District Administration- August 2008 - (Page 46)
How Well Does This Web Site LEARN WHAT OUR WEB ANALYST SAYS IS RIGHT AND WRONG WITH THIS DISTRICT SITE Gates Chili (N.Y.) Central School District www.gateschili.org By Laura R. Bona THE GATES CHILI N.Y. CENTRAL School District is located in a western suburb of Rochester and serves some 5,000 students in the towns of Gates and Chili. The professional staﬀ numbers 494, and there are 396 support staﬀ members. Design This site has a clean and uncluttered presentation, with useful and important information presented up front. The home page oﬀers an interesting variety of choices to complement the text-based links, including video selections and a spotlighted story accompanied by a well-sized photo. The content selections are clear, and they identify the most-relevant sections for various visitors to the site. There is a helpful continuity of design among the individual school sites, each with its own color palette to distinguish it. A more prominent link back to the district home page, however, would be welcome. (The district logo, which appears at the lower left of each school’s home page, serves as a link back, but a speciﬁc text link for “Home” would be more direct and intuitive.) Navigation The two-tiered top navigation bar—with 13 categories—appears consistently atop all site pages and sections, with the exception only of the separately hosted employment recruitment site. A “Quick Links” side navigation box, which includes links of more narrow but important interest, also is repeated on most pages. In only a few places these quick links vary, in order to feature content directed to a particular audience within a given section; this can be a bit distracting and unexpected. A search box appears in the top tier of the navigation bar, in the upper right cor46 August 2008 The home page offers an interesting variety of choices to complement the text-based links, including video home page offers interesting variety of choices complement offers interesting variety choices complement text based links including video text-based links, including video selections and a spotlighted story accompanied by a well-sized photo. The content selections are clear, and they identify the most-relevant sections for various visitors to the site. ner (an optimal location). The results that are generated appear complete and deep and are organized by subcategory. However, the presentation of the search results is awkward, as the list is oddly numbered according to the site section in which the content resides. There is an option available to limit a search to certain sections of the site—such as News, Forms and Publication, and Staﬀ Directory—thus garnering more accurate, focused results. There is an extremely detailed and wellpresented site map (the link to which conveniently appears near the search box) that serves as a solid alternative browsing tool. Usability General and drilled-down information— on the district, the individual schools and the programs oﬀered—is dependably provided throughout this site. The destination landing pages for “Parents,” “Students” and “Community” oﬀer a direct way to get at desired information (although these sections were under construction at the time of this review). The “Parent Resource Center” is a one-stop shop for all content of parental interest, including links for “Developmental Assets,” “Documents and Forms,” “Dress Code Policy,” how to “Get Involved,” and much more. This site is not optimized for access by disabled users. School-to-Home Interaction Information related to parent organizations, sports, district news, upcoming events, and Board of Education meetings, minutes and policies is easy to ﬁnd. A “Contact Us” link is part of the prominent and generally consistent “Quick Links,” as is the “Staﬀ DirecDistrict Administration
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration- August 2008
District Administration - August 2008
8th Annual Salary Survey
Do You Know the Drill?
The Evolution of Notification Systems
How Well Does This Web Site Work?
Calendar of Events
Understanding the Times
District Administration- August 2008