The decision to completely rewrite a website is never taken lightly. The old Gulf Islands School District website has served us well since 2007, but both District needs and website technology have changed so that something new was required.

This new website is being gradually introduced during August and should be fully functional by the time classes begin.

Below are are some notes and tips about using the website.

1. Finding Your Way Around

We’ve tried to keep the navigation system simple and logical. With room for growth.

The site menu has two lines. The top line has only the Learning Today menu. This is a blog (a series of posts) about what’s going on in, well, learning today.

main menu
Home takes you to the home page of the site—so does clicking on the SD64 • Gulf Islands text, or the logo once we put it there.

District contains information on District-wide items. Transportation is now part of this menu.

Schools provides access a general information page for each school with a link to the school’s website if it has one. There’s also an All Schools page with all information on one page.

Programs lists some of the many SD64 programs, briefly describes what each is and provides a link to program’s websites.

Items most relevant to SD64 employees has been reorganized under the Staff menu.

And Partners is a list of links to SD64 partners.

2. More Navigation Tips

Links are coloured red.

On a long page, the ‘RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE’ link, at the bottom left of each page can get you to the page top quickly.
top of page

Blog posts, like this one, are normally filled by category. Clicking on the category will take you to the other posts (if any) in that category. In this example, other posts about website tips.
category tip

Using your web browser, FIND things on a long page by using the browser’s Find menu command or keyboard shortcut. Also in your browser, bookmark a frequently accessed page. And use your browser’s HISTORY menu to see a recently viewed page (or you can use your back button or a swipe gesture if available).

3. The Home Page

about the SD64 homepage The home page is made up of three sections.

The top section appears only on the home page. It has an image slider that rotates though a few District photos. The photos have been added as ‘posts’, so currently at least, you can click on an image to go to the post. For example, clicking on the first image takes you to a page titled ‘Saturna Island Sunset’ with the photo and a short bit of text about the photo. Note that the page has a category link and two tags. Clicking on the category (Front Page) will take you to the posts containing images which have appeared on the home page. Normally at least one new image will be added to the slider each week. Schools and programs are encouraged to submit quality photos along with brief descriptions. (note that photos must be able to be cropped down to 920 x 400 pixels; currently we do not publish student names with a photo)

The middle section appears only on the home page. It has a short introduction to the District. That’s unlikely to change very often.

There are two other ‘widgets’ below which are likely to change fairly often. The right hand widget: ‘In the Spotlight’ highlights something in the District. And the far right sidebar includes a search box, a recently updated section, upcoming events and a facility booking link.

The lower section, the footer, appears on all pages. Among other things, it includes School Board Office contact information.

4. Responsive Design

This new site ‘responds’ to the width of your browser’s window. So, independent of the computing device used, everyone has access to all the content but resizing, panning, and scrolling are minimized. You can resize your window to see how it works, or you can go to this site and type in order to see how it looks on different devices or different window sizes.
SD64 website is responsive

5. Search

Most pages on the site have a search box. In the example below, someone is searching for job postings. They’ll end up at the Employment Information page.

After doing a search, several pages may be shown, one after the other. This might happen if you’ve used a common word. You can scroll down to find what you are looking for, but you might get there faster if you use the FIND command of your browser (usually command-f, or control-f, or under the Edit menu.
job postings search