There are lots of projects going on this summer where schools are starting to use Learning Gateway's SharePoint (for example, Long Eaton's blog tells the tale of theirs) to connect their pupils, parents and staff more closely. While some schools are using partners to build these for them, some others, with higher technical skills, are installing the software and doing it themselves.

If you are one of those, and are just about to build a SharePoint site for your school, you might want to take a quick look at Codeplex.

CodePlex is Microsoft's open source project hosting web site. You can use CodePlex to create new projects to share with the world, join others who have already started their own projects, or use the applications on the site.

One of the projects on Codeplex is a 'Community Kit for SharePoint', where various skins for SharePoint are proposed to help you get started on a specific implementation of the site to match your audience. There are versions for User Groups, Intranets, Weddings(!) and the School Edition, to help you build a school site quickly. And there is even a prototype Proof of Concept site online where you can see exactly what is proposed. Currently, the code for the generic Community Kit is available, with participants being looked searched for to help implement the School Edition.