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District 196 launches new content management system to give families consistent website experience

District 196 is starting off the 2019-20 school year with a refreshed website. This is the first phase of a two-year rollout that will move all District 196 schools and programs to a single website content management system (CMS) by August 2020. The Finalsite platform will improve communication between schools and families by providing a consistent, user-focused experience across all District 196 school websites.

“Parents will no longer need to learn a new website each time their child moves up a level or enrolls in a different school,” said Communications Director Tony Taschner. “There is consistency on what things are called and where to find them, from school to school”

The new features a media-rich, mobile-first design that is visually pleasing, practical on content and accessible to visitors with disabilities. The design provides a unified look across the district while allowing each school to maintain its unique identity with the use of colors, logo and content. 

All school websites will have front-page access to news and announcements, and a calendar of events with feeds and reminder alerts. The system offers predictive search capabilities and the ability to publish content once and share it across all sites simultaneously. When there is a change to the school schedule due to weather, for example, visitors to and all school websites that have launched on the Finalsite platform will receive an emergency pop-up notification to inform them of the schedule change.   

In addition to the district website, five other District 196 schools and programs are also launching new sites at the start of the school year. They are Community Education, Red Pine and Woodland elementary schools, Valley Middle School of STEM and Eastview High School. Phase two of the rollout includes all 30 other district schools that will launch on the Finalsite platform on or before August 2020.

Highlights of the new website

  • Front-page access to news, announcements and calendar events;
  • Predictive search capabilities;
  • Human-translated language pages and option to translate the page in over 100 languages;
  • Content that can be shared across all schools;
  • Page pop-ups in the event of emergencies or weather delays/cancellations, and
  • Responsive, mobile-friendly design.

We focused on the needs of our student, families and staff when creating our new designs. And we appreciate your patience as we make this exciting change.