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This page is part of the California Department of Education (CDE) Web Design Standards, which only apply to specific CDE Web sites. Visit the CDE Web Standards to determine if these standards apply to a specific Web product (Web site, Web page, Web document, or Web application) that has been developed by or for the CDE.

Most Web pages (not including Web applications) on all CDE Web sites are created using Adobe's Contribute software templates. WebNETS, which is a custom software application that was created by CDE staff, is also necessary in order to create and process most Web pages on the CDE's public Internet site. Portions of these standards, where noted, apply only to CDE users of Contribute or WebNETS software; or to Web application developers.

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The following items have been granted an exception of one type or another to certain CDE Web standards. In addition to the item being excepted, the exact type of exception allowance is indicated. The listed items are only excepted from the standards indicated. The item must meet all other Web Standards.

  1. Employee Newsletters (CDE Intranet)
  2. Clue Reports (CDE Intranet)
  3. The Fiscal Report (CDE Intranet)
  4. Equipment Manuals in PDF Format (CDE Intranet)
  5. Historical Documents (CDE Internet)
  6. Multilingual Documents (CDE Internet)
  7. Building Guidelines (CDE Intranet)
  8. Old Letterhead
  9. Word and Excel Documents in Funding Directories (CDE Internet)
  10. Existing Non-Web Application Folder Names
  11. Staff Photos (CDE Intranet)
  12. Management Bulletins, Information Alerts, and General Information Sheets (CDE Internet)
  13. Web Applications
  14. Test Questions
  15. Embedded Captivate Presentations
  16. Advisory Commission on Charter Schools PDF Documents
  17. News Releases
  18. Rulemaking Documents from the Legal Division
  19. The Federal Update
  20. California State Board of Education (SBE) Documents
  21. Instructional Material Reviewer/Content Review Expert Recommendations/Report of Findings

The Employee Newsletter

The Employee Newsletter is excepted from the requirement in the Images section of the Design Standards, which states “Images will not be used in place of HTML headings (e.g., <h1>, <h2>, etc.).” The main masthead for the CDE@Work Newsletter is an image and is being used in place of a heading.

Clue Reports

The Clue Reports would not typically be allowed to be presented as Adobe PDF documents, but they are excepted from the requirement that they be posted as Web pages as indicated in the Web Documents section of the Design Standards. Also, they are excepted from the requirement to use black Arial text only. They may display the URL without “http://” and they are not required to use the xxx-xxx-xxxx phone format. Following the CDE Style Guide is not required.

The Fiscal Report

Issues of The Fiscal Report may be posted to the CDE Intranet Web site as they are received from School Services of California.

However, copies of The Fiscal Report containing links to videos on the School Services of California Web site are only allowed if the videos are fully accessible. Otherwise links to the videos must be removed from the reports and these reports will fall under the disclaimer that is contained on the main Intranet Web page for The Fiscal Report.

Equipment Manuals in PDF Format

It is often necessary to post PDF versions of equipment manuals that have been published by manufacturers to our CDE Intranet site. These manuals may or may not meet all of the CDE's Web standards. In cases where a standards-compliant version is not available, equipment manuals that do not meet one or more of the CDE's web standards, will be allowed to be posted to the CDE Intranet.

Historical Documents

Pages linked from the Historical Documents section of the site are not required to comply with the portion Web Documents section of the CDE Web Design Standards that defines when certain Web documents may be used. While the CDE Accessibility Standards must be followed, pages linked from this section of the site may be deployed using Word, Adobe PDF, or Web pages; and in any combination. Accessible Alternative Versions are recommended but not required if any version of a document is accessible.

Multilingual Documents

Web documents that are primarily written in a language other than English and are included in the Clearinghouse for Multilingual Documents (CMD) are exempt from the requirement to follow the CDE Style Manual or the CDE Correspondence Guide. Both the CDE Style Manual and the CDE Correspondence Guide should be followed for non-English CMD items whenever possible or practical. While Arial 12 pt. font is strongly recommended whenever possible, neither the font style (Arial), nor the size (12 pt.) are required.

CMD Word documents may use the header in Word for meta information (as opposed to requiring that it be outside of the header).

Building Guidelines

Building Guidelines on the CDE Intranet may be posted as Word Documents even though they are less than 15 pages in length.

Old Letterhead

Existing Word documents that use letterhead with a previous State Superintendent of Public Instruction indicated, are not required to use the current Web page template for letterhead.

Word and Excel Documents in Funding Directories

The 15-page (Word) and 5-screen (Excel) requirements that allow for Web documents to be used instead of Web pages does not apply to Web documents used in funding directories (an appropriate "R" folder) and where the primary link to the Web document is from a Request for Applications or a Funding Results Web page.

Existing Non-Web Application Folder Names

Existing non-Web application folders named "AP" do not need to be renamed despite the requirement that only Web application folders may be named "AP".

Staff Photos

Layout tables may be used on the CDE Intranet for layout and placement of staff photos.

Management Bulletins, Information Alerts, and General Information Sheets

Layout tables may be used on the CDE Internet for the layout of the top "header" portion of Management Bulletins, Nutrition Services Division Information Alerts, and Nutrition Services Division General Information Sheets. Management Bulletins have a specific format and are primarily issued by CDE's Adult Education Office, Child Development Division, and Nutrition Services Division.

Web Applications

In Web applications, layout tables that are created by .NET for layout of radio button lists (RadioButtonList control) and checkbox lists (CheckBoxList control) can be used.

Test Questions

Test questions that are either facsimile sample questions or released test questions from previous exams, may be posted on CDE Web sites with underlined text.

Embedded Captivate Presentations

Web pages developed using Contribute software for the CDE Internet and CDE Intranet Web sites are not required to pass HTML code validation for errors that are generated due to the way that Contribute embeds the Captivate SWF file into Web pages.

Advisory Commission on Charter Schools PDF Documents

Adobe PDF documents that are submitted to CDE by entities that are not compelled to produce fully accessible documents may be included on the CDE Internet Web site with some elements that are not fully accessible.

News Releases

Most Web pages and documents must adhere to the CDE Style Manual as the CDE's Web writing standard. Certain Web pages and documents follow the CDE Correspondence Guide instead. News releases are unique in that they follow the Associated Press Stylebook External link opens in new window or tab.

Rulemaking Documents from the Legal Division

Documents from the Legal Division that are considered rulemaking documents are posted to CDE Web sites as Word documents without regard to their page length. These rulemaking documents include statements of reasons, notices, and regulations.

Additionally, rulemaking documents may use formatting that would not otherwise be allowed in order to conform to requirements from California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL). Such formatting may include a variety of combinations of the following:

  • Underline
  • Strikethrough
  • Bold underline
  • Bold strikethrough
  • Double underline
  • Double strikethrough
  • Italic underline
  • Italic strikethrough
  • Shaded underline
  • Shaded strikethrough

The Federal Update

Federal Updates can use descriptive link text provided by the publisher so long as the link text is adequately descriptive.

California State Board of Education (SBE) Documents

Web documents (e.g., Word, PDF) may be used for agenda items and agenda item attachments for all SBE agendas or for the agendas of the SBE's sub-committees without regard to the page length requirements in the Web Documents Section of these Design Standards.

Instructional Material Reviewer/Content Review Expert Recommendations/Report of Findings

May be Word documents without regard to the 15-page length requirement.

Questions:   Web Services Office |
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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