The Mayfield (Ohio) City School District is located in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland and has more than 4,100 students and 382 certified employees (281 of which are classroom teachers).
This site has a straightforward design and well-organized presentation of content. On the home page, a slide show with photographs highlights district goingson, although not all photos have captions. Featured content selections on the home page include “Our Schools,” “Our Services,” and a letter from the superintendent. In addition, there is a “News & Events” listing with a good deal of timely information. The individual school sites and sections share the same design and have a similar approach to content offerings. The district logo, which appears at the top left of most pages, provides a link back to the home page (although on some pages it was not functioning properly). The other consistent option, the “Central Office” link, is not as intuitive.
The left-hand navigation panel is repeated on most of the site’s pages, along with a top navigation bar featuring links to prominent sections for “Community,” “Parents,” and “Students.” A section specific right-hand navigation panel offers links related to the content at hand (for example, individual schools in the district). To make browsing the site even more fulfilling, the few navigation link labels that are presented as rather obscure acronyms should be spelled out.
There is a link to “Search” optimally placed on the far right of the top navigation bar. However, there is no direct text-entry box. The search function has some quirks. There are no specific metadata title tags on many of the district site’s pages; thus, the related search results are repetitively and uninformatively identified only as “Mayfield.” There are also often duplicate listings. Finally, the substantial amount of information provided via Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files and in Microsoft Word document files is not searchable and thus might be overlooked.
There is no site map offered; providing one would be a helpful addition for general browsing as well as for locating specific content.
At the time of this review, overall information about the Mayfield City School District was not included on the main district site. Interestingly, each school does provide this kind of information in the individual school sections, but with different degrees of specifi city.
In the “Community” section of the main site, the wide variety and large number of spring and summer classes and camps is especially noteworthy. They are listed in detail in a printable brochure.
This site is not optimized for access by disabled users.
Parents can readily locate information of particular interest throughout the site. This includes a Board of Education overview, member roster, and meeting dates and minutes; athletics; food services; and the academic enrichment program (although the link for the latter should be renamed from “AEP Department” to “Academic Enrichment” or something equally descriptive). The “Parents” section has an aggregation of content tailored to them, such as access to student grades, the safe schools hotline, school enrollment instructions, and child health and wellness information, including health forms.
Missing from the “Parents” section, however, is a direct link to the “Directory Listing” of staff , which otherwise can be found in the section-specifi c right-hand navigation panel on the majority of site pages. This directory includes e-mail addresses and phone numbers, along with position titles and individual photos of some of the staff members. The mailing address and phone number for the main district office are available from a prominent position on the site’s home page; individual schools off er such contact information on their sites.
Use of Online Technology
An RSS news feed is off ered, with information on breaking news and other timesensitive issues. In addition, the individual schools have monthly newsletters (the exceptions are Mayfield Middle School and Mayfield High School, which both have blogs instead). However, there is no option to have these newsletters delivered via e-mail.
District and school staff intranet login access is provided.
For the most part, this site’s content is kept up-to-date. There were a few instances of links to older information (from December 2007 or March 2008) being called out with prominent placement, but these were exceptions.
The “News & Events” listing on the home page is timely. There is a fairly significant archive of items pertaining to the district, and some for the individual schools.
Laura R. Bona is a contributing writer for District Administration. To nominate your district for a site review, contact Judy Hartnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.