Jun 23, 2017

Helping Families in Transition Feel at Home

Mt. Pleasant-Blythedale Union Free School District

Keeping families informed and connected is a priority for most districts. At Mt. Pleasant-Blythedale Union Free School District, it’s mission critical. Mt. Pleasant-Blythedale serves a community of students who are undergoing treatment for serious medical conditions.

An extension of the Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York, the district is the only exclusively hospital-based school system in the state of New York. Students in grades pre-K through 12 undergoing treatment at the pediatric hospital continue their education here while their bodies heal. While some students are there long term, others are transient. Naturally, parents and families tend to have a lot of anxiety and need extra support to help their children transition into the school and succeed academically.

Principal Griselda Reyes sees the website as a critical component in helping families make enrollment decisions and stay informed once their children are enrolled. “Before parents enroll, they want to know what kind of work their children will be doing and what they can expect from us as a school. Our website helps us tell our story.” Griselda and her website manager appreciate the new eChalk CMS, which makes it fast and easy to get new content up so their website is always fresh and up-to-date.

Here’s how Mt. Pleasant-Blythedale uses their website to support their school community: 

  • The district posts extensive resources for families on the public web page, including transition information, curriculum information, calendars and other support materials.
  • The staff directory with pictures is important to help new families form a connection with teaching and administrative staff. Griselda says the pictures also highlight the diversity on her staff.
  • Teachers use public class pages to keep families informed of class news, homework and activities.
  • This summer, all teachers are updating their class pages with highlights from the school year so families can get a better idea of what they can expect in the year ahead.
  • The website also serves as a portal for donations, which are important to help the school meet the special needs of their student population.  
The bold use of the Reprise theme showcases the district’s unique qualities. 

The bold use of the Reprise theme showcases the district’s unique qualities. 

Class pages help new students get oriented quickly so they feel right at home. 

Class pages help new students get oriented quickly so they feel right at home.