The Superintendent of the Williamsville Central School District has announced that advertisements will be placed on the Williamsville Information Tracking System, a platform used by all WCSD students primarily for viewing grades. In a recent district meeting, the Superintendent announced that “emergency measures were needed to bring the budget back on track.” He mentioned that the taxpayers’ money needed to be focused “on the students and not the services.” During the meeting, an official from the Information Technology department tried to voice the fact that website activity was at an all-time high, but was quickly dismissed from the meeting.
The current plan of action, as stated by the Superintendent, is to place a hidden pop-up advertisement that activates when users visit the website. After logging in, a “paid promotion” or “special offer” will be offered to students and parents alike. Smaller 300×250 ads will be integrated into the WITS sidebars and home page. Additionally, a service will be used for the website that prevents Adblocker users from entering the website, prompting them to disable the adblocker.
As with all school-distributed content, every advertisement will go through a rigorous scanning process that involves showing the ads to the community’s senior homes and selecting only the ads that elicit the highest click rates. With this system, all the ads will be kept “safe and school-appropriate.” The Superintendent even showed an example of an ad that passed the test with flying colors.
After announcing the plan for advertising, he stated that “the taxpayer money is just not enough to fund the board’s activities.” He then introduced the second phase of the plan to monetize WITS.
The principle of the second phase is that parents and students will have the option to remove the ads by paying a low-cost monthly fee to “support the District.” Three different plans will be included: the Starter plan, the Diligent Student plan, and the Teacher’s Pet plan. The Starter plan allows you to browse the site with paid promotions and allows you to view your overall average. The Diligent Student plan allows students the choice of temporarily turning off advertisements for 1-week periods and unlocks the grades of individual classes. Finally, the Teacher’s Pet plan allows students to view assignment grades and gives them the choice of turning off paid promotions indefinitely. Every student will receive a “complimentary lifetime subscription” to the Starter plan, while the Diligent Student plan will cost a mere $34/month and the Teacher’s Pet a reasonable $89/month.
The final component of the plan is the switch in website hosting providers. What is now wits.williamsvillek12.org will become gumbling.net. A live preview is now available by entering the provided link on an internet-capable device.