Question: Should I use rich text, news, notes, or a blog?


When you create a new page element for information of interest to students, there are three choices to decide among: Rich Text, News, and Notes/Blog. "Notes" and "Blog" mean the same thing.

Any one of them can be used for a message, announcement, or other information you might put on your web page for students, but they have differences that might help you choose which one to use.

The default teacher page for a teacher who is new to School Loop has a Rich Text element for a welcome message and a News element that shows the latest 5 news items. You can add or remove these elements or change their settings.

Element typeDescriptionSample: how it looks on your web page
Rich Text These page elements are for blocks of text, possibly mixed with tables and images, to be placed anywhere you want on your web page and shown just as you design them.

Rich text elements stay on your web page until you remove them. If you have many of them your page can get very cluttered.

You can pick any heading for a Rich Text element.

Recommendation: Use Rich Text elements for information that should stay on your website all the time.
News These page elements are for messages that will appear on your web page for a certain range of calendar days, e.g., shown only on a specific day, week, range from one date to another, or from now until the end of the semester.

Each news item can have one or more links to websites or documents attached. For example, news about a study guide can include a link to see or download the study guide.

News items are shown on your web page in a list, under the heading News. The most recent news items are shown first. As new news get added, the oldest news "falls off" the bottom of the list, to a separate page that students get to by clicking View All News. Therefore, the News section on your web page tends to stay about the same size all the time.

There are three ways to display news:
  1. Headlines only - students click to read the news item
  2. Headlines and a few lines of text - students click to read the full news item
  3. Headlines and all of the text - the full news item is shown on your web page
Recommendation: Use a News element for messages that will be on your website that are about events, e.g., tests, field trips, and activities on particular dates.
Headlines only:

Headlines and a few lines of text:

Headlines and all of the text:
Notes/Blog These page elements are much like news items, with three differences:
  1. Notes are shown under a heading that says Notes instead of News.
  2. Notes have starting dates but no ending dates.

    In other words, you specify what day a note is to start appearing on your web page, and it stays there for the entire school year.
  3. You can't use the Headlines and all of the text choice with notes. This is either a bug in School Loop or a rather strange "feature".

    You must choose between Headlines only and Headlines and a few lines of text.
  4. Notes data is not retained between school years. School Loop deletes all notes before the start of school each year, so you lose the notes you entered the previous year.
Recommendation: Don't use a Notes/Blog element; use a News element instead. If you want a news item to stay for the entire school year, set the ending date to June 30.
Headlines only:

Headlines and a few lines of text:

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