Eliminating educational inequity is not a small challenge. Considered one of the best open-enrollment Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) schools in the country, DSST Public Schools boast the highest performance and secondary school growth rate in Denver Public Schools. Illustrating the unique way DSST engages with their diverse community and revamping the current DSST website were the challenges presented to the OMF web team.
From the initial Discovery meeting, it became clear that the new DSST website needed to tell the story of what makes DSST different while also highlighting the school’s focus on core values and the accomplishments of their unparalleled school system. In addition to the storytelling and dynamic content, the site still needed to act as an easy to use platform for parents, teachers, alumni and board members.
To initiate an immediate connection between parents and community members, the OMF team recommended that an oversized video background be used as the display on the front page. In addition, the use of animation and thematic customization for each DSST campus provides a thorough representation of the school system as a whole while also highlighting the individual campuses. An interactive map quickly allows parents to see what DSST school is closest to their home, and calendars unique to each campus allow parents to quickly see what is going on at their student’s school and across the network. Internal collaboration between OMF teams as well as between OMF and DSST was also key to an impactful final product and made the process all the more fun and efficient.
By developing a reinvigorated presence on sustainable technology, DSST Public School’s website will stand strong through the growth DSST will be experiencing in the next 10 years. By 2025, DSST will serve 10,500 of Denver’s students and will add two campuses with humanities and social studies focus. Combined with a passionate and experienced staff, the Open Media Foundation leverages open source tools and provides a 50% matching grant to ensure that the expense and complexity of web technology is not a barrier to any organization’s mission.
“Open Media [staff] is extremely collaborative because they work solely with non-profit organizations. They worked hard to understand our organization, our culture and our mission which allowed them to bring the core of who we are to life in the design of our website. Conveying our mission and our values was their primary focus throughout the entire project.” – Andy Mendrop, Manager of Communications, DSST Public Schools.