Private Schools on the World Wide Web: ... Provide Information about Academic and Athletic Programs, Facilities, Staff, and Social Life

By Rutkowski, Kathleen | Multimedia Schools, March-April 1998 | Go to article overview

Private Schools on the World Wide Web: ... Provide Information about Academic and Athletic Programs, Facilities, Staff, and Social Life


Rutkowski, Kathleen, Multimedia Schools


[Editor's note: URLs for sites mentioned in this article appear in the VOICES of the Web Honor Roll, page 80.]

For private schools, having a Web presence is a matter of growing necessity rather than choice. Surveys reveal that the majority of current Web users represent the middle to upper income levels of society--those people who are more likely to send their children to private schools worldwide. Schools without this presence will find themselves at an increasing disadvantage in the competition for students, sponsors, and staff. Many parents, students, and professional consultants use the Web to quickly and conveniently search for a private day or boarding school. The Web is especially helpful for people who are moving to a new community or even overseas. See the sidebar on page 77 for tips on how to use the Web to find an appropriate private school.

Like public school Web sites, private school sites provide information about academic and athletic programs, facilities, staff, and social life. Private school sites, however, typically also include information about and forms for admissions and many offer virtual tours of their campuses. Both public and private school sites reflect out-reach, communications, and educational collaborations.

Unlike public school Web sites, in private school Web sites you will see evidence of competition for students and capital in the form of tuition, alumni donations, and corporate gifts and endowments. Beyond providing financial gifts, the importance of alumni, their expertise, and time is reflected in Web page directories and information about alumni events and major school campaigns. Many alumni are helping create the private school Web sites.

More private school sites are designed and maintained by professional Web consultants or designers than is the case with public school Web sites. These professionally designed sites tend to rely heavily upon graphics, which typically can take a long time to download. The best private school Web sites make an active attempt to include original content by students or staff. Here's a sampling:

How to Find Independent and Private School Sites

NAMING CONVENTIONS:

Private schools are adopting either the geographic domain or an organizational domain naming structure.

Geographic Domain:

Convention: machinename.pvt.k12.stateabbreviation.us

Example: The IONA Academy (http://www.ionaprep.pvt.k12.ny.us/)

Notes: The "pvt" abbreviation stands for private school; "k12" for a K-12 educational institution

Organizational Domain:

Convention: organizationname.edu

Example: The Phillips Academy known also as "Andover" school (http://www.andover.edu/)

Notes: This naming convention uses "edu," "org," or "com" in its address.

HELPFUL WEB SITES:

Many independent school associations provide Web sites that link to their membership. There are also online directories for parochial, private, and boarding schools. Here's a sampling:

Association of Christian Schools International http://www.acsi.org/

Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta http://angus.kingsu.ab.ca/aisca/

Association of Independent Schools in New England http://www.aisne.org/

Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia http://www.psinet.net.au/aiswa/

Catholic Education Network http://www.catholic.org/cen/

Catholic Schools on the Net http://www.microserve.net/fabian/files/school.html

Connecticut Association of Independent Schools http://www.caisct.org/index.html

Florida Council of Independent Schools http://www.st.pauls.edu/FCIS/FCIS_HP.html

Independent Schools Network http://www.xe.net/isnet/

Midwest Boarding Schools http://www.asgusa.com/mwbs/

New York Association of Independent Schools http://www.nysais.org/

Peterson's Education Center:

Private Schools, Boarding and Day http://www. …

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