For the first time in over five years, administrators have enforced updating the stuy.edu homepage and departmental Web sites. Principal Stanley Teitel spoke of the need to update these sites during a November Cabinet meeting and a December School Leadership Team (SLT) meeting.
Over the last two months, Assistant Principal (AP) Technology Edward Wong, with sophomore Sean Wong’s assistance, updated the stuy.edu homepage. The Web site now has Google translation, a list of staff e-mail addresses and a link to Stuy Cubed, a Web site dedicated to the Mnemonics (glass cubes) public art project. Edward Wong also fixed links that led to blank pages.
“I just did what [Teitel] told me to do,” Edward Wong said. “I’m in charge of the Stuy homepage, so if something or another were to arise, I would fix it to the best of my ability.”
The Google translation service was added during the second week of December upon Teitel’s request. Other schools, like Bronx High School of Science, also have translation services.
“The changes had to be made to help out the Stuyvesant community,” Teitel said. “I wanted to help the non-English speaking community so that they can know what’s going on.”
However, Teitel is concerned that some of the memos on the homepage will be lost in translation.
“Until we are able to hire somebody, we will work with what we have,” Teitel said.
Senior David Parkinson created a new virtual tour of Stuyvesant for the school Web site. Currently, stuy.edu contains photographs from several years ago.
“There used to be a virtual tour, but the site crashed and we lost it three years ago,” Parkinson said. “We are doing this because it needs to be done.”
Parkinson came up with the idea of updating the virtual tour as part of a final project for his photography class.
He has been working on the project since mid-December. “It was a lot of work because I had to try and make the school look flattering,” Parkinson said. Department of Education regulations mandate that photographs for the tour cannot be taken of students, so Parkinson had to work when the hallways were empty.
Parkinson finished shooting the photographs. He is now awaiting Edward Wong and Teitel’s response. “I didn’t help him at all,” Wong said. “He asked if he could replace it and I said sure. He’s been a very helpful monitor to us since freshman year.”
There are plans to add a Summer Programs ‘08 link to stuy.edu after parents voiced their concerns at a November Parents’ Association (PA) meeting. This link will list research projects and programs that are available to students.
During the November SLT meeting, parents also expressed their concern about the absence of a direct link to storm day procedures on the Web site. In the case of a snowstorm, the link will be featured in the News section of the homepage, but can already be found under Links on the left sidebar.
During the December Cabinet meeting, Teitel requested that all department Web sites be updated. He asked that assistant principals remove retired faculty members from faculty lists and remove non-existent courses from course lists.
In response, AP Chemistry and Physics Scott Thomas and senior Harrison Wong changed the format of the chemistry and physics Web site. The previous format, which was designed by former AP Chemistry and Physics Dr. Olga Livanis, featured a page with scroll-down columns.
“It was really inaccessible to the students. If they wanted to look for something they had to go all the way down and try to find it,” Thomas said.
“The new format is more standard than the older one,” Thomas said. It features a side menu on the left side of the screen, and a main menu in the middle of the screen. The computer science, mathematics and biology departments have had Web sites with similar formats for some time.
The world languages department’s Web site is under construction. The faculty list has to be updated because French teacher Marie Lorenzo retired during the middle of the semester and a new teacher was hired. AP World Languages Arlene Ubieta plans on updating the Web site before the end of the term.
Ubieta is looking to hire someone to maintain the site. Japanese teacher Chie Helinski, the previous Web site coordinator, last updated the Web site in September.
“We have to make only slight changes. All of the big aspects like grading policies and courses have been updated,” Ubieta said.
The Stuyvesant community is confident that the revamped Web sites will be helpful. “The changes can only help us. It can definitely help clear things up,” junior Daniel Lim said.
“It’s a fine idea,” math teacher Susan Rubin said. “It’s good.”
“I am glad the sites are being updated, because there is so much information you can get from Stuy, so it’s good to click on a link and get your info that way,” Thomas said.
The Spectator called for updating the Web sites in a December 2006 Staff Editorial. Now, some students would like to see the Web site changed in even more ways. “The Stuy Web site has been helpful whenever I needed to know schedules or needed to be alerted of interest meetings and things of that nature, but I found the course list to be a bit lacking,” senior Peggy Park said. “It could definitely have some more in-depth descriptions, like individual teacher reports.”
“The Web site could get some pictures and have some more visually attractive items,” senior Major Yang said.