Florence 1 Schools implements online registration for 2019-2020 school year
FLORENCE , S.C. – Registration for the 2019-2020 school year will be a streamlined, parent-friendly process in Florence 1 Schools after district administration decided to implement online registration.
Hayley McCutchen, director of testing and school improvement for the district, said processing everything online will decrease the amount of time parents have to spend filling out their paperwork.
“The goal of it is to reduce lines at registration and minimize the amount of paperwork that we have for parents,” McCutchen said. “This makes everything so much easier for them.”
Previously when registering a student, a parent or guardian had to complete paperwork on site at their child’s school, which meant that parents with multiple children ended up filling out the same documents at multiple schools. Starting with this year’s new online registration process, parents will have one account, connected to all of their students. They can input data such as address, phone number and email address and that information will automatically populate for all of their children.
McCutchen said that parents will have flexibility when completing the process.
“We will have an app, and they will be able to use their phone, tablet or their home computer to complete the registration process,” McCutchen said. “If they don’t have access to technology, we will have kiosks or a computer lab set up at the school for them to be able to come in and complete the process there. The first year we will have paper and pencil forms available as well. We will make sure that everyone can access it.”
Kyle Jones, Florence 1 Schools’ director of technology, said that offering online registration takes away the inconvenience of parents having to visit the school at a set date and time simply to fill out paperwork.
“For the 2019-2020 school year, we are excited that parents in Florence 1 Schools will be able to register students whenever and wherever is convenient for them during the registration window,” Jones said. “By letting parents use multiple platforms, it will hopefully be a more pleasurable and less time-consuming registration experience.”
Aside from being an environmentally friendly process, McCutchen said digital registration improves the flow of information and cuts down on the possibility of data entry error.
“With online registration everything will be in place in our system digitally for the first day of school,” McCutchen said. “Before, everything was at the school it was just on paper.”
New and returning students will be able to complete online registration and required documents can be uploaded easily.
“The system allows you take a picture of your document and upload it,” McCutchen said. “When we enter the information into PowerSchool, we always like to enter the information exactly as it is on the birth certificate. With this system, they can take a picture of the birth certificate and upload that and it will have all the information needed.”
The school district will benefit from the online portal as well, because it adds another set of safeguards.
“There are a lot of benefits on our end,” McCutchen said. “The data will be more accurate, because we won’t have to read handwriting. There is always a chance for error when someone is inputting information that might be hard to read. Also, the system will require a 10-digit phone number. It is so important for student safety that we have an accurate phone number for parents.”
As each child is registered, a queue will form. After a student is verified by a district employee their information will be added to their school’s system.
Superintendent Richard O’Malley said that bringing the registration process into the 21st century was a necessary step for the district to take.
“Our students are using digital tools every day in their classrooms,” O’Malley said. “It was time that the school district began using these resources as well.”