Vacancy: The New HCS Website

Update, 9/7/2012. Well, what do you know? Maybe someone in Merts reads this blog. Or maybe not. The misspelled curriculm has been corrected to curriculum.  The rest of the inanities remain.

Broken links are no longer a problem on the Huntsville City Schools website: there’s not enough content for links to be a problem.

There are vast stretches of white space, blankness, and emptiness. It’s dysfunctional, in other words.

There’s a box on the homepage for pictures and headlines without stories. One picture’s large font display caption reads: “Students begin familiarizing themselves with laptops and curriculm.” Yes, “curriculm.” I don’t know about you, but I feel very unhappy when I come across such a typo on a school’s website.

Under the banner are various clickable boxes. “Talk Supe” doesn’t lead to a blank page; it doesn’t respond at all. Is this by design, I wonder?

Then there is another box titled “Reward & Recognition.” I think what is intended here is “Awards and Recognitions.” Awards and rewards are not the same things. If you find a lost dog, you get a reward. If your dog is the best in the show, you get an award. Rewards are transactions. Awards are not. But maybe “Reward” is exactly what is meant: tow the line, and you too might get a reward. Using the singular form of these nouns is simply sloppy, especially since several instances follow under the title.

I was all excited when I saw the new website. I wanted to read the Parent and Student 2012-2013 Handbook. But I could find no link to it anywhere on the HCS site. Finally, I found it in the contents box on the schools’ sites. At Huntsville High, clicking Handbook brings you (eventually) to the 2011-2012 Handbook. The other ones I tried — Lee, Columbia, Jones Valley — took me to a page where a dropdown menu gives the options of “choose a section” or “all sections,” but these phrases just toggle and lead nowhere. Here is the standard blank page you get to by clicking Handbook, using Lee High as an example.

There are some amusing things to do from the banner across the top of the HCS homepage. Click on News. This takes you here. Now click on Archived Stories. This one sounds interesting:

New Website Unveiling

Now click on Read Full Story. This takes you here, where you find

“New Website Unveiling.”

That’s it. That’s the grand total of that archived story.

All my fans know I have been very interested in finding out more about how exactly the HCS’s $778,000 contract with the Pinnacle Schools worked. I especially wanted to know how one might end up in a teepee for as long as the Supe desires at the remote Elk River Wilderness Treatment Program. Thwarted by the absence of the 2012-2013 Handbook, which surely must address this, I searched Pinnacle on the new HCS site.

A hit! Here is what came up:

Athletes Placed at the Seldon Center

A student that is attending the Seldon Center or Pinnacle is only eligible to represent the Seldon Center or Pinnacle. A student attending the Seldon Center or Pinnacle cannot participate at any other school.

That’s all, folks. The sum total of references to a program you are paying $778,000 for.

By the way, I have heard that paper copies of the Handbook have been distributed by the paperlessness-is-our-sole-goal school system. Oh, the irony.

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