Frankfurt International School
Frankfurt International School (FIS), one of the oldest international schools in Europe, is home to 1,800 students from age 3 to Grade 12. A long time Finalsite client, having first deployed a website in 2010, FIS embarked on a website redesign that won an Arcturus award in the 2021 Vega Digital Awards.
Their main goals included:
Easier navigation and a mobile-friendly design
Focused narrative on what makes them special
- Better highlighting the unique offerings between their two campuses
- Emphasis on faculty recruitment
- And showcasing all that makes FIS such a great school
At a Glance
Frankfurt International School is one of the oldest international schools in Europe, founded in 1961 by a group of six expatriate families from major international companies to meet the need for an English-speaking education in the Frankfurt area. Since then, FIS has continued to grow, serving as a center of learning for thousands of students from every part of the globe. Our existence has enhanced the economic strength of the Frankfurt Rhein-Main region and our faculty and staff have set a fine example for the FIS alumni who now work in a wide variety of professions worldwide.
“As a long time Finalsite partner, we were excited to take advantage of new technology and features in our redesign. We certainly achieved our main goals of improving site navigation, creating a narrative to highlight what makes us special and showcase our two campuses, and making our site mobile friendly. Our community is so pleased with the new website!"
WEBMASTER AT FIS
The homepage hero video immediately provides visitors with a look inside the classrooms as well as a taste of their rich afterschool programs. The school’s two campuses are highlighted just below the fold and as you continue down the page, messaging is big and bold, taking up a sizable percentage of real estate. This makes their entire value proposition loud and clear: FIS is a place where students can find their passions, where parents can find a welcoming home, and where families are invited to “Begin [Their] Journey.” This then leads to the admissions landing page, which further reinforces how special this international school is, with inline video, buttons to discover the campus, an infographic and college destination slider. Something for everyone!
Frankfurt sits in the heart of Europe, has a major airport hub, and is home to a handful of international schools, which cater to the many expat families who come to the region for work assignments. For international teachers, it's a desirable location so recruiting top-notch faculty and staff is both competitive and an ever-high priority. We wanted to understand this a bit more so sat down with their team to dive in deeper.
Focus on Faculty Recruitment
During the initial stage of their redesign process, the team at FIS pulled statistics from the past two years using Google Analytics. Right behind their homepage, portals and the school calendar, their employment page was the fourth most visited page accounting for 30% of their website traffic.
With a keen awareness that faculty was a big part of their overall school community, they made the decision to place equal emphasis on faculty recruitment and not just focus on prospective families.
When looking through other websites early in the redesign process, they liked the idea of admissions and employment being under the same umbrella. The idea that “JOIN US” as either a family or an employee was something that resonated. This concept would enable them to recruit teachers in the same ways as new students and families.
Showcasing Teachers to Prospective families
With employment pages, schools have double the opportunity to market their school to not only prospective faculty but also families, both prospective and current. Parents are also looking at these pages to see the caliber of the staff. Linda Kerr, who was the school’s project lead for the site redesign said: “During the redesign process I was also in the process of looking at schools around the world for my own upcoming relocation. As a parent, I paid careful attention to the faculty/staff and employment pages to see how they were marketing the school and really wanted to learn more about their staff.”
The Meet Our Faculty testimonials showcase the staff and what they are passionate about.
And their leadership directory showcases the experience in international education each member brings to the team – and the school.
Conveying What Makes FIS Special
One of the things that is special about FIS is how family-oriented they are. Students don’t just come to school and then go home. There are opportunities after school and on weekends for the entire community to feel like they have a home.
Linda stated: “We didn’t want to just give it lip service, we really wanted that to come across when visiting the site. This idea of you beginning your journey with us whether as a student or faculty was paramount. Our website was built around our story.”
Instead of a very linear navigation, the site offers multiple ways for users to get to various pages and learn about their story. For employment in particular, users can access the jobs page from the Faculty/Staff community page, the Employment page (which can be found directly in the menu), or the Join Us link, which is displayed in the site’s footer and takes users to a page inviting them to join either as a student or a teacher.
FIS uses other Composer elements to help illustrate what being a part of their school community looks and feels like, including:
Top 10 Reasons
We can see why the site won an Arcturus award! FIS can be commended on deploying such a comprehensive website that utilizes best practices throughout and truly engages all site visitors by understanding their unique website journeys.
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