The Grove School has come a long way since the launch of our website and the brand back in October 2009. We have incredible people running the schools in Cary and Plano, and a team that consistently demonstrates incredible passion for the schools, the brand, the website, and the families. I thought we should take a moment to reflect on The Grove School virtual experience during opening week of the physical schools.
The site itself has been built by many. In addition to all of the people on The Grove School team, we have articles from like-minded parents and a number of the partners who have helped bring the physical versions of The Grove School to life.
Some interesting facts on the site to date:
- Over 10,000 visits have been made to the site with the average person spending 3 minutes on the site reading the articles and watching the videos.
- As of last week, the site has 96 articles, all written specifically for the site on many topics including education, sustainability, community, nutrition, etc.
- The 96 posts come from 25 different contributors (feel free to become one yourself!).
- 30 videos have been posted on our YouTube channel ranging from construction walk throughs to team introductions.
- Over 121 photos on our Flickr photostream.
So, what’s next? Hopefully you are! Much like we want the schools to be built by the community, we want the site to be built by those with a passion for educating kids about healthy minds, healthy bodies, and healthy planets. So, if you’ve got ideas, articles, thoughts or comments, send them in and we will post them. Let’s build this together!
I love working on this project for a few reasons.
Launching a brand is always fun and a great challenge. The ability and expectation of creativity in a brand launch is exciting and I think its when most breakthrough work is done.
Secondly, the concept of transparency, and direct dialogue in normal people-speak is rare but fantastic. A lot of people talk about transparency, but most companies are afraid to embrace it. The Grove School is founded on transparency and showcases honesty, authenticity and credibility in every effort.
Lastly, I am a dad who adores his kids and believes in every thing we put into market with The Grove School. My kids love and respect the outdoors, understand health (and of course eat some junk food!) and aren’t interested in superficialities. The Grove School concept is one that I can really believe in.
One of the unique things about our website is the true transparency you find here.
We don’t hide things, we embrace them. We want our families and our educators engaged in conversations that are started by topics on the site or opinions posted on those topics.
We take all comments (assuming they are family friendly!). Have a thought? We will respond.
We won’t shy away from controversy. Anyone can post a comment on any article, and we don’t pre-screen comments.
Its important to us that our site, our families and are staff are 100% authentic and 100% credible.
I am extremely proud of how The Grove School website functions. It collects stories from around the web, and it’s built on a platform that lets you take it where you want it.
Interested more in video? Subscribe to The Grove School’s YouTube channel and see when new video is added (and share your own videos!).
An avid Twitterer? Follow us there, too. Our Heads of Schools are active from multiple feeds, and there’s The Grove School Twitter feed for general news about the school. Once the schools are open, the teachers will tweet about the day’s activities. Plus, you can even view those feeds on most mobile phones. So you can check in on your child’s day from wherever you are, whenever you want. That’s so cool.
Our site will change often, and you can read about the changes where you choose to. It’s a site that goes with you and doesn’t force you to come to it.
Our website is built to be a social-media platform. That means we look at the web site as a hub, a place that pulls discussions, experiences and opinions from places across the world and then distributes them back out.
We launched the site with a companion You Tube channel, a FaceBook fan page, a Flickr channel and multiple Twitter accounts. (You can always click on the green “Connect” button in the top right corner of our site to get to these pages, or to contact us directly.)
We aren’t launching the site this way because it’s “in.” In fact, social media, in my mind, is overused as a concept. But people talking about things is as old as language. One of my past lives involved running loyalty marketing for a major travel company. My favorite part of that job was picking up the phone and actually speaking to our members. A lot of companies talk about their members or customers, but very few actually speak to them.
The Grove School is all about talking to people, not talking at them. We want to be able to add to the conversation, and to capture what’s being said and shared when its relevant to our families.
Hence, our website is a hub, not a sole destination. We invite anyone to comment on what they see here, to offer their opinions, to write for us, to post photos, videos or opinions about us. Let’s talk!
One of the unique things about The Grove School is that it’s truly being developed to offer an experience as opposed to a product. What do I mean? An experience is driven from a top down strategy and everything aligns with the strategy.
For example, The Grove School is about healthy body, healthy mind and healthy planet so everything follows those filters. The food is healthy, the curriculum is designed to spur creativity and curiosity, and materials and sensibilities are all focused on what’s good for the planet and instilling those values in our kids and our families.
The web is an incredible tool that helps further and validate the experience. The Grove School website itself is organic, built by a broad variety of people who all share a passion around the school and our families. Everyone is focused on issues that matter to parents, not corporate speak.
The site is an open forum. This is as new an approach to a school website as The Grove School is to preschool. The site is not a collection of buzz words, but is a forum that highlights unique perspectives and invites parents, educators, staff and anyone else to offer their opinions. Together, everyone will help build the site and the community of families at The Grove School.
We’re alive and kicking. Read all about the birth of The Grove School.