The Ogden City (Utah) School District, located south of Salt Lake City, comprises 23 schools. This inner-city school district was established in 1849.
The design and layout of this site is uncluttered and straightforward. On the home page, an adequate selection of applicable information is presented that will satisfy visitors of all kinds. There is a featured area for “OCSD Latest News and Events,” as well as for “Celebrations and Thanks.” The Ogden School Foundation’s “Helping Hands Donations for Students and Teachers” is prominently featured, as is the “Student Safety Hotline” program. The individual sites for all the schools in the district share the same layout and offer a similar selection of content. There is a prominent “Home” link at the top left of almost every site page, which in most cases leads not to the district’s home page but to the main page of that section. The district logo, which also appears in the top-left corner throughout the site, does not serve as a direct means of returning to the district’s main page.
There is a consistent top navigation bar, with links to “Schools,” “Departments,” “Faculty & Staff ,” “Parents,” “Students” and “Employment Opportunities.” A “Welcome” left-side navigation listing contains 14 links, several of which expand to offer section-specific content access. For example, under “Board of Education,” there is an expanded list of link options for “Board Goals,” “Board Meetings,” “Citizen’s Guide to Board Meetings” and “Board Policy Manual.”
Many of the links on the site open in separate browser windows; however, it is easy to get back to where you clicked from simply by closing the secondary browser window. To assist in more efficient browsing, the few navigation link labels that are presented as obscure acronyms or program names (such as “Cognos” and “SIS 2000+,” a system through which parents and students can access grades) should be expanded and clarified.
Unfortunately, at the time of this review, there was no site search functionality offered and no site map available.
There is a helpful amount of school district and related information provided on this site. Specific department information (including athletics, curriculum, community relations and adult education) is easy to locate. The individual school sites offer a similarly inclusive menu of content, appropriate to the given school.
This site is not optimized for access by disabled users.
Parents can locate a good deal of the information that would be of particular interest to them, with some notable exceptions. For example, the link to the student application/enrollment form is somewhat buried under “Departments,” then “Human Resources,” then “Documents and Forms.” From the “Parents” drop-down/cascading link listing, there is information on the district acronyms with which parents should be familiar, the No Child Left Behind Act, the school lunch program, services for homeless families, and more.
There is a district faculty search, but it is not listed in the “Parents” drop-down menu (it’s only listed from the “Faculty & Staff ” link), and it requires knowing the first and last name of the person you’re looking up. Each school site offers a thorough staff listing, which includes phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses as well as photographs. A “Contact” link for the district is not provided, although the mailing address and phone number for the main office appear at the bottom of almost every page on the main district site.
Use of Online Technology
The site makes good use of various online technologies:
? It offers a well-stocked events calendar. Hover the cursor over an event and an information box pops up with expanded details.
? E-mail access is provided for district faculty.
? The “Employment Opportunities” section features job openings and descriptions.
? E-Notifications provide those who sign up with e-mail delivery of news on selected topic areas, including district news and upcoming events.
? Some of the individual schools publish newsletters, most of which are in Adobe PDF format.
The information on this site appears to be current and timely. The prominent news items and calendars are well maintained on the main district site as well as on the individual school sites. Curiously, however, some of the date stamps on the news items were for dates in the future—perhaps due to a content management system technical glitch.
Laura R. Bona is a freelance contributor to DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION. To nominate your district for a site review, contact Judy Hartnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.