It was another tough month for the CEARCH team, we're afraid, as we had a lot of sites to go through, and a hard choice to make for the School of the Month. But, here we are (a little late) to announce the winner. McGehee Elementary's site won for a variety of reasons, and we'll do our best to do their site justice in one brief review.
One of the first things that turned us on to the McGehee site as a contender for the Star School was the appealing design of the first page. The series of toolbars on the left-hand side of the page popped up almost immediately, and shortly after came the school site's main banner, at the top of the page. These images were appealing to the eye, but quick to load -- an important part of any design-heavy site.
Not that being design-heavy is a bad thing. It took us a while to go through the entire site, and as we did so, we were continually impressed with the original art work and the uniformity of presentation. The color schemes were carried throughout, and original art was commonplace. That's when we noticed one of the niftiest things of all: some of the artwork was donated by someone who does graphic design. This is exactly the sort of teamwork we like to reward, when it comes to school websites.
The other thing that clinched the award for McGehee was, again, the level of student inmvolvement in the pages (this was another area where there was serious competition among last month's submissions). Not only are there students featured as a focus throughout the site, from the very first page, but there are as many students listed on the "Credits" page as there are teachers and staff. When a school -- particularly an elementary school -- is that willing to have students working on its website, those students gain some very valuable experience. Who knows what the kids of McGehee Elementary will be designing in a few years?
As always, of course, we looked for relevant information, recently and regularly updated, and a variety of interesting and informative materials on the site. However (happily), we have to admit that those things are found on every site submitted to us these days. The competition grows tougher, as does our job; but school websites just get better and better.
Who are the people behind Pen Argyl's site?
The McGehee site is maintained by far too many to list here. The Managing Editor & Webmaster, however, is Debbi Minchew, reachable at email@example.com.
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