The Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School
When it was time to find a new website provider, The Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA) knew the site would need to be as distinctive as the programs and community it offered to families.
That's because, as a charter school, AMSA aims to bring the quality of education typically found only at exclusive independent schools, to an all-inclusive public charter school setting.
To offer that online experience to students and families, AMSA needed a website that would showcase their unique story — a world-class experience centered on providing an education for students with a wide range of abilities from every background.
But like so many public charter schools, resources are limited and competition is high.
The Challenge - Limited resources to tell a unique story
AMSA is a public charter school that educates students in grades 6-12, located about 35 miles outside of the competitive Boston market. Since opening its doors in 2005, the school now welcomes students from more than 30 different surrounding communities and has attracted the attention of a growing number of families after being listed as one of the best high schools in the U.S. News Rankings.
Serving nearly 1,000 students, The Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) is a top-rated comprehensive public school, located in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
“We have to do a lot, with a little,” shared Mike Finkle, communications manager at The Advanced Math and Science Academy. Prior to submitting a proposal, Finalsite met with the charter school’s team to learn more details about what they liked and didn’t like about its old site, and what the school hoped to achieve with its redesign.
“From the moment I contacted Finalsite about replacing AMSA’s legacy website,” Finkle said, "the team understood our goals and worked hard to help us meet our objectives. They presented several options that were not cookie-cutter, but were tailored to our needs.”
For AMSA, a theme design was the perfect match.
"We chose a Theme site because that option gave us the best value for what we wanted to accomplish within our budget. It provides a modern, elegant public face that reflects our school brand as an innovative, advanced middle and high school.”
The Solution - A site with functionality and modern design
Theme designs are often the perfect option for charter schools operating on smaller budgets or confined by limited resources, who still need to launch a beautiful, accessible, mobile-friendly website to meet their unique needs. And with the possibility of cutting a traditional website launch timeline by 30%, theme designs are great for small teams with tight timelines.
“We chose a Theme site because that option gave us the best value for what we wanted to accomplish within our budget,” Finkle shared. “It provides a modern, elegant public face that reflects our school brand as an innovative, advanced middle and high school.”
Built on the same content management system (CMS) as the custom sites, theme designs offer the same powerful modules to organize and display content, create dynamic pages, design mobile-first layouts, and manage other features, such as calendars, galleries, and forms.
And unlike typical template designs with limited content management capabilities, Finalsite’s Theme designs can be customized with school logos, colors, and fonts, adding just the right amount of personalization and branding to share each school’s unique story.
“When it came time to populate our site, the Finalsite team gave me all the support and resources I needed to successfully learn the CMS,” Finkle added. “I found the extensive library of video tutorials especially useful for my style of learning, and personal assistance was always only a phone call, Zoom, or message away. The Deployment team members guided me through every stage of the redesign process all the way to the site launch.”
The Results - A versatile platform
Their site now caters to prospective families by showcasing the school's values and differentiators through interactive panels highlighting community involvement, athletics, and its famed science research program, all on its modern and mobile-friendly website. ASMA is also able to engage current community members through easily accessible “shortcuts” to some of the most sought-after content by families, like links to calendars, forms, announcements, and more. The site also features a dedicated page for its capital campaign to help support the next generation of students.
“It serves as an information hub for our current families,” Finkle said, adding that the multimedia tools allow the team to showcase all the great things happening at AMSA. Content sections for school news and events are featured on their homepage using Posts, Finalsite’s online content publishing tool, and through Finalsite Feeds, integrated social media posts are pulled straight into the homepage, which helps keep the site’s content fresh with their most recent posts from Twitter.
As AMSA continues to engage new families and strengthen its position as one of the best high schools in the country, adding content and managing the backend of the website is easy.
“Like every charter school, we have a mission,” Finkle shared. “Our new site helps us fulfill our mission by providing a versatile platform to spotlight our amazing students and staff, wow our prospective families, and engage our community and corporate partners."
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