2023 Web Upgrade – Usage Instructions

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Estimated reading time: 3 min

For schools upgrading from an older version of Kiskadoo school websites to the new 2023 version, there are a few key changes to understand to get the most from your new system:


News Posts

Previoulsy office/admin staff had only one news catagory to post in, now they have two.

The additional news category is called ‘Headline News‘ and it’s to be used ONLY for positive news items that report on something that has happened and can be used to promote your school (EG Winning a sports event, raising money for charity, impressive trips or visitors, your school featured in the local newspaper). You probably won’t post in this category very often but it’s important that these posts ALL have a featured image as they will be on the front page of the website and gathered together in an impressive way for new visitors to sample the good things that your school does.

Your existing news category is re-named ‘School Updates‘ and is used for general housekeeping notices and news for your parents & carers.

Posts can be added to both categories if need be and posts in either categories can be added to newsletters, more of that coming up…


Newsletters

Previously newsletters were collated and mailed out via MailChimp (a third party service). In this new upgrade the newsletter is collated on your website itself and can be shared in anyway you want (you don’t have to use MailChimp at all if you don’t want to).

Creating Newsletter instructions

  • Add posts to the site
    There is no category for newsletter posts, so posts are added to the site and put in categories depending on where you want them to show up, we’ll collect together the newsletter posts later regardless of category.
  • Create a new Newsletter
    From the dashboard, create a new newsletter and then pick the posts (they must already have been written) that you want to add, in the order that you want them to show up (there’s a drop down tool that allows you to select any published post from across the site)
  • Click publish
    and the newsletter is done (don’t forget that you can also add a photo or graphic banner to the newsletter by adding a ‘featured image’)
  • Share
    You can collect together a newsletter of posts whenever you want and share it however you want once you’ve published it. If you want to share it via MailChimp, write a post saying that there’s a new newsletter and put the link to the newsletter in the post. Add that post to an email category and it will be mailed at 5pm that night.

The main benefits of this system over the old one is that:

a) You site builds an easy to navigate archive of newsletters

b) your newsletter is always a ‘living document’ so if you made a mistake, you can still correct it after you share.

c) if your parents are already engaged in using a classroom app such as Class Dojo or SeeSaw, you can share this newsletter as a link in there.

d) your newsletter can include slideshows and video

 

Want all the staff to ‘submit’ items for the newsletter?

The new method of collation requires someone to look through recent posts to see what’s worthy of the newsletter. If you want staff to ‘submit’ items to save someone looking for posts, do the following:

 

  • Create a new newsletter and save it as draft
  • Ask staff to edit the newsletter to add in their posts as they write them and then re-save the draft
  • On the newsletter edit page, you can click ‘Preview’ ahead of publishing to make sure you are happy with what has been added – add/remove/edit posts as you see fit
  • Publish when ready then share however you like

 

Headteachers Message: If you want every newsletter to begin with a Headteachers message, create that post (category ‘uncategorised’) before you create the draft newsletter. You can then add it as the first item. It doesn’t matter if you have no content for the Head Teachers’ message at this point, you can add it later, but by doing this, you save the top space in the newsletter which saves you from re-shuffling the order later (I’m working on a way to easily re-order newsletter posts for a future update).


Class Pages

The new class pages are more prominent in the website and are designed to be accessed by children, not just their parents.

There are boxes that pull in posts added to the following class categories:

  • Class Messages (previously named Class News)
  • Spellings
  • Homework
  • Class Showcase
  • Remote Learning
  • Class Apps
  • Class Diary

The class teacher can show or hide each of these areas depending on their needs, otherwise they will display the latest posts added to the relevant category.

Class Showcase is a new category designed to show off your best work, this is particuarly important for schools who use a classroom app for day to day posts (Seesaw/Dojo). Your class showcase should be curated to speak to new visitors to you school and ofsted. These posts should ALWAYS have a featured image added.

Class Apps is a great way of allowing parents and children to easily jump to an app that you use regularly. You can add and remove apps here by uploading an image and a web address.

Class Diary – you can now use the calendar feature of the website (Dashboard > Events) to add dates that show up only on your class page. Simply add an event and click the diary category for your class.

 

 

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