ChallengeSituated in the heart of Central Florida, Winter Springs High School is one of the largest high schools within one of the largest school districts in the United States. Due to its size, WSHS needed a website that could serve as a resource for its students, their parents, staff, and community while reflecting the excellence of the school. As part of Seminole County Public Schools, the WSHS website needed to serve as the model of the ideal K-12 website of the future in action. SCPS as a whole needed a massive facelift. Existing school websites within the district were dated, unattractive and difficult to maintain – especially by non-technical staff. The navigation was often confusing, making it difficult for visitors to find simple information like summer reading lists or lunch menus. Many of the websites were also out of compliance with WCAG 2.0 requirements for ADA, impacting the user experience for visitors with disabilities and inviting potential lawsuits. Thus, WSHS was pegged to serve as the prime example of what SCPS websites could be - for improved student, parent, and community experiences.
ADA compliance, updated designs, and more - all overwhelming issues for a large, cash-strapped public high school. Winter Springs High School needed a partner with an understanding of educational websites and a proven record of success with public organizations. To meet these challenges, Winter Springs High School turned to Solodev to bring a comprehensive approach from design to development. The partnership came as part of a larger partnership between Solodev and Seminole County Public Schools. Winter Springs High School was to be the first school to embrace the Solodev platform and show other schools throughout the district what the new process could look like.
Solodev crafted a bevy of solutions catered to the needs of Winter Springs’s student body, teachers, administrators, parents, and community. In order to make updating and distributing announcements easier, Solodev created an announcements module to streamline the process and get announcements to students and their parents faster than ever before. Solodev also customized an events calendar to consolidate the school’s various calendars into one responsive platform. WSHS now has an effective family resources module where teachers and administrators can upload assets that would normally get lost across a website in one centralized location. This allows students and parents to quickly access popular resources. Solodev created each element of the website to be optimized and mobile responsive, giving visitors an excellent experience regardless of the viewing platform. There’s also a standard news announcements manager and an activity calendar that consolidates various organizations’ schedules into calendar. And, in order to showcase the school’s visual presence, Solodev made a custom YouTube integration for its video content.
Because WSHS leveraged the power of the Solodev CMS, the SCPS district ultimately has final power in permissioning. Custom permissioning allows the district to help each school while also having final say over what gets posted and who posts content. Thus, the least technical people can be empowered to manage the vital content on which the WSHS depends upon, but that power is not unchecked by district oversight. Catered permissioning puts the power of the website back in the hands of the people closest to it.
Solodev not only prepared the WSHS website to meet the needs of users; they trained WSHS leadership in how to build, tailor, and adjust these resources. Thus, Solodev equipped WSHS with the skills needed to craft engaging website content without the need to petition a busy IT department to change and update pages.
Fully optimized for the AWS Cloud, Solodev delivered the benefits of the AWS product suite to WSHS – from load balancing to auto-scaling to elastic file storage. By leveraging the AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Solodev configured the Winter Springs website to auto-scale capacity up and down as computing requirements changed. AWS Shield delivered world-class security, privacy and network control access via firewalls built into Amazon infrastructure. Solodev also implemented Amazon EFS elastic storage capacity – automatically growing and shrinking storage capacity as WSHS team members added or removed files.