Students and Staff Adjust to New Southern Lehigh District Website


Recently, Southern Lehigh School District made the decision to change the formatting and overall look of our online website, and some students are genuinely confused.

The new website was debuted sometime towards the end of winter break, and while some teachers had informed their students previously about the change bound to happen, for others, the new website came as a surprise.

Over the past few months, teachers have begun to change their personal pages from the website to a Google Sites format, in an effort to better organize information and resources for their students, as well as keeping them up to date.

“Part of the reason was that the company that hosted our website was purchased by another company, and they were phasing out the school sites,” Southern Lehigh director of technology Mr. Ken Jordan said. “It was planned to be changed at some point, but this just pushed us to do it quicker than anticipated.”

On first view of the new homepage of the district website, there are several images of students of various ages, clubs, and classes in a slideshow. These replace the old, outdated images that were on the previous website.

The website’s new formatting includes a bar with sub-sections, similar to our previous website, with information organized by topic. However, the set-up has changed drastically for some subpages, such as the teacher directory. Previously, students went through several tabs to select the school, the department, and then choose from a list of that department’s teachers. Now, students need to select High School in the top right search bar, and then head to the teacher pages tab, where one can either scroll through the alphabetically organized pages, or type in the teacher’s name into the search bar provided.

Some argue this is more efficient and organized, while others believe this is more complicated and a hassle.

“It’s harder to find simple things, like teacher pages or websites for your classes,” sophomore Lauren Dumas said.

Many of the students have been in Southern Lehigh for their whole lives, since the time they were in elementary school, and the change is abrupt and strange for them.

“The new style is more confusing than the old website,” junior Ava Maitz said. It’s hard to find exactly what you want, because we’ve been so used to it for our entire time in Southern Lehigh.”

However, one of the most significant new features for this time of year is the “Important Message” notification, which tells visitors as soon as they open the website’s home page if there are any announcements about school closings, delays, or other imminent changes in daily activities.

Nevertheless, some students have not found this seemingly new and improved feature to be so helpful.

“It’s difficult on mobile devices, and [it’s] harder for me to tell when we have snow days or other important events,” senior Lauren Paparo said.

While student feedback on the new website has been mixed, district community members should be able to adapt to the changes and navigate the new style and setup with time.