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RISD launches new website

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Smartphone app in the works to increase accessible communication

A more modern and consistent website is now live for the Roswell Independent School District.

Royce Braggs, RISD director of technology, said the website was launched on Monday. It can be seen at: https://www.risd.k12.nm.us/.

Braggs and RISD Superintendent Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy said they haven’t received any feedback yet, but welcome reports of glitches or missing information. McIlroy said future ideas and other insight would also be helpful. Users can contact webmaster Brian Yates at webmaster@risd.k12.nm.us with their input.

The new updates have been a “full district effort,” Braggs said, which included each of the 21 schools and departments having web liaisons. He said the work on the new website was conducted over about six months.

The new website offers calendars that can be filtered for specific schools and Braggs said “real-time announcements” and other news can be seen on the home page.

A smartphone application is the next initiative, which Braggs estimates will launch in a few months. He said the custom app will be a “companion to the website” to provide notifications and increase communication on smartphones.

“One of our big priorities in RISD is transparency,” McIlroy said. “We want to get people information. We want it easily accessible to them, so that’s the whole purpose of the update on the website. But then also, the update and hopefully in the near future, the mobile app customized to our needs is just to increase the communication ability that we have between parents and the school.

“People need information. We want them to be able to access that easily and so yeah, just keeping with our priority of transparency and open communication.”

For other communication efforts, Jerry Holm is the district’s public relations coordinator and has been in his position since July 1. Along with being the liaison with media agencies, Holm photographs the district, shares information about programs and activities and creates videos for the website and on the Roswell Schools’ Facebook page.

Braggs said Holm works to make the website “aesthetically pleasing” with district photos and videos.

“We have places for video clips, so we can take things that the students have done, events that they’ve gone to and we can post those, or announcements — if we need to make announcements to the community,” Holm said. “We can put those on the homepage. We can also put them within the website.”

Holm has worked on RISD’s YouTube channel, oversees its Instagram presence and is looking into Twitter also. His job, McIlroy said, is to tell the story of what is happening at RISD.

When asked about the cube with an ‘R’ and ‘S’ used on the Facebook page, RISD representatives said it was Holm’s idea and work. McIlroy said the cube is “more iconic,” but won’t be replacing the current logo with a yucca in front of a Zia.

“We’re trying to create a more contemporary look that’s got its own brand,” Holm said.

McIlroy said the website is a “marketing tool,” as well as the social media platforms, for the district and the city to attract professionals and their families to live here. She said the new website provides a “more positive face” than the previous one.

The website was set to launch Sept. 3, McIlroy said, when RISD was targeted by a cyberattack over Labor Day weekend. Braggs said the district is “very close to being back to normal” after this attack.

Special projects reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.