Mastery Charter Schools


“Mastery Charter Schools is a nonprofit network of more than 20 schools serving over 13,500 students in Philadelphia and Camden.”

Our initial contact with Mastery Schools was about rebuilding the current website. After the initial assessment, we agreed that it would be a waste of time to redo everything, since it had a solid foundation, so we decided to fix the current version and bring up it to latest web development standards.


The main goal of the project is to maintain everything in perfect shape, so that all the students and staff can rely on a schools website as their source of up-to-date information.
Secondary goals were and are to extend the website functionalities, adapting it to the ever-changing state in the field.


Initial assesment

Since the initial ask was to rebuild a website completely, and the codebase is pretty massive, the initial task was to investigate what is viable.

After the initial assessment, we agreed to bring the website back to good shape, fix things up, and take it from there.

We always say that clients come first, and this was a good example of it. While it would be great for our business to rebuild everything and charge for that, it would be unfair to go through with that, considering that there was a much better alternative.


Project Cleanup

This one is self-explanatory. While we cant go into specifics of what was done, for obvious reasons, we can say that the website has been optimized and updated to the latest web standards.


School Finder

We created a school finder module – an easy-to-use tool that enables parents to find the right school for their child. Through the combination of smart filters and interactive map, finding their way around has never been easier.


AWS-a > WP Engine

Although AWS is one of the industry standards, it became too much of a hassle for day-to-day updates that we were doing.

We moved over to WP engine, hoping that the new environment will give us a safe harbor and allow us to focus on doing what we do best – which it did.

On the upside, it also cut the hosting price down by quite a bit.


Dynamic schools pages header

As the website grew, so did the school pages. We needed something easy for students and staff to find their way around, so we decided completely dynamic above-the-fold experience on schools pages.

The idea was that when you land on your school page, you can see all the information that you need to see instantly. Challenge was how to do that without overcrowding the viewport – and you can be the judge if we did a good job.

A huge part of this is having someone on the other side who cares about the website, so we had a lot of brainstorming meetings with their admin about how things were working, and when doing that it’s nearly impossible to end up with a bad end-result!


Dynamic school pages

Following up on the header, the next step was to spice up the pages themselves. We did it by introducing smart calendar feeds, staff tables and dynamically calculated header sizes.


Back to basis

We outgrew WP engine a bit (which is an awesome sign for a website), we we decided to get back to basics. To avoid the AWS clutter that we mentioned in one of the previous points, we got us a middleman  РCloudways.

While we do miss the awesome support that WP engine has, as well as some of the other goodies, things were never worked faster than they are working now


Regular maintenance

We are now in a stage where we are continuously improving the website experience, while at the same time maintaining everything to be in tip-top shape.

Its called business as usual, and its awesome for everyone involved!



The final result of this project is a WIN – WIN scenario for everyone involved. Client got someone who is available nearly 24/7 if something goes wrong, and who can keep the website running without any hickups.
We got an awesome client that we can always rely on and with who we plan to work for a long, long time.

Our contact at Mastery said once – “I was just talking with <coworker name> how great it is to work with you –¬† we can always just send over the tasks and we don’t have to worry if you can handle them or not”. We could not have been more proud than when we heard that – especially since it was mentioned along a way, and not intended as a direct compliment!

Technologies/tools that we used

sassjqueryhtmlcssjava scriptbitbuckettools 7phpwordpressasanajqueryjquery 1jquery 2

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