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Palo Alto Unified School District

Rebranding and Enterprise Multisite Solution

PAUSD is a school district located in the heart of Silicon Valley operating over 20 schools. Drawing students with family members employed by Facebook, Stanford, Google and others, professionalism is key both to what they do in the classroom and on the web.

Their website had become dated, with over 12 years of content written in plain HTML and PDF formats.

They needed a CMS to streamline the process of publishing, while also providing a platform that can maintain all of their school websites. We migrated PAUSD to Drupal with a secure multisite solution simple enough to be operated by parents and volunteers.


PAUSD had 12 years of HTML content that was being manually updated. Changes to the site took days, if not weeks, and the whole process was resource intensive. The new system needed to dramatically streamline the process of adding and removing content, while keeping it simple enough that anyone could be trained to do it.

PAUSD's audience includes families of some of the brightest names in web development. The new site needed to reinvent the way information is delivered and present content in a manner that is attractive and easy to understand. More importantly, the site needed to work on any device used to view it.

Finally, the solution we delivered needed to be suitable for use for any school in the system. It needed to feature tools for syndicating content across all sites and work well for keeping people informed about important news and announcements.


Trellon used Drupal to create a mobile-friendly, responsive website for PAUSD.

As part of the rebrand, we explored a number of design directions that could represent the organization's serious commitment to education. We implemented a limited color palette and strong typographic system capable of presenting a diverse set of content - everything from policies and procedures, to notes from meetings, to information about schools. This design also incorporated grids and iconography to instruct users on how to interact with the site.

PAUSD has a lot of content, so our content strategy was focused on discovering the right information at the right time. We came up with a structure that is logically organized and can be laid out in a mega menu, to give users the ability to navigate to any of the major sections from any page.

The content management system was configured to handle a diverse range of content, everything from grid pages, to agendas for board meetings, to policies and procedures, to lunch menus. No operational information was left untouched. As part of this effort, our team focused on opportunities to transform downloadable digital materials, such as PDFs, into web content to cut down on the amount of paper the system generates.

The system we delivered is multisite and designed to allow administrators to stand up new sites in as little as 15 minutes. The code was organized around a series of features that can be turned on and off as appropriate. We knew the design had to be flexible, and individual schools would need to be able to customize logos, colors and other identifying marks. We used SASS and Compass to allow designers to modify those key design elements in a single file, allowing the design to be customized in minutes.