What You Want To Know
The main layout was developed with the parents of school children in mind. That's why important alerts are given such prominence. That's why the school day and the current weather is right there at the top of every page. That's why a scrolling calendar of upcoming events is on the sidebar of every page. That's why the contact information and the contact form are sitting in the footer throughout the site. Everything you need to know is added, edited, and managed by site administrators through the Catalyst content management system, but the things you need to know right now is front and centre. Just as it should be.
A Sign Of Things To Come
Keeping up to date on your own schedule can be a challenge, never mind juggling your kids' schedules as well! Portage la Prairie does its best to helps parents stay on top of everything.
A sliding calendar is available on every page of the division and school sites, keeping upcoming events and deadlines at the forefront. A full calendar is available with events listed chronologically, and thanks to the division being able to push important items down to the schools, you don't have to jump around to get the full picture. For the mobile minded, every calendar is available for subscription through RSS and iCal feeds.
Clean Flat Layouts For Clean Fresh Content
Its more than a pretty face, its a responsive one! With so many different sized mobile devices out there, Portage la Prairie needed to ensure that the site looks good no matter what screen you're looking at. A clean, flat design gives the layouts lots of flexibility, future-proofing the site for any manner of devices in the pipeline.
Another advantage is that the site loads up lickety-split. No complicated backgrounds, no oversized layout images, no massive sprite graphics. Keeping it simple means it doesn't get bogged down when you're trying to find the school day while getting your kids dressed in the morning.
This design also translates well to the individual school sites, providing uniqueness through carefully chosen colour palettes without sacrificing the division's goal of a consistent voice.
A Consistent Voice
Each school within the Portage la Prairie school division has a layout that closely mirrors the overal division website. This allows visitors to easily find what they are looking for on any site of any school within the division. The calendar works the same way, the important alerts appear in the same place, the navigation works in a similar manner, etc. If you're a parent, you'll know how refreshing it is to be able to find school days, weather reports, and contact information without having to dig around for it.
Each school has its own Catalyst content management system area, so schools can manage their own sites to fit their individual needs. Creating their own pages, listing their own programs, sorting their own documents. But by building upon the overall division site, important events, alerts, and news can be distributed to all school sites instantaneously.