AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

AWS Cloud Meets Growing Needs of K-12 Students

Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS), the 12th largest school district in Florida with more than 67,000 students and 10,000 employees, required a secure and mobile responsive website that could keep up with the growth in Seminole County.

As a premier district nationally, they wanted a website that reflected their high standards. Their old website, created in house by their IT department almost five years ago, was filled with outdated information (wrong numbers and incorrect contact information) and spanned over 2,000 pages. The dated aesthetic, combined with a cumbersome back-end system for web authors, led the IT team to look to streamline their website, one of the biggest marketing tools available for a school district.

SCPS chose Solodev Web Experience Platform to provide the face lift for their internally and externally facing websites. Now the SCPS team has inline editing tools, SEO-optimized web pages, enterprise permissions, SEO-friendly URLs, dynamic site navigation and breadcrumbs, content scheduling, and the ability to create custom apps or easily add entries to existing apps.

APN Partner Solodev runs on the AWS Cloud, thus providing SCPS with everything from load balancing to auto-scaling and elastic file storage. Solodev uses Amazon CloudFront to increase the delivery speed of SCPS’ website. By leveraging the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Solodev can quickly auto-scale capacity up and down as SCPS’ computing requirements change. Solodev implemented Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), which gives the SCPS website elastic storage capacity, growing and shrinking automatically as SCPS adds and removes files. And SCPS applications have the storage they need, when they need it.

In addition to scalability and speed, SCPS also needed to implement ADA compliance and find a solution to prevent website security concerns. AWS security capabilities and services increase privacy and control network access with network firewalls built into AWS, providing SCPS with world-class security.

“With the anticipation of a new school year, application deadlines, and hurricane season, SCPS is confident that we have the infrastructure to weather any storm,” said Michael Lawrence, Communications Officer, SCPS. “By using an AWS cloud-based system, we have a powerful system where parents and students can access grades, homework assignments, and latest news with just one or two clicks.”

Since the launch of the new website in January 2017, the district has experienced a 13% increase in returning visitors and a 3% increase in new visitors. They also can utilize advertising on their site, creating a new revenue stream for the district.

“Our new website allows us to tell our story. We now have the capabilities to highlight videos, stream board meetings, and provide our users with an interactive calendar,” said Maria Iftikhar, Information and Communication Manager, SCPS. “The next phase is to bring this technology into every school within our district to continue to bolster the district’s culture and reputation.”

Seminole County Public Schools now has a beautifully crafted design and the infrastructure to support it, providing SCPS with the peace of mind that their website runs on the cutting edge of modern web technologies.

Learn more about other City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge winners here.