Willmar Public Schools website has a new look

The Willmar Public Schools website is undergoing a makeover intended to make navigation of the site easier and more intuitive. School Board members got a look at it at a workshop meeting Monday.

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The Willmar Public Schools website is getting a new look. The makeover started last week and should be finished by the end of this week and is expected to be easier to navigate and improve communication between the district and the public.

WILLMAR — If you want to apply for a job at Willmar Public Schools, look at an activities calendar or offer to volunteer, it’s easier to find that information on a revamped website for Willmar Public Schools.

Frequent visitors to the school district’s website, , have most likely noticed changes in the past week. The full transformation is expected to be finished by the end of this week.

Superintendent Jeff Holm said at Monday’s School Board workshop that the district was able to use federal funding to revamp the website in an effort to improve communication with the public.

The Center for Effective School Operations, a consultant group which specializes in working with education, was hired to do the work.

Coley Fehringer from the consultant group described the changes for the board Monday.


The effort began in September by seeking feedback about the website. People were able to vote on topics and share ideas.

The new plan simplifies navigation, reduces the number of sub-pages and makes it easier to find information, Fehringer said.

People who responded to surveys said finding calendars could be difficult, and they wanted more COVID-19 information, she said.

The goal was to make the page easier to navigate and make it display on phones and tablets, she said, and she demonstrated the page’s look on smaller screens.

Keeping the page updated is important, she said, adding, “We hope to have made it easier for Willmar to take over.”

At the bottom of each page is a list of links under the heading “I want to....” On the home page, the list of topics includes applying for jobs, enrolling in Willmar Public Schools, checking school menus or viewing calendars. The list is tailored to each school building’s home page.

Board member Tammy Barnes said she liked the improvements made to the site and the new look.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: or phone 320-214-4340
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