The Corpus Christi (Texas) Independent School District serves approximately 38,500 students and has just over 2,500 classroom teachers. The district is made up of 40 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, 5 high schools and 5 special campuses.
This professionally designed and powered site has a look that is clean and straightforward, with useful and important information highlighted. There are a healthy number of content choices offered on the home page, although some of the graphics seem larger than is necessary for clarity. Additionally, there are several feature content sections, as well as links to news, the district calendar and other high-interest topics.
Although they are not identical, the individual school sites are presented with a helpful continuity of design and content, using different color palettes. A “District Home” link appears sitewide in the far left of the top navigation bar; however, the district logo (which also appears near the top left on every site page) doesn’t serve as a link back to the home page, as might be expected.
There is a consistent top nav bar featuring nine categories, each with a cascading menu of subchoices. Selecting the main navigation category leads to a secondary landing page, with more navigational choices. There is also a handy breadcrumb trail (clickable links that map the path taken to a given page) atop most site pages.
A search box appears near the upper right corner (an optimal location). The search functionality is hosted by Google, and it delivers largely relevant and accurate results. There is no site map offered, which would serve as a helpful alternative browsing tool.
Both general and targeted content (on the district and its individual schools) is provided throughout this site. The News section is particularly fleshed out, with news segmented into categories such as “CCISD in the News,” “Press Releases” and “In the Board Room.” This user-friendly site is intuitive to get around, with little to no wasted effort.
The site is not optimized for access by disabled users.
There is no dedicated section for parents on the district site, but information pertinent to parents is easy to locate. For example, there are content sections for the board of trustees and for all district departments (including athletics, curriculum and instruction, and family education and involvement). The “Quick Links” in the top nav bar includes bus schedules, cafeteria menus, and an interactive tutorial on the “Parent Access” portal (offering round-the-clock information on children’s grades, attendance and schedules).
A “Contact Us” link is part of the bottom navigation bar throughout the site. The staff directory is a choice in the top navigation bar. A mailing address and phone number for the district also are provided as part of the bottom nav bar.
The site is available in a large selection of languages via a drop-down listing in the lower right corner of all pages.
Use of Online Technology
The site offers an extensive interactive and customizable district master calendar of events, as well as similar calendars for each school. RSS feeds are available on a variety of topics. There is a district e-newsletter, and a number of the individual schools off er newsletters in Word or PDF formats.
Some of the district’s schools have a “Webstore,” which allows for the online purchase of and payment for uniforms, T-shirts, yearbooks and many other items. Access to a virtual private network (VPN)/intranet is provided for district and school staff . The “Employment” section includes job postings and employment applications.
The information on this site is kept up-to-date. The district media archives are conveniently searchable.
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.