and all the work is coming from students at the high school.

In fact, Harrison has a yearbook/website class tasked with keeping the website updated, said teacher Sheri Heavrin.

However, this year the students decided the best thing to do was rebuild the entire site, Heavrin said.

“It just never looked that professional, so we’re trying to take another step up and redo and revamp it,” she said.

The project is student driven and both Heavrin and her class are learning a lot as they work through the redesign.

The process is providing her class unique opportunities to figure out the latest web design software and theories.

“This isn’t some outside entity or adults managing this,” Heavrin said. “The students are learning how to do it and doing it on their own.”

The school’s website isn’t typical for a school, she said. It’s not a place for lesson plans or homework, but rather a place for the public to learn more about the school and the students.

“It’s more a website that touts the benefits of a small school environment,” Heavrin said.

Harrison, like other rural schools, has had declining enrollment in the past couple of years. So the website can serve as a marketing tool for the community and school when engaging potential students and families, she said.

The website also serves as a way for the school to communicate with the community, said school district superintendent Darren Strauch.

In Harrison, the school is the center of the community and being able to have a place for people to go to find out what’s happening is important.

“I think we’ve always tried to use it as a communications tool,” Strauch said.

Legislation passed in the last session of the Montana Legislature, also will require schools with websites to make certain documents available, like collective bargaining agreements with teachers’ unions, he said.

Heavrin’s class consists of six students ranging in grade level from freshman to senior. They plan to have the website redesign completed by the end of October, she said.

The website address is www.hhswildcats.com.

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