In the spirit of fairness and equal time, I’ve pulled together 10 examples of some private and independent schools who really have it going on when it comes to their websites. Like the article I recently wrote on the top 10 school district website designs, this one’s for the private school administrators who’ve decided they need a new website and want to review some of the best and brightest out there.
What makes great website design even more critical for private schools is that they are under more pressure to create compelling websites, for, frankly, they are in a much more competitive environment than their public school counterparts. Next to cranking out stellar graduates, enrollment marketing is a top priority for private and independent schools faced with economic pressures that won’t be relieved by that next tax levy or DOE grant.
While to a degree some public schools are competing for students in the school choice/open enrollment landscape, private schools have to attract the students and families they need to survive. Whether it’s getting more students or – in some cases – improving the quality of the enrollment, schools are employing the full mix of communications tools, and a solid website is at the heart of their efforts.
Top 10 private school website design criteria
Besides avoiding the seven fatal mistakes in school website design, all of the schools in my top 10 do several things right. Responsive design (adapting to any mobile device) and social media integration are driving many of today’s best designs. Because your website needs to be ‘readily’ viewed on any number of mobile devices, a clear, well-organized navigation is critical to being compatible with responsive frameworks. Visitors should also be given many opportunities to engage via your popular social media channels.
Many of today’s savvy school websites are taking a queue from the commercial websites that feature a grid approach and card layout (think Pinterest), that relies on scrolling to create a descending order of priority that schools want to use for their messaging. This best-practice format allows website visitors to determine what order they want to read the content. Also, high-quality feature images (more faces the better, right?) and videos score high points in my eyes.
In addition, an overall simplicity should permeate your site design (think Apple products); quick links and frequently accessed information – news and calendar information, for example – should jump out at you.
The Bronx Charter School
The Bronx Charter School website is a great example of a website with a simple and clean design that is both visually appealing and easy to navigate. The website's minimalist layout enables users to quickly find what they're looking for without getting lost in an overwhelming amount of information. The website's fresh, modern feel is achieved through the use of white space and a limited color palette, which is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.
In addition to its clean design, the website also offers robust translation options that make it accessible to a wide range of users. With support for multiple languages, non-English speaking users can easily navigate the website and access all of its resources. This is a great feature that demonstrates the school's commitment to inclusivity and diversity.
Overall, The Bronx Charter School website is a great example of a well-designed, user-friendly website that offers a range of useful features. Whether you're a student, parent, or community member, this website has something for everyone. If you're looking for a clean, modern website that is easy to use and offers a range of helpful features, be sure to check out The Bronx Charter School website.
Ivycrest Montessori’s website is an impressive showcase of their campus life. The video provided on the website gives a sneak peek into the daily activities at the school. One of the standout features of the website is how it is segmented by school campus. This allows visitors to quickly access information specific to each campus. Each page provides detailed information on the campus, its facilities, and programs offered. This feature makes it easier for parents to navigate through the site and find the information they need about their child’s campus.
Another positive aspect of the website is the useful links placed next to menu items in the footer. These links provide easy access to important information such as the enrollment process, tuition and fees, and the school calendar. This makes it easy for parents to find what they need without having to search through the entire site. Overall, Ivycrest Montessori’s website is well-designed, easy to navigate, and provides useful information for parents and students alike.
Sanderling Waldorf School
Sanderling Waldorf School's website is a well-designed and informative platform that is sure to catch the eye of prospective parents and students. The banner on the homepage is particularly striking, with key attributes of the school displayed prominently in an eye-catching font. This immediately draws the viewer's attention and provides a clear overview of what Sanderling Waldorf School is all about.
One of the standout features of the website is the inclusion of a video with testimonials from current students and parents. This is a great way to showcase the school's community and provide a personal touch to the online experience. The video is well-produced and engaging, and it adds a level of authenticity that is often difficult to convey through written content alone.
The color scheme of the website is also worth mentioning. The warm and friendly colors used throughout the site create a welcoming and inclusive feel that is in line with the school's values. It's clear that a lot of thought has gone into the design of the website, and it's a testament to the school's commitment to providing a high-quality education in a nurturing environment.
Believe Memphis Academy
Believe Memphis Academy’s website is a breath of fresh air among the many school websites out there. Its bold and unique presentation immediately captures your attention and makes you want to explore more. The website’s use of bright and vibrant colors, combined with playful graphics, creates a fun and friendly feel that is sure to appeal to both parents and students alike.
But Believe Memphis Academy’s website is not just about looks. It also showcases the school’s culture in a way that is both informative and engaging. The website features a range of content that highlights the school’s commitment to academic excellence, as well as its focus on character development.
One of the standout features of Believe Memphis Academy’s website is the “Our Stories” section. Here, visitors can read about the experiences of current and former students, as well as staff members. These stories provide a unique insight into the school’s culture and what it’s like to be a part of the Believe Memphis community. Overall, Believe Memphis Academy’s website is a fantastic representation of the school’s values and culture.
Greensboro Day School
Greensboro Day School's website is an impressive platform that offers a seamless and user-friendly experience to its visitors. The site's easy-to-use and searchable navigation system is one of its notable features, making it incredibly easy to find information about academic programs, athletics, admission requirements, and more.
The website's community bios section is another great feature, offering detailed information about the school's alumni, staff, and faculty. These bios provide a fascinating insight into the people who make up the Greensboro Day School community and offer a glimpse into their lives and experiences.
Finally, the website's high-quality content showcases the school's beautiful campus, providing visitors with a peek into what life would be like as a student. The captivating photos and videos capture the essence of the school and its environment, from the stunning architecture of the buildings to the lush greenery of the grounds. Greensboro Day School's website is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the school.
Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School
Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School's website is a shining example of how a school's online presence should be. The homepage is clean, concise, and exceptionally easy to navigate. The interface is user-friendly, and the layout is visually appealing, making it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.
One of the most impressive features of the website is the section that highlights upcoming events. This feature provides an excellent opportunity for parents and students to engage with the school community. By keeping visitors informed about upcoming events, Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac School's website builds a sense of community and excitement around the school's activities.
The clickable table graphics on the website also deserve a mention. These graphics are not only aesthetically pleasing but also provide interesting statistics about the school's achievements. The statistics are presented in a way that is easy to understand and engaging. The graphics are interactive, allowing visitors to explore the data and learn more about the school. The website is a testament to the school's commitment to excellence and innovation. I highly recommend checking it out!
Gilman School's website is an excellent representation of the school's community. The homepage is an eye-catching display of what the school has to offer. The website offers unique insights into life on campus, giving visitors a glimpse into the campus culture and the academic opportunities available.
The media section is one of the highlights of the website. The photos and videos of campus life are professionally taken and give a sense of the school's energetic atmosphere. Additionally, it's clear that the school has invested in high-quality equipment to capture these moments.
The website's organization makes it easy to find what you need. Schedules and scores are just a click away. Parents and students can quickly access important information about upcoming events, sports games, and academic schedules.
Gilman School's website is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn more about this prestigious institution. With its user-friendly interface and engaging content, it's clear that the school takes pride in its website and all that it has to offer.
Berean Christian High School
Berean Christian High School's website is an excellent platform that showcases the school's values and academic offerings. The media on the website clearly outlines the school's ethos, highlighting their commitment to academic excellence, community involvement, and spiritual growth. This information will undoubtedly be helpful for parents and students alike, who are looking for a high school that aligns with their values.
One of the standout features of the website is the incredible virtual tour hosted by the Principal. The tour provides a comprehensive view of the school's facilities, including classrooms, laboratories, and sports facilities. The tour is interactive, allowing visitors to explore the campus at their own pace and learn more about the school's offerings.
The website also provides a rich multimedia experience that highlights the academic rigor of the school. The videos, images, and testimonials from students and faculty showcase the high standards of education offered at Berean Christian High School. The website is a testament to the school's commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in college and beyond.
Ross School's website is a true gem for those seeking a peaceful browsing experience. With its calming color scheme and easy-to-navigate layout, users can effortlessly browse through the school's offerings. One standout feature is the interactive curriculum map, which provides a comprehensive view of the school's academic programs. This feature is not only informative but also engaging, allowing users to explore the school's curriculum in a fun and interactive way.
The website is beautifully designed, with stunning visuals and graphics that are sure to capture the attention of visitors. Each page is carefully crafted to convey the school's ethos and values, making it easy to see why Ross School is such a special place.
Ross School's website is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in learning more about the school. It provides a peaceful and engaging browsing experience while also offering valuable information about the school's academic programs. If you're considering Ross School, this website is a great place to start your journey.
KIPP SoCal's website is a stunning example of a well-branded and thoughtfully designed website. From the moment you arrive at the homepage, it is clear that the site has been carefully crafted to reflect the organization's values and goals. The website's branding is consistent throughout, with a beautiful color palette and typography that is both professional and inviting.
One of the standout features of the website is its celebration of community diversity. The site features a range of images and stories that highlight the diverse backgrounds and experiences of KIPP SoCal students and staff. This commitment to inclusivity and representation is a testament to the organization's dedication to creating a supportive and empowering educational environment for all.
Finally, the website's clean, well-organized design makes it easy to navigate and find the information you need. All important information is prominently displayed, and the site's intuitive layout ensures that visitors can quickly find what they are looking for. Overall, KIPP SoCal's website is a shining example of thoughtful, intentional design that reflects the organization's values and mission.
What are some that you like?
I must admit that there is nothing scientific about how I chose my personal top 10 best private and independent school website design examples. I do pride myself, however, on staying on top of web design (and larger design) trends, and am continuously seeking to learn more.
I'd like to know if you have any favorites you'd like to share with me and my readers. Leave a comment below or email me. Tell me what schools are knocking it down when it comes to their website design – and why you think they are.
Also, Here's a follow up article you might want to check out this article that explores five tips for a great school website design.
Topics: Website design
About the author
As a former teacher, Gracie believes in simplifying school communication, boosting engagement with parents and creating a sense of community within schools. Her mission to make SchoolNow an intuitive and reliable platform is making a difference in the lives of students, parents, and school administrators.