This week we sat down with Tracy Cholka, Communications Manager from Mountain View School Division in Manitoba, to discuss the implementation of the Edlio CMS.
Mountain View School Division is a rural school division. It has approximately 550 staff and 3100 students in 16 schools, within 7 communities. Geographically, they are a large division of 8000 square kilometers. Tracy stated “One interesting thing to note about our division, is that some of our communities have limited access to cellphone and internet coverage, so that creates some challenges as we try to move forward with some of these new technology platforms. We are mindful of some of these limitations for our stakeholders, and we continue to balance technology and more traditional forms of communication.”
Tracy has been with Mountain View School Division for almost 9 years. She is primarily responsible for web content, supporting the content management of sub sites, managing Active Directory and preparing publications. Here’s what she said:
On Role of School Website: Community and Beyond
“Our websites definitely play a critical role not only for our school community, so parents, students and staff, but also our general communities and beyond. Within our school community, parents, students and staff look to the website to showcase student achievement and see events, programs, and notifications or communications of important incidents.
In our general community, having an engaging website enables community engagement. We use it to inform and invite community members to participate and celebrate in our events and advertise for recruitment of potential employees, but also potential residence for our communities. For example families considering relocating, who do their own research before committing to job offers within our community. It impacts the greater community. We also have an International Student Program, so having engaging websites invites students to see the many benefits which rural Manitoba and our education facilities have to offer.”
On Choosing the Edlio CMS: Customization and Security
“We chose the Edlio CMS for number of different factors. Obviously price and also data security being hosted with Microsoft Azure. But also the communication tools were one of the highlights. The integration with PowerSchool, the ability to send text, voice and email messages by having that contact base from our Student Information System and being able to integrate with social media such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s a responsive and modern design so for people to be able to view our website on multiple devices and see things clearly and easily was important to us. And the piece of having this website customized to our needs and preferences was very appealing.”
On Choosing Scholantis: Support Support Support
“We looked into references from several Manitoba School Divisions working with Scholantis and the support was highly recommended, so all of those features plus support led us towards choosing the Edlio CMS and Scholantis.”
On Favourite Features: Sharing News and Attendance Reporting
“I like the ability to add a news item to the website and push that information out to our social media account. It’s a huge time saver and the more times we can save time and not duplicate the same information, it’s good time management for us. We also like the ability to send out attendance reporting through PowerSchool. It’s utilized by 4 of our schools now, it’s important to parents and that integration with PowerSchool has been a real boost.”
On Challenges Overcome: Communication and Integration
“The Edlio CMS helped increase ability to communicate with stakeholders. The ability to push notifications rather than users coming to the website by using the email sender or text and voice messages. Those things have really improved communication with our community. And the social media integration again because we are looking to expand social media usage, so this will help streamline that process.”
On Training: In House and User Friendly
“Our training session was held here with all schools having one representative, so in house training for one day. They found it very user friendly. We had a lot of compliments on that. We have a variety of skill levels for people doing content management. It usually falls for the school secretary, but we have other staff who are interested in taking on that piece too so comfort level using these tools is broad. But they all found it very user friendly.”
On Moving Forward: Engagement and Training
“We want to enable schools to make better use of everything they have. We have 16 schools and each of them have their own site content managers, so our goal moving forward is to expand the usage of tools – email, voice and text, attendance reporting and increasing the social media component. Basically, being able to have more engaging and current sites, as well as more training for all staff.”
We look forward to seeing what’s next for Mountain View and their Content Management System. For more information on the Edlio CMS, please visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.