We’ve been working over the last year with Infinite Campus to provide families with an online method for notifying the schools if they are returning next year or not. We originally called it “Online Registration” – but have now decided against calling it Online Registration.
Why is it not being called “Online Registration”?
The concern is that parents will think that “online registration” means that everything can be done online and that isn’t true. It may also lead families to belief that they don’t have to visit the school is August. Many of schools take student photos, hand out schedules, etc during their on site registrations in August. Instead, we will be asking families to simply update their contact information – and doing so will mean less paperwork for them at that on site school registration in August.
When will the process begin for families to update their information?
We will proceed in the month of March. We had originally notified our schools that we would start in Feb, however, the programming isn’t finished yet, and the spanish translation isn’t finished, and we haven’t left ourselves enough time to communicate with the parents about this happening. In addition, from discussion with schools, moving back a month would not harm their time frame.
Q1. What does the process look like? What does it replace and what does it not replace?
What it will do:
* A way for parents to update their basic demographic information and to notify the school district if they intend to return next year or not.
* At most school registrations, it should dramatically reduce the number of parents who need to update their basic demographic information.
What it won’t do:
* It does NOT replace the need for parents to visit a school. Many schools have student photos taken, scheduling, classroom visits – and they will still need to visit their child’s school.
* It does not replace all paper sent home to families. Since the online registration on handles family demographics, there are some schools that may still be sending out other information that is specific to their school via mail.
Q2. What is the timeline? Who is responsible for what?
1. BY MID FEB 2014: Infinite Campus is finishing up the programming related to online updating.
2. MID FEB 2014: As soon as the updating is available, the first part that we will turn on and make available is the registration for new students / new families. This would enable new families to visit our website, fill out a registration form which will allow us to collect information from new families moving into the district.
3. EARLY MARCH 2014: District Registrar’s office will begin the online update for existing families. Basically, it starts with an email sent to all existing families (that have an email address in Campus). Families are invited to visit Infinite Campus, where they can preview all of their existing information and then indicate whether they plan to return the following school year and to also update any of their family/student information. The system is designed to be open to all families at once, which enables families with students at multiple buildings to handle the registration all at once. The recommendation from Infinite Campus is to leave the registration open for approximately one month
4. END OF MARCH 2014: We will then close the online updates and the District Registrar’s office will supply each school with several lists…
a. List of families that ARE RETURNING and have finished updating their information
b. List of families that ARE NOT RETURNING
c. List of families that DID NOT RESPOND electronically and need to be contact via mail.
5. MONTH OF APRIL 2014: Each school can then proceed with the list of families that were not able to respond – meaning they might contact them by mail, by phone, or ask them to update their information in person in August.
At the district level, we will begin the process of reviewing and approving the electronic updates that came in. According to Infinite Campus, we’ll need approximately one month to go through all the online updates to review and approve all the updated information.
6. SUMMER 2014: As schools receive back paper copies of mailed registrations, they send them to the District Registrar’s office for processing over the summer. Schools would also send any paper updated versions back to the Registrar’s office after August registrations.
Q3. Will spanish version of the online registration be available?
We are working on a Spanish version.
Q4. Why Feb? Can we select a different month?
A. Yes, we can select a different month – however, we all (all 14 schools) have to select the same month. We tossed out the idea of March, as it would allow schools to get the list back by April 1st, so they could determine how they would like to pursue the families that did not register.
Q5. Can we roll this out one building at a time?
A. No. It’s built to be convenient for families, which means that they can handle registration for all students at once – which requires us to have registration open for all schools at the same exact time.
Q6. Are we notifying parents of current students of the online registration and when they need to do it? We generally do not register current students until the month of May so not sure if we do not notify them if they will register.
A Yes… we are talking with school community relations about a plan for starting the communication with parents
Q7. Will the District Registrar collect the book fee as I am sure we will have many calls as to what that cost is and who to pay?
A The current online registration doesn’t have any tie in with fees – basically the family updates their contact information and simply tells us if they are planning to return or not. Currently we have no way to force or ensure that they pay as part of the process. However, if you’d like us to talk with accounting about making sure the fees options are available during registration, we can certainly do that. Or it could be that schools would prefer that we leave fees alone since we can’t enforce that they are filled out during this process.
Q8. I am assuming that transportation, free/reduced will also be mentioned in the online registration.
A. It will be mentioned – but the online registration does not give them the option to sign up for these items – as transportation has their own registration and the free/reduced information must be on specific federal forms that we aren’t allowed to make electronic.