When my children entered the Princeton high school in 2008, I found the schools web site disorienting and I tried to come up with ideas to help inform parents in a more user friendly fashion. Initially I considered using the Drupal CMS. While it offers great flexibility and many features, Drupal requires at least a minimum of tech support, which precluded its use.
In the end I settled on building a Google Site. Once the site layout with a Google Calendar, Announcements, and a few dedicated pages stabilized, upkeep mostly consisted of posting announcements and updating the calendar. The most difficult piece became finding relevant information and rewriting it for the web.
I heard through the grade wine that PTO donations went up: ‘Finally something useful coming out of the PTO !’
By 2011 all other PTOs in the school district started a google site, each mirroring the high school site’s design. The district launched a site redesign in the 2012/13 school year, which incorporated several of the PTO site’s popular features, among them a search button, announcements on the front page, and google calendars.
I maintained the site from its inception in 2009 to the 2012/13 school year, when I trained my replacement to take over. This apparently did not last long. The PTO has a completely new website now. It looks nice. I can’t take credit for that – but still – I started it 🙂