Written by Betsy Abraham Wednesday, 27 November 2013 00:00
Westbury parents may have less of a run-around when it comes to registering their kids for school, as the district continues progress on central registration.
Currently, registration takes place at all seven buildings in the district. When a child joins the district, their parents register them at the school they would be attending. A sixth grader would be registered at the Middle School, while a third
grader would be taken to Drexel Avenue for registration. The process, which involves filling out and verifying several forms, takes an average of 30 minutes, and for non-English speakers it can take up to an hour. Secretaries must then enter the data into student data base Infinite Campus, which can take about 20 minutes. Central registration would allow new students to be registered at an office at Drexel Avenue, regardless of what school they were going to. The only exception would be students born outside of the country or non-English speakers, who would still need to go to the Pupil Personnel Services office.
At a Board of Education meeting on Nov.14, High School Assistant Principal, Marcia Crayton, and Director of Technology, Jay Marcucci, presented to the board the central registration committee’s recommendations on the process.
According to Marcucci, central registration would be broken down into two parts: registration and enrollment.
“Enrollment only takes minutes, because all the information is already in Infinite Campus,” said Marcucci. “The hard part is registration. But centralizing it allows uniformity and keeps the data clean.”
Registration forms would be handed out to parents and guardians, or could be downloaded online. Once they were brought in to the central registration office, forms would be verified by a secretary and nurse. The data would then be entered into Infinite Campus by a secretary, and the medical information would be entered by a nurse. The parents would then be given forms such as transportation, connect ed, and acceptable use, and would go on to the appropriate school to enroll their child.
Centralizing registration will not only make it easier for parents, who will be relieved of having to undergo a long process of registering their children at different schools, but it will also help the district crack down on students coming in
who live in other districts. With staff trained on what to look for, central registration can help standardize the process and help reduce any mistakes. It can also help cut down on redundancies, as there will be a set way to fill out information.
“Each person does things differently, so you’d end up with multiple records that all relate to the same person or family,” said Marcucci. “We want to streamline the process by making it electronic.”
The committee also recommended that the district have students be re-enrolled every time they changed buildings. This would require parents to go to the new school building and verify their address when their child entered grades 3, 6, or 9.
Resident Elaine Lovell commended the board for making the change to central registration.
“This is truly going to be advantageous to us as a district. Being in one place will help you catch a lot of things, and a central location is definitely positive,” said Lovell.
Resident Grace Bryant noted her displeasure at the district’s choice to use Dryden.
“There’s lack of space at Dryden and overcrowding in the classes,” said Bryant. “I’m offended you would take space from that building for central registration for the district. You should have chosen another place.”
Superintendent Mary Lagnado responded by saying that Dryden was chosen because it’s where the majority of registration is already taking place.
“Dryden is the entry point to education in our school system. Between the pre-K and kindergarten they could register up to 500 new enrollees,” she said. “The committee felt we should have it at Dryden because not only does it register half the kids, but because of its location and access point to our community.”
The central registration facilities at Dryden are almost completed and Marcucci anticipates central registration can begin in January.