GREAT FALLS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
WEBPAGE GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLS, DEPARTMENTS AND STUDENT GROUPS
GFPS webpages are important communication and public relations tools. They represent the District to a worldwide audience. Due to this exposure, there needs to be a certain level of quality control. Additionally, we need to consider the protection of
- the privacy interests of our students;
- the District from spammers and scammers;
- ownership of the content; and
- the District’s brand via well-designed and cohesive pages.
To that end, the District has prepared the following guidelines for all GFPS-related websites. If you have questions, please call the Director of Instructional Technology.
School & Teacher Websites
“School Websites” are those websites that represent the District’s twenty-one schools and are linked off the www.gfps.k12.mt.us/schools page under the link titled “Visit school website” for each school. Guidelines include:
- All school websites and pages, including department and team pages, are to be under the District account or on the District’s server. The District reserves the right to edit or take down pages if they do not meet District content standards. See Guidelines below.
- Schools manage their own pages with training and support from the Technology Department.
- Schools may use their own theme for the main school page and may add other school specific department pages as they sit fit as long as they meet District content standards.
- Principals should appoint a webmaster(s). The webmaster(s) can assign editing privileges to teachers and building-specific department leads as needed.
- Individual teacher pages are at the discretion of the school. Teacher pages can be established in two ways:
- Teachers may set up their own webpage, with their own look and feel. The teacher should link to the school site. The school webmaster can link the teacher page from the school site. In this way, if a teacher changes schools or leaves the District, the teacher has full control over his/her webpage.
- The school webmaster can set up teacher page(s) under the school’s site with the school’s look and feel. Both the school webmaster and the teacher have permissions to edit the page(s). If teachers leave the District, they will lose the ability to edit their pages, and the page(s) cannot be transferred to another school or taken with them.
- All school, team, and teacher pages should be kept current. The webmaster should break the link to teacher and building department/team pages if they are not up-to-date or do not follow District guidelines.
- All school pages will provide a link to the Great Falls Public Schools District home page.
District Department Websites
“District Department Websites” are those websites that represent the District-level departments that are listed on this page: www.gfps.k12.mt.us/departmentlist and this page: gfpsweb.weebly.com/. Guidelines include the following:
- All department pages will be under the official sites above (either Weebly or Drupal).
- All department pages will use a District theme that includes the GFPS logo, slogan, search box and home links as approved by Cabinet.
- Department pages may be formatted in two ways:
- Move to the District Departments’ Weebly site, which will have links to all of the departments, whether on Weebly or kept on Drupal. However, any department switching to Weebly has to understand that a whole revamping may be done to the webpage and Weebly may not be chosen as the new platform. Therefore, if a department spends considerable time developing a Weebly page, the department may lose this work if a committee decides to move in a different direction with the District Website.
- Departments do not need to switch if they are happy with their page(s) the way they are.
- The Technology Department Data Technician will maintain the individual editors for the departments and delete editing rights when someone leaves the District. The department leader will be responsible for informing the Data Technician when someone leaves.
Student-Run Business and Club Websites
Student-run business websites represent those co-curricular businesses and clubs that are an integral part of the educational program. When teachers set up a website for student content, the following guidelines will be in place:
- All business and club websites will be under the District’s account.
- The teacher/adviser will be the administrator of the account/web page at all times.
- Students may create content for the pages but will not publish content to the Internet. Students then have editing rights but not publishing rights.
Great Falls Public Schools has adopted and enforces the standards set forth in these Webpage Guidelines for materials posted on its Website and on the other Webpages that it hosts. The District reserves the right to remove or disable access to material that violates its acceptable use policies. However, the District does not assume any responsibility or liability for content provided by others, including content provided by faculty, staff, and students on their own personal Web pages, nor does the District assume any liability or responsibility for failure to enforce its acceptable use standards as set forth herein.
District Guidelines for Website Design & Content
- Content of webpages must be consistent with the educational aims of Great Falls Public Schools.
- Pages should include well-written text that is edited for spelling and grammar. Content should be written for the web, brief and to the point.
- "Under Construction" signs or blank pages should not be used. Pages should be completed prior to publishing to the Internet.
- Each page should contain up‐to‐date information. All dates, such as on lesson plans or sports’ schedules, should include the year (e.g. 06/08/2015 or June 8, 2015).
- To avoid confusion with hyperlinks, pages should not use underlines on non-linked text.
- Content should be organized, with related information on a single page. Every page should have a balanced amount of information.
- Pages will provide a link to the appropriate school or District official website.
- Pages will be free of any third-party advertisement with the exception of District-approved fundraisers.
- Web pages shall not include nor link to content that is obscene, libelous or slanderous, promotes illegal activities, threatens the safety of others, or creates a clear and present danger of inciting students or others to commit unlawful acts, violate school/District rules or disrupt the school's/District’s orderly operation. The final determination of what is objectionable rests with the school/GFPS administration.
- Large images should be avoided in consideration of those who have slower Internet connections.
- To be ADA compliant, each image should have the “alt” tag specified with the content of the image. Alt tags give a short description of an image. For instance, a picture of Giant Springs might say "Giant Springs in autumn." Alt tag information is important for users who have vision disabilities or other access issues.
- Alt tags and image file names (the name of the file when it is uploaded) cannot contain student last names.
- All websites should contain easily accessible contact information.
- A contact form is preferable. However, if email addresses and phone numbers need to be displayed, use graphics rather than text, which can be copied by spammers and bots.
- No copyrighted images, graphics, artwork, videos, text, music or other work may be used without written permission of the owner, including student work, which requires parental permission if the creator is under 18 years of age.
- Attribution must be supplied with all copyrighted work after permission to use is granted.
Protect Our Students (COPPA, CIPA, FERPA)
- Webpages will comply with FERPA, COPPA, and CIPA.
- Photos and names of students are allowed on web pages but are limited to first name only with the consent of the Media Release form. Students who do not have a signed Media Release on file at the home school will not be published.
- No webpage content should allow people accessing the page to contact any student directly.