The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has launched an all-new version of its highly respected website, the fifth major iteration since its inception. The SCOE Communications Office maintains the website, which serves a broad target audience, including parents, educators, school districts, SCOE employees, government officials, students, and the general public.
Visitors to the main page will find a more prominent slider bar featuring news and announcements, an upcoming events section listing meetings and events, plus the elimination of introductory text to free up space for additional feature graphics. In concert with a site-wide design facelift, users will find substantially larger text, taking advantage of larger and higher resolution computer screens now being offered. A responsive design means that mobile device users get a version specifically optimized for them. The new site also features a search bar embedded in the header of every page, along with a more prominent link to the staff search. The listing of programs and services is now divided into 15 distinct categories.
SCOE has earned numerous local and statewide accolades for its website, most recently being recognized with a statewide Award of Excellence from the California School Public Relations Association in 2014. The site is accessed by more than 125,000 visitors per year. An ever-increasing emphasis has been placed on online materials, and the contents have grown exponentially over the past decade—now totaling more than 1,700 individual pages and 2,500 PDFs. Along with substantially more news articles, photo galleries, videos, and legally required information being published online, expectations have simultaneously risen for urgent posting timelines for new and updated information.
SCOE’s Technology Services department, informed by the actions of its county office of education peers throughout the state and Microsoft’s strong emphasis on expanding its content management system going forward, determined that SCOE would contract with an outside vendor to build a system based on the Microsoft SharePoint-based content management system. Planning for the new website began in 2013, including a survey of technologies used by other agencies. Migrating from carefully handcrafted HTML templates to this new system will allow SCOE department staff to share responsibility for maintaining information, starting with Sacramento County Board of Education agendas and other materials.
Due to the organizational requirements of the new server system, the location of many existing pages and files has changed on the server, causing URLs to change. SCOE has carefully updated its sitemap file for search engines, proactively notified high profile sites that link to SCOE resources, and will be actively monitoring for problems. To report a broken link or missing information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that archive files, older photo galleries, and other less frequently accessed materials will be brought online as time permits.