Website Updates That Build Back-to-School Trust

We demonstrate our credibility through our small daily actions. So what happens when someone navigates to our school district website and finds an incorrect phone number, an outdated contact or last year’s registration forms? Website updates are a critical way schools can build trust with their audience. 

It might seem like a small thing. But in many ways, it isn’t. If you find inaccurate, out-of-date information on a website, would you consider it to be trustworthy? Or would you think less of the organization? 

Credibility is a cornerstone of effective communications

Credibility is a cornerstone of effective communication. In their landmark work, “Effective Public Relations,” Scott Cutlip and Allen Center write that “Communication begins in a climate of belief. This climate is built by the performance of the sender who should reflect an earnest desire to serve the receiver. The receiver will then have high regard for the competency of the sender.” 

Your school district website should be sending accurate, up-to-date, useful information to your audience. This summer, make sure your website updates build trust with the following tips: 


Website updates should include staff lists on district and/or school sites to reflect any staffing changes, including: 

  • Retirements
  • Resignations
  • New appointments
  • Internal promotions or changes in assignment 

In addition to promoting staff changes on the website, be sure to promote big personnel changes across communication platforms. For example, if your school is hiring a new principal, be sure to spotlight them across social media and newsletters to let the community get to know them better.

Forms and documents

Review documents uploaded to the website to ensure that the correct and current versions are available, including: 

  • Student registration materials
  • Free and Reduced-Price Lunch application
  • Athletic registration forms 
  • Student handbooks 
  • LCAP and budget documents 

Facts and figures

Update any statistical information on your district website about student enrollment, performance and achievement. Update references to specific prior school years with more “evergreen” information. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for these website updates: 

  • Instead of: “The robotics program was established seven years ago,”
    • Try: “The robotics program was established in 2017.”
  • Instead of: “Download the 2023-24 registration forms here,”
    • Try: “Download the registration forms here”. 
  • Instead of “This is Principal Lopez’ first year in the district,”
    • Try: “Principal Lopez joined the district in July 2024”. 

The bottom line

Trust and credibility are essential to our ability to communicate effectively with our audiences. Take time over the summer to ensure that your website updates help your district convey credibility. To find out more about how Nichols Strategies can help your district manage your digital content, contact us today

For more tips, check out our blog post on effective communication across your school communication platforms