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September School Website Launches Round-Up
Angelo Otterbein

Back-to-School has suddenly evolved into Now-in-School, and it’s no less busy. Finalsite launched a site almost every other day in September — 15 by my last count, and they keep coming. Here’s the skinny:

United Nations International School

https://www.unis.org/

With this large and diverse international school in NYC having so much to offer, it’s just as hard to figure out where to start with the website as it is telling the whole story of who they are. One place is with their travel programs page, which uniquely describe past and upcoming trips to the far reaches of the world. The divisional landing pages are awesome - thorough, comprehensive and well developed, a great use of how flexible layouts can be in our content management system. The arts and modern language pages are also worth taking a look.

United Nations International School Travel Programs page
United Nations International School travel to Nepal
United Nations International School students spotlight

YES Prep

www.yesprep.org

This Charter Management Organization, overseeing over 20 charter schools, is one of the largest in the country, and the website does a nice job of conveying what that means. The site is at once practical, providing quick access to calendars, job opportunities, enrollment information and the like, while also educational in explaining the virtues and values of a charter school education, with elements like a colorful infographic.

YES Prep Public Schools website
Yes Prep Public Schools A Charter Education webpage

St. George’s School (RI)

https://www.stgeorges.edu/

Wow. When you live outside of Newport, it’s hard to go wrong. But what a beautiful school with a beautiful campus, and launching a new website to show both. Elegant design, thoughtful use of typography and clean, simple layouts draw the user in easily. The “Connect” button is a nice spin on the traditional inquiry form, and sends you to a form that couldn’t be simpler for families to fill out. Innovative pages like the school leadership page that uses a unique vertical video, a “triple image treatment” that you’ll have to try yourself, and a really cool athletics navigation are just a small sampling of the interesting things going on here.

St. George's School website

 

St. George's School mission statement
St. George's School Connect With Us webpage

Holy Innocents Episcopal School

https://www.hies.org/

When I see a beautiful, uncluttered homepage like Holy Innocents Episcopal’s new website, I think: decisiveness! It’s not easy to keep it simple. But really appreciate how few options there are in front of me, and the ones that are make perfect sense. And what a cool navigation that opens up. I’m ready to see more, I click on “Menu” and then: everything I need right in front of me. Sharp and tightly laid out. There’s lots to point out on this site, but this arts landing page is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time — comprehensive content with interesting layout and design. Great work!

Holy Innocents' Episcopal School website
Holy Innocents' Episcopal School homepage main menu

 


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Harrow School Online / Pearson 

https://www.harrowschoolonline.org/

Harrow School’s globally-recognized brand went online, and made the news along the way. With just an online school offering, the site is a bit slimmer than a traditional school website, but has focused messaging and clear paths for their different audiences. Simple design yields a consistent user experience, too.

Harrow School Online website homepage
Harrow School Online Our Academic Programme webpage

Sydenham School

https://www.sydenham.lewisham.sch.uk/

What I love about this UK independent school website is the use of parallax and artwork on the homepage. The combination heightens the illusion of layers, but also presents interesting curves and tempered lines. The news and events block is compact but very informative, complementing the overall design with subtle color coordination.

Sydenham School social media feeds

Bishop Kenny High School

https://www.bishopkenny.org/

Love the opening sequence and well-considered logo — spells out the full name, while elegantly presented. Nice use of flipping dates for the calendar of events, and really like the footer landscape photograph — an efficient way to capture the School’s location. Lovely athletics microsite, too! Strong imagery and clear navigation drive things home, along with a simple and impressive virtual tour of the athletics facility.

Bishop Kenny High School website
Bishop Kenny Crusaders webpage

Rosemount - Apply Valley - Eagan ISD 196

https://www.district196.org/

A stunning district website with a distinct curve to break out of the traditional grid layout. I like how the yellow/orange/blue combination gets deployed in the design. It features terrific navigational handling of the “Schools” menu, and features good content that tells the story and uses images to help, creating simple landing pages that do the job well without being overwhelming. Nice work District 196!

Rosemount - Apply Valley - Eagan ISD 196 website

St Paul’s Cathedral School  

https://www.spcslondon.com/

While I always am a fan of vertical story-telling homepages, it’s also nice to see a homepage that doesn’t have a lot of scrolling, like this UK independent school website. There’s a clear sense of place, and the easy paths for each division is obvious — prospective families definitely come first! 

St. Pauls's Cathedral School website

Theme Websites

Sometimes, a custom design just isn’t in the cards. But our Theme designs are a great answer. Built and designed internally, they provide an affordable way to get a great site up fast.

Mt. Lebanon School District

https://www.mtlsd.org/

Mt. Lebanon School District website

Bishop Loughlin Memorial HS

https://www.loughlin.org/

Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School website
Bishop Loughlin Memorial HS page pop

Stoughton Area School District

https://www.stoughton.k12.wi.us/

Stoughton Area School District homepage website
River Bluff Middle School website homepage

Key Takeaway

Finalsite launches hundreds of new websites every year, each as unique and exceptional as the schools they're designed for. While we showcased just a small sample of the many websites we've already launched this year, there are still over a hundred more from this year alone. To see a selection of other 2019 launches, read about the more than 50 websites launches earlier this year, or browse a larger collection of our recent launches in our ever-growing portfolio. 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angelo graduated valedictorian from St. Paul's School in Baltimore, MD and from Princeton University. Despite getting his degree in creative writing and English Literature, it generally takes some doing to keep him from programming and breaking websites. Just after graduating, he started Silverpoint, and grew it to over 300 schools worldwide before merging with Finalsite in 2013.

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