Chicago Public Schools

Task: School meal option website CPS Meals, Chicago website design and development

Our Role:

  • Chicago Public Schools
  • CMS Module Development
  • FAQs
  • PageCraftCMS
  • School Website Design
  • Self-Managed Websites
  • Web-based Solutions
  • Website Development

Project Notes:

When we first took on the CPS Meals website design and development project, we knew it was going to be tough to figure out how best to achieve the client's needs. When you look at the CPS Meals website it appears fairly simply and playful... but don't let it fool you! It's a real workhorse of a site and achieves some fairly complicated task. So let me explain...

For the CPS Meals website we where tasked with developing a way to pull records for the meal types offered, the time of day the meals are offered, whether it's an English or Spanish meal - for each school. In addition, we had to sort schools by elementary, middle school, high school and also hide those schools not in session during the summer months of July and August, then reveal the schools which begin in August and finally reveal all the schools once Sept. rolls around.

So that sounds a little complicated… but here's where it really gets tough. Since there's 825 schools and 48 meal options - there's a total of 39,600 possible meal option combinations. No imagine having to be the person uploading a new meal options each month for 825 schools and assigning the 39,600 possible meal combinations. YEA! That's where it really got tough. In addition, we needed to make the site very simple for parents to use. 39,600 records is a lot to ask a parent to search through to find the meals available for their child. We spent a few days thinking on how best to develop the site and make the task of uploading meals as simple as possible for the site administrator, but also as simple as possible for the parent who'll be using the site.

After some brain-storming, we had a solution figured out and the end result is that we managed to develop the site so the administrator only needs to manage the 48 meals and the parent can get to the meals available for the child within 1 click to 3 clicks depending on which site tool they use.

We just launched to CPS Meals site four days ago and we've gotten a lot of praise for developing a solution to deliver the meals to parents in a method that is simple for our client to administer. There are more site pages that will come online over the course of the next few weeks, that will give the site more personality and information for parents to read about Chicago Public School meals. I look forward to seeing this site grow. it was a really tough website to deploy and it's doing some very powerful task behind the sense and that's what's so cool about this website… it's so simple in design, but a monster of task manager.

Developed With: CMS Module Development, HTML and CSS, Javascript, MySQL, PageCraft CMS, PHP

Region: Illinois, Chicago

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