Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Exploring for Bugs, Part one

A couple of fixes to the site tonight, which should please visitors still using Internet Explorer 6: 1. Diagnosed and repaired a problem that was preventing the white background image from loading properly on sub pages. Black text on blue is very hard to read, I know. It should be much better now. For those who are interested in such things, it was a simple mistake involving relative paths on the IE specific stylesheet. Now I just need to find time to update the rest of the IE only graphics... 2. Eliminated the Flash of Unstyled Content (FOUC) bug that was causing the upper menu bar to appear as a vertical, rather than horizontal list while the pages were loading. 3. Repaired the styling on the Masthead for IE 6. This fixes the annoying gab between the children at the top of the page and the content below. More fixes to come in the next few days. As an aside, however, if you are still using IE 6, please consider upgrading to the latest version (8), or switching to Firefox or Safari. You will be much happier with the web. Developers and designers worldwide say "thank you!" in advance.

Attendance Boundary Update

The attendance boundary committee met yesterday, May 18th, to develop a proposed attendance boundary for High School "EEE". After much debate, the committee chose Option 4A. This option rezones students from Hudson High School, River Ridge High School and Ridgewood High School to the yet to be named High School "EEE". In addition, some students from River Ridge High School were rezoned to Hudson High. The boundary between Ridgewood High and River Ridge High remains unchanged as does the boundary between Gulf High and Ridgewood High. The proposed Option 4A would balance the projected school populations at these schools as follows:
  • Gulf High - 78% of capacity
  • High School "EEE" - 85% of capacity
  • Hudson High - 81% of capacity
  • Ridgewood High - 86% of capacity
  • River Ridge High - 78% of capacity
Over the summer, a middle school boundary committee will meet to review the west side middle school boundaries in light of the proposed changes to the high school boundaries as well as to examine ways to balance the populations of these middle schools. A high school boundary committee will also meet over the summer to review the entire west side boundary lines and recommend whether additional changes need to be made. Elementary School "S", a new elementary school in the Odessa area is slated to open in August, 2010. A boundary committee for this school will begin meeting in September to carve out an attendance boundary out of the existing Longleaf, Oakstead and Trinity Elementary schools. Parent meetings will be conducted in the fall to review and receive input on all of the proposed boundary changes. Final school board approval is expected to take place prior to the new year. Relevant Documents Boundary Map - Option 1 Boundary Map - Option 2 Boundary Map - Option 3 Boundary Map - Option 4 2009-2010 Timeline School Boundary Committee Role School Boundary Committee Guidelines

Monday, May 18, 2009

District Phone Directory is Back

By popular demand, the HTML version of the District Office Telephone Directory is back. Look for "District Phone Directory" in the yellow footer at the bottom of our new site. We are using the popular 'lightbox' effect for this one, so you can remain on your current page while grabbing a quick phone number. Let us know how you like it, and keep checking this news feed for more information about changes to our site.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

First Post: Removing the Curtain

Hello, and welcome to your new Pasco County Schools web site! We have been working very hard behind the scenes to bring you an exciting new experience, and we are very proud to finally have a chance to show you the results. Allow me to take a moment to tell you about some of the more important changes. Starting with the most obvious, the look of the new site is meant to be friendly and inviting. The content and page elements have been carefully styled to make navigation and reading much easier. The design was created with an eye towards modern web standards and uses modern technologies such as CSS (cascading style sheets) to guarantee a consistent look throughout. The site should look great in the latest release of every major browser. Older browsers, such as Internet Explorer 6, will not be able to display every element as intended, but our use of the aforementioned standards guarantees that all of the site’s content will be available to every visitor, no matter which browser they use. Now for some detail on the pieces that make up that new design. First is one you’ve definitely noticed: the persistent menu bar. We’ve selected a number of useful shortcuts for our various visitors and made them constantly available at the top of the browser window. This should make for some very quick navigation between the various parts of our site. Also found on every page, right at the bottom, is a new footer that contains more links, shortcuts to our school and department sites, and our general contact information. We think you’ll find it nearly as useful as the menu bar, so “don’t forget the footer!” Our home page has been upgraded to an online newsroom, complete with featured stories (in the box at the top of the page), shorter articles from our departments (in the two leftmost columns), and links to major press coverage and our media releases (in the rightmost column). Beneath the central area you will find a number of important links, most transferred from our old home page. The shorter news stories will also be subdivided on the various department sites, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to keep up-to-date on District happenings. Note that the layout of the home page may change slightly in the coming weeks as we figure out what works best for our visitors, but the content should not. We are committed to using our new site to tell you all about all the great things happening in our school system, and encourage you to visit often. Interestingly enough, the largest and most important change is one you can’t really see at all. The new site is built using a piece of software called a content management system (CMS for short); this software allows us to utilize additional employees in the roles of author, editor and publisher. With multiple employees submitting news and events we will be able to present more information, and that in a more timely manner. The CMS has also brought major changes to the way we manage all of our web content, from staff contacts to our Educator Passport listings. As you can imagine, a major transition such as this can not be finished overnight. There is still much to do. Instead of trying to manage content on two sites however, we decided to launch today with our primary pages and the ESE and Communications Department sites completed. The rest of the department sites will be moved over to the new system and new look over the next several months, and will continue to use the older design until they are finished. There will undoubtedly be some small speed bumps and growing pains as we implement the new look throughout. Please bear with us during this transition. We promise to get them all ironed out. We hope you are as excited as we are about the new direction for our site. Check this section in the future for the latest news regarding the progress of our transition. In addition, I will also be posting quick tips about site features as they are added. In return, why not take a moment to let us know what you think about the new look? It's quick, easy, and we really want to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May 2009 - Great Things Happening in Pasco

As part of our ongoing effort to keep you informed about all of the great things happening in Pasco schools, the Communications Department has started to compile an easy-to-reference preview of upcoming school events. For more information on any particular event in the list, please call the school directly. Look for new updates every month!

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