CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston County schools launched a new way to communicate with students and parents through a total website makeover.
Parents and teachers may have noticed the district and individual school websites look different this year.
CCSD signed a new contract with a company called Blackboard to revamp its 86 district and school websites and improve its notification system for phone calls, emails and text messages.
Blackboard serves 70 of the 100 largest U.S. school districts, according to its website.
The company reports having 20 million K-12 users daily. It is also the website vendor for Berkeley County Schools, Dorchester Two Schools, Williamsburg County Schools, Horry County Schools, and Richland One Schools, to name a few.
The entire contract for all 86 websites will cost $128,871 annually. The contract is for five years, so the total will be about $644,000 over that time frame.
Director of Communications and Technology Andy Pruitt said the new cost is about $5,000 more per year than the old website cost.
He said the new vendor is more user-friendly, and will allow schools to improve communication to parents, students and the community.
They’ll also eventually add a mobile app, Pruitt said, that can be customized per school. The launch date for that app is still in the works.
The websites and notification system have been fully transitioned to the new version.
Training is ongoing to teach school and district staff how to use and update the new sites, Pruitt added.
Here are examples of new school websites:
Editor’s note: An initial version of this story incorrectly stated the cost of the website alone was $128,871 annually when that number is the cost of the total contract for all 86 websites.