At the end of the school year, we all might like to sweep the junk that’s piled on our desks into a drawer, lock the classroom door, and forget about the chaos until school starts up again in the fall. And while we won’t judge you if that’s your approach to finishing out the year, there are a few things that if you take the time to do them now will make your life easier in the fall.
Make graduates (and all non-returning journalists) subscribers. The seniors did a great job while they were here; now it is time to pass the baton. To retain all stories written by students who won’t be on staff next year, but eliminate their ability to access the site, we recommend that you change all student user accounts to subscribers over the summer. When students return in the fall, you can grant access back as needed. If you chose to delete the user accounts, be sure to assign the content to another author so that it isn’t deleted. If the content is deleted, it is not retrievable. If you have a couple of dedicated staff members that could post a story or two per week on the site, feel free to keep their accounts active, so that readers from around the country will find your site, even in the summer.
Update your site. Before you leave for the summer, check that your site is running the most up-to-date version of WordPress. Also check your plugins and theme, a quick update now can protect your site over the summer and give you less updating to do in the fall.
Send your students out the door thinking about how they can earn some badges as a part of the SNO Distinguished Site program next year. Looking at the requirements now sets your staff up to start creating habits that will help them earn the honor of Distinguished Site as soon as applications are accepted in January 2015.
Think ahead. The SNO Patrol conducts hour-long personalized training sessions for advisers and staffs for $75. Order a training session now and schedule it whenever makes sense for you (before the end of the school year, this summer, or even next fall). The variety of training sessions available mean that all staffs, from beginners to SNO experts, will get something out of it, including a staff that’s ready to make use of all that the SNO FLEX design offers.
There is still SNO in the summer. Have you noticed some changes to FLEX? When you update to the newest version of FLEX, you’ll not only see the SNO logo on your log in screen, but you’ll also be able to add a custom teaser to any story and use the SNO Category widget to display All Recent Stories. Pretty cool, right? This summer the SNO Patrol will be releasing more FLEX features, including adding another story page template, simplifying the user interface, and increasing site efficiency. There’s more in the works, too, but we’re going to keep that a secret until the fall.
Thank you. As always, we want to express our sincere appreciation for letting us build and support websites and features for you and your staff. We hope that you enjoy your summer break, and we look forward to another great school year.