“We recently launched our new District, school, and staff websites with Rally. We found the team at Rally to be very supportive and responsive to our District needs. They worked closely with our team to design our sites and made requested updates in a timely manner.
They worked with us to create and implement a training plan that included many of our District’s staff. Feedback from everyone that has worked with the Rally team and product has been very positive!”
Rocky Mountain School District No. 6 (SD6) knew the importance of having a good website. They didn’t like how their brand was represented on their old website, and they were missing the features they needed to communicate effectively online.
SD6 had a checklist for their new websites. Here’s what was on the top of that list:
Represent their brand and community online
Improve digital communications
A user-focussed website design with easy navigation
A responsive design that looks great on both desktop computers and mobile devices
Specialized features and integrated apps for school districts
Websites their staff can update easily
It was hard for SD6 to share important information with their communities. They didn’t have the website features and tools to communicate directly with families, and their old website made it difficult for users to find information easily. SD6 wanted their teachers to have their own websites (Microsites) to create a seamless bridge from classroom to home.
They were ready for a big change that would put SD6 on the cutting edge of modern school division communications. Fresh off of a rebrand, SD6 was ready to get their websites updated with their new look and celebrate their diverse communities online.
Rally’s work with SD6 was comprehensive. We both went all in and committed to doing a complete overhaul of their online presence. Rally built a custom district website for SD6 and got all 18 schools set up on their own new websites. These websites have all of Rally’s wonderful features built specifically for school districts, which dramatically improved SD6’s ability to share information quickly.
We integrated two specialized mobile Apps, where SD6 shares bus delays/cancellations and important school updates directly to families’ mobile devices: a complete modernization of their digital communication tool set. Finally, we delivered a specialized training program that empowered teachers throughout the district to launch their own classroom Microsites.
Their old websites were a little dated: the design didn’t make use of the full width of the page, many pages couldn’t be accessed from the main menu, and their homepage didn’t emphasize the right content. Our new website made all those concerns things of the past. Our responsive design makes full use of the page width, keeping visitors visually engaged and helping to direct them to important content. The easy-to-use menu keeps their navigation simple and allows visitors to browse through all of their pages with ease. On the homepage, SD6 has complete control over every image, link, and piece of text, so they can ensure that their community is getting the most important information at the right time.
By choosing Rally, SD6 also chose a Content Management System (CMS) that was built specially for school districts. Rally was designed to make it easier for school districts to share information with their communities.
District webmasters can share news posts, calendar events, and emergency notices to all or select schools within the district simultaneously, keeping your community informed without needing to update each website individually.
Rally provides a searchable database for district policies and practices (shown), making it easy for families to find important information and documents. All district documents can be accessed in a central location and shared directly to school websites. These integrated features empower SD6 to communicate more effectively and keep everyone informed.
Rally also provides SD6 with two integrated mobile apps: Bus Status and SchoolGuide. SD6 uses Bus Status to send notifications for delayed and canceled buses directly to the phones of parents and students, ensuring students aren’t waiting out in the cold longer than they have to.
On the SchoolGuide app, parents receive notifications for the emergency alerts and reminders and can access school news, events, and important links. The apps are free for parents to download and give SD6 a new way to share vital information instantly. Both apps are updated from within Rally CMS, so it’s easy for SD6 staff members to login once and communicate across different platforms.
Of course, a school district’s number one priority is to educate kids! SD6 wanted students to improve their digital literacy skills, so they encouraged teachers across their district to create classroom Microsites. To assist, Rally developed and implemented three highly specialized training sessions for SD6: one for district office staff, one for school staff, and one for teachers. Our specialized training allowed each group to learn the Rally system and the best practices for their particular websites. To date, SD6 has over 200 Microsites, where teachers can share online resources, organize extracurriculars, publish their own calendars, and more. These Microsites allow teachers, students, and parents to engage online and help facilitate better communication between home and the classroom.
SD6 went from having clunky, out-dated websites to having the latest technology for school communications. With new, specialized websites, two integrated apps, and trained teachers at every school, SD6 has the tools to engage their community like never before. With a simple, specialized system, Rally empowers SD6 to share information throughout their district quickly, easily, and simultaneously across different mediums. Rally has modernized SD6’s communications processes and improved their ability to reach their community.
SD6 launched with Rally in January 2022. Since launching with Rally, users are returning to SD6’s websites 25% more than the year before. This increase in return visitors is great: it shows that families trust SD6’s websites. With better features and improved communications capabilities, the websites are more reliable and more user friendly. Their community is engaging with the content SD6 is putting online and learning to check the websites for updates. With a better design and two integrated apps, SD6 has been able to successfully direct traffic to their website and improve communication within their district.
Rally is looking forward to a long relationship with SD6. In 2022, the redesign project won the BRAVO Award of Merit. Presented during the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education (CACE) Conference, the BRAVO Awards celebrate exceptional school district communications. Winning an Award of Merit is a national recognition, for both SD6 and Rally.
SD6 also uses Rally’s Vault feature for internal communications. With Vaults, school districts can ensure that certain pages are password protected. Vaults integrates with Active Directory, using SD6’s security groups to authenticate staff members to the secure sections of the websites. With Vaults, SD6 has created secure website sections for Trustees, Principals, and all SD6 staff, ensuring that secure information is easy to find for the right audience.