If prospective parents are the primary audience (See Pt. 1), then everyone else is part of the secondary audience. This includes current parents, students, teachers, board members, and the general public. However, the needs of these groups are quite different, and so it is actually wise to think in terms of both a secondary and tertiary audience.
The tertiary audience is primarily comprised of the general public, many of whom could be prospective parents, so their needs have already been addressed. What about teachers, students, and board members? Teachers are the most informed people connected to the school. As regular employees, if there is anything that they need from a website, they will find it because they need it to do their jobs, and they will remember where it is because they will use it frequently. Students are also pretty well-informed about the school, so their need for information is minimal, and frankly, they aren’t going to spend much time on the school’s web site! (Deal with it!) Board members typically focus on board business and are connected to the administration through minutes, reports, and emails. Their need for the website is minimal.
Who does that leave? Current parents. This group needs information about the school, but they have less opportunity to get it than any of the other groups (except the general public). Also, they don't use the site regularly, so they will tend to forget how to find things if they aren't easily accessible. Therefore, schools should view current parents as the next most important audience for their website after prospective parents. What does this audience need?
Primarily, parents go to the website in search of specific information. They are already committed to the mission and values, so they will quickly pass over the home page material designed for prospective parents, but they need to be able find their information quickly and easily. Parents are typically looking for one of the following:
1. Dates, times, and venues for specific events.
2. Financial information
4. Policies (Primarily dress code, discipline, and homework)
Every website should have a link to a Calendar page from the Home Page. Remember, the Calendar is NOT important to prospective parents and therefore the Home Page should not include the actual events. Financial Information is a concern for both prospective and current families, so it is good to have a direct link from the Home Page for this as well.
Forms and Policies are of interest to both current parents and teachers, and so these should be easily accessible from the Home Page. One way to do this is to provide links for each of these items. Another way is to provide links to a page for Current Parents and a page for Teachers. This latter approach works well in that these two groups know that they can get all their information simply by going to one page which has been designed with them in mind. If this approach is used, then it is wise to include links to financial information on the Current Parents page even though there may be one from the Home Page. It makes it easier if parents know that they can get all the information they need from one page. (The downside is that if there are changes, then updates will have to be made in two places.) The Teacher Page can also be password protected if it is used for confidential information.