California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Web sites and Web portals

Along with e-mail, school Web sites and team “portals” speed communication of helpful information. Many effective middle schools involve students in designing the school Web site, which includes sections to celebrate student successes, inform families about school events, and highlight important testing dates and achievement data.

Nationally recognized experts in electronic school communication have developed a rubric for school Web sites that addresses content, security, functionality, and interaction. “Where a district scores on this rubric is highly dependent not on its technology, but on its commitment to effective communication. Those who have a Web site because everyone else has one, or who focus on making a ‘pretty’ site, will be surprised to find themselves scoring less than expected."1

Team Web portals differ from Web sites because they do not include access for students and parents. Instead, portals serve as a collaborative workspace where teams can share helpful documents, post team meeting dates and times, and cooperate with each other on lesson planning. The Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership (Outside Source) is an example of a professional Web portal.


Professional organizations and tools

1 Nora Carr, New Rubric Offers First Functional Standards for School Web Sites—How Does Your School Web Site Measure Up? Consult This Framework to Find Out (Outside Source), eSchool News (May 1, 2006).