School Website Requirements - 2017

Naming Convention - Web Address
Web addresses (URLS) in SchoolMessenger follow a uniform naming convention provided by the Information Technology and Communications departments. Schools should not build sites outside of these designated URLS.  
If your school has purchased a unique URL through a third party provider, such as Go Daddy, you should direct that URL to the SchoolMessenger site. Schools should not purchase their own URLs, this should be done through IT. For schools that have previously purchased these URLs, please work with IT to transfer the ownership to the district (for security and succession purposes).

Required Home Page Elements

  • School’s name 
  • School’s address
  • Principal's name
  • School’s phone number and attendance line number (fax if available)
  • Standard footer elements (see footer section in Required Links below)
  • Navigation bar
Strongly recommended:
  • Quick links
  • Calendar feed (this will feed the district-wide mobile app)
  • News feed (this will feed the district-wide mobile app)

Required Links

Schools should include the following links either in their website navigation or as a quick link available on the homepage of their website
Links in the footer of the website (standard on all school websites) include:

Navigation Structure

As a part of the redesign and move to the SchoolMessenger platform, the district and pilot schools developed a standard navigation set, by school level, to assist families, staff, and community members in their ability to find similar information on different school websites. View the standard navigation lists.

Changes to the standard navigation structure must be requested by the school principal and approved by the Web Governance committee.

If schools have items that are similar to or the same as items in this standard navigation set, they should create pages with the same names and in the same locations for consistency. Additional pages that do not match up to the standard navigation map should be placed in the most logical and intuitive place for their audience.

Additionally, your top level navigation (the words that appear in the navigation bar on every page) should be limited to approximately eight items. Research has shown that more items than this create confusion for user and when the navigation bar extends to two lines, the drop down menus make the items difficult to access.


Twelve SchoolMessenger templates have been approved to use for school websites. These are: Aurora, Carmel Corn, Discovery, Fiesta, Gingerbread, Jazz, McIntosh, Newton, Nobel, Opal, Rocky Road, and Wolf River. View these templates on the SchoolMessenger website

Charter schools may choose any available SchoolMessenger template.

Template updates will be provided by SchoolMessenger approximately every three years (2020 will likely be the first template changes for us). Template changes requested before this time will incur a cost that will be paid for by the school.

Other Notes

  • For ADA compliance:
    • Provide context-appropriate alt-tags for all images
    • Provide appropriate tooltips for all links
    • Use descriptive link text (not "click here" or "learn more")
    • Do not restyle text fonts, colors, or link colors
  • Remember that your news and calendar/events information feeds into the district wide mobile app, but your banner images do not. Put important news, announcements, and events in these places so that individuals using the app will see them, too.
  • Do not give the public access directly to Employee Connections as it is our internal website. Use the following link for it on your school website:
  • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation must follow a style guide and be used consistently on all pages. The district recommends the style guide located in the Communication Services Resource Guide which is based on the Associated Press Stylebook.
For more detailed information, including link protocol, lists and bulleted items, how to embed videos, etc., please view the Web Style Guide.