What is your budget and where does it come from?

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How much do your spend on your website each year and where does the money come from? Are some services donated? Do you use your school distict's hosting resoures. Do you use any of the free (with advertising) school hosting services.

I've noticed that the private schools seem to have more expensive looking sites. Maybe a private school website is seen as a marketing tool as well as a service to the school community.

-- Terry Kearns (Gradyproject@aol.com), April 07, 2001


I am the webmaster for Bozeman High School, in Montana. My school has contributed very little to our webpage. The district server is the only piece of hardware that they have bought. I think it was out of the district budget, not a donation. I am a high school student, and I am not paid to work on the page. In general what we have is what I can find online for free.

-- Kevin Locke (com_badge@hotmail.com), April 08, 2001.

During our few months of operation we were hosted by our Board of Education's server. However due to thier restrictions on what we could put on our site, the web building tools allowed and the lag time from submitting something for publication we moved to our own site hosted by a private company. The parent paid the fees for the first year and the high school picked up the costs for the current year. We now use the tools we prefer (Macromedia products) and have our own domain name www.starrsmillhighschool.com. Since we do our own web work, we can publish as appropriate.

-- Bill Elder (btelder@yahoo.com), April 08, 2001.

The budget at my school is also minimal. We have a technology fund that goes to support all technology in the building each year. It is never enough. Web hardware and software generally comes out of this fund. Our current server is 2 years old. We are planning to purchase a new one next year. The only other source of tech money for us is the occasional Option or Bond Levy. We are in the first year of a 5 year option levy right now.

-- Aaron Leininger (aleininger@ttsd.k12.or.us), April 08, 2001.

Our site is hosted by a state funded grant and shares server resources with 35 other school districts (not an ideal situation, but it is free).

We do not have a budget for the web site, but I have had support from my building principal and district superintendent when I ask them for something (new digital camera, storage devices, printer, etc.)

We did a fund raiser last year that brought in around $700. We burned the 1999-2000 version of our web site on a CD-ROM and sold it. We are having the same fund raiser this year, and hope to generate much more.

We are currently investigating web cameras, and hope to add one for next year.

R. Continenza Chagrin Falls, OH

-- R. Continenza (khs01@hotmail.com), April 10, 2001.

I started our website by myself with my own money on the notion that if I did a decent job and the website filled a need then I would convince the district to fund it. It wasn't very expensive so convincing them was pretty easy after all, even if the results weren't exactly professional. I purchased the software myself (MS FrontPage, PhotoDraw) for a couple hundred bucks (after rebates), and didn't ask for the district to pay for it. I purchased the domain name, middleschoolscience.org (which I later realized was too darn long!) for $35.00 annually. The district re-imbursed me for the domain name. I bought a year of hosting from Hostway (about $13.95/month for 200mb) and was reimbursed for that. All of the work is done by me, largely after regular work hours.

I was inspired to build the site by Phillip Greenspun's photo.net and thought there was a need for an online community of science teachers, especially in NYC where (science) teachers are quite isolated from one another and at the same time need a lot of help and support. I had no experience up until that time with web design, HTML, etc. I'm not a big fan anyway of blinking lights and bells and whistles and flashy graphics, I just wanted a simple website with practical information and online registration for major events. It just keeps growing. I find it takes an awful lot of time to keep up to date by myself and I'm looking to recruit some help next year.

I use a lot of P.Greenspun's free services (no ads!) such as LUSENET for our discussion forum, LOQUACIOUS for collecting comments, SPAM for spamming students (at their request) with appropriate science related websites, BooHoo so that users can add their own links to my Links page. You can check out these and other free tools at ArsDigita.com.

The New York City Board of Education recently published guidelines for BOE websites, which includes mine. It requires all BOE related websites (district, school, teacher, student, whatever) to be hosted on the BOE server by September 2001. I don't trust them. I don't want to give up my domain name. I'm hoping I can get around the requirement.

Michael Gatton

-- Michael Gatton (mg143@aol.com), April 10, 2001.

Since a web site is nothing more than a web server, an Internet connnection and content, the *real* cost is time. In Texas, the Public Utilities Commission and the University of Texas provide discounted T-1 access to schools in Texas and this cost is covered from our Computer Science dept. budget. Novell (and others) provide free web server software. Notepad is all that is necessary to create HTML pages and comes free with any Windows version. Students are eager to learn HTML and contribute to their school and can be a energetic resource for creating and updating content, with direct supervision.

-- Glenn Hymel (hymel_g@strakejesuit.org), April 18, 2001.

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