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New School Website Launches: December 2023
Connor Gleason

What a way to wrap up the end of the year! From stunning best-in-class custom designs to more than 80 impressive Themes, schools worldwide went live with their Finalsite websites in December, just in time for the holidays.

There’s much to cover this month, including beautiful designs, site content, and user experience from public school districts, private schools, and schools worldwide — let’s take a look!

Minneapolis website laptop mockup

Minneapolis Public Schools

There’s a lot of joy across MPS’s new district and school sites — smiles from students and teachers, bursts of color, and playful design elements bring youthful energy to the user experience. 

Its homepage language is pleasantly direct and concise, with phrases like “how we grow,” “in their words,” and “what’s happening.” There’s also a strategic focus on enrollment and faculty recruitment, with a section dedicated to “finding your place” and video testimonials from parents and teachers sharing their MPS experiences.

It’s also a beautiful site to browse and navigate on a smartphone. Quicklinks for constituents in the omni-nav menu put popular resources within reach, and big buttons make searching the different schools and enrollment information easy. Pops of color, short text, and well-worded headers make for a pleasant mobile experience.

Some of the highlights of the new district site include:

  • Streamlined district and school site navigation
  • Quick access to school websites from any page
  • Consistent design across its 70+ school websites
  • Improved search functionality and accessibility features
  • One-click language translations with Weglot
Methodist Laptop mockup

Methodist College (Belfast)

Locally known as Methody, this co-educational school is Northern Ireland’s largest school and serves more than 1,800 grammar school students and 200 children in its pre-prep & preparatory department. There’s a lot to offer, and its new website beautifully captures it all.

The homepage boasts video testimonials from students of all ages, animated fast facts that expand to reveal impressive stats, and social media integrations with the latest content. 

Its text is comfortably bold with statements and word choices like “life-changing opportunities,” “unparalleled choice and opportunity,” and “excellence and ambition.” Still, there’s an inviting sense of warmth through a principal’s welcome, smiling students, and a highlight video full of movement that showcases a vibrant community.

Some of the site's key features include:

  • A unique "At A Glance" element highlighting the school's opportunities, diversity, and successes with mobile-friendly icons.
  • The "Collegian Voices" page features video testimonials from students, staff, and parents, providing a personal and emotional testament to their Methody experience.
  • Detailed descriptions and photos of key landmarks on the "Our Campus" page provide a virtual campus tour and more.
Fountain Valley Homepage mockup

Fountain Valley School

What a unique design! For a school that features a 1,100-acre Prairie campus at the base of the Rocky Mountains, this “one-of-a-kind learning experience” now has an equally impressive site.

The user experience is fun, to say the least. Emersed in the environment, students experience programs built around the Western landscape, and the site design beautifully mirrors the adventure, nature, and self-discovery that awaits students. Textured design elements subtly mimic topographic maps; navigational elements replicate directional signs, and there are even CTAs reimagined as the stacked rocks often delicately placed along hiking trails.

Behind the scenes is a powerful integration with Blackbaud, feeding data and contact information for its directories, calendar, and athletics.

Take a closer look at FVS's:

  • Searchable and filterable news page
  • An extensive, mobile-friendly nav menu makes searching easy
  • Beautiful landing pages for signature offerings, student life, and more
  • Embedded, branded online forms for alumni update submissions, donations, and more
Southwest laptop mockup

Southwest Christian High School

For a school that had its humble beginnings in 1996 with just 36 students in the southwestern metro area of the Twin Cities, Southwest Christian High School has grown considerably in its program, community influence, and spiritual faith.

Leading this 9-12th grade high school’s distinctions is a focus on its discipleship model, a strong focus on growing faith through all its learning opportunities. A sliding panel also calls attention to teaching, community, excellence, and college preparation, a well-rounded collection that serves as an example of how its faith enters nearly all aspects of the school’s experiences.

There are a lot of chances for engagement on the homepage, too — sliding panels and slideshows bring the page to life with social posts, news and events, animated fast facts for top programs, recent campus happenings, and a tight-knit community.

Don’t miss some of these highlights and design features:

Many other schools are celebrating their recent launches — congratulations to these fantastic sites that went live last month!

And don’t miss these beautiful Theme sites that launched toward the end of 2023!

Meet With a Website Expert | Finalsite

Connor Gleason Headshot


Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.

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