ACS Web site No.4 in Alabama

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Andalusia City Schools was recognized Tuesday by the Alabama School Connection as having one of the top 10 district city Web sites in the state.

This is the organization’s second review of Alabama’s school district Web sites and was conducted to determine how the information contained on these Web sites has changed since the original review in 2009.

ACS’s Web site came in fourth after Madison, Huntsville and Vestavia Hills and was followed by Decatur, Jasper, Albertville, Florence, Hoover and Russellville. County systems were also ranked 1-10; however, the Covington County Schools system’s site did not make the list.

“It is apparent that our school districts are eager to share information with our school communities,” said Trisha Crain, the review’s lead author of the review. “The next step is ensuring that the information is both meaningful and understandable to the viewer.”

The state department of education requires all systems to maintain a Web site containing monthly financial reports and check registers for the district.

ACS data collection coordinator Sara Mixon said she used the study’s 2009 results to make the system’s current Web site more “user friendly.”

“I looked at what we had and what we didn’t have (on the Web site) and reformatted the whole page,” Mixon said. “I think everyone has been pleased. The Web site is an easy way to be informed about what’s happening in our schools and in our system.

“You can view the online check registry and see where your tax dollars are being spent, as well as parents can view their child’s grades and attendance and check on homework assignments, just by clicking on the ‘STI’ link.

“The wealth of information available is amazing,” she said.

In 2009, only 12 districts had 20 or more pieces of the information the ASC sought. In 2010, the number of districts posting 20 or more pieces of information jumped to 35 districts. Eight systems have added more than 10 pieces of information since the 2009 review and 30 systems have added six to 10 additional pieces of information.