Blog Archive - Registration Gateway

Innovations at Morton Grove School District 70 (IL) allow for better communication between school and student families.

Registration Gateway by SRC Solutions, Inc. creates a seamless portal for information transactions between school district and guardians.

At Morton Grove School District 70, located just north of Chicago, Illinois, personalizing the educational experience of each student and their families through digital approaches is not uncommon. For just one example of this, Assistant Principal Jennifer Kiedaisch appears in videos on the school districts Anti-Bullying page, in which she outlines bullying protocol, prevention and reporting guidelines for both parents and students. Recently, the small school district, which caters to roughly 900 students, has welcomed another digital approach: this time catering to student enrollment.

Using Registration Gateway, the school district website provides two separate portals for parents to register their children for school: New Students, and Returning Students. From these portals, parents can enter all of their student’s necessary registration information from the comfort of their own homes. There are many advantages to parent-conducted data entry, on both sides of the portal. According to Alana McCloskey, Morton Grove SD70’s Administrative Assistant, “There is less of a chance for data entry error when the parent completes the information and it is verified by the registrar in less than 15 minutes.”

McCloskey’s favorite benefit from Registration Gateway utilization is the amount of time that it saves her and the rest of the staff during student enrollment season. “It used to take me days to enter all of the information for our incoming kindergarten students. Many hours of time is saved by having the parents do all of the data entry.” While 900 students doesn’t make Morton Grove SD70 a large district, 900 different registration installments certainly takes a long time the old-fashioned way. After commissioning Registration Gateway, new student, kindergarten and otherwise, as well as returning student registration, was done 100% through the digital portals. “I probably spent about 30-40minutes completing a single student’s registration.” Considering Morton Grove sees about 140 new student registrations a year, we can deduce that McCloskey has saved about 82 hours of manual data entry with Registration Gateway.

Says McCloskey, “After review, the file is sealed and all information is effortlessly moved over to PowerSchool. All information is stored in one easily accessible location.” Registration Gateway effectively organizes and then permanently stores the data within the password-protected system. This ensures data and document safety against natural disaster, becoming lost to the office, misfiling, and theft. Based on her testimony, and the affirmation of many other customers, which can be read by clicking here, Registration Gateway has proved itself trustworthy in this process. It meticulously handles the student files and catalogs them correctly within PowerSchool, as well as makes each file instantaneously reachable.

“Going forward, Morton Grove will see a high ROI in many different forms: cutting the costs of paper supplies, and being a more productive team by reducing the amount of menial tasks that need to be completed like data entry,” stated Patrick Maher, CEO of SRC Solutions, Inc. They’ve always been the type to work smarter, not faster, which is exactly why we knew a partnership between their district and SRC Solutions would be an advantageous one.”

About SRC Solutions, Inc.
SRC Solutions’ flagship product Registration Gateway has had a long and successful partnership with K12 school districts. Being a technology leader is nothing new to SRC Solutions. Going all the way back to 2008, Registration Gateway was one of the first Online Enrollment solutions to offer real-time data integration to Student Information Systems.

Protect your School’s Network Security

School districts across the nation, such as San Dimas High School (CA), Fulton High School(MO), and Comack Union Free High School (NY) have been hacked by their very own students in the past year, which tells us that when it comes to school network security, we need to protect our servers from threats on the inside.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are plaguing districts with increasing frequency. For the sake of pure mischief, these attacks saturate servers with so many external communications requests that they can’t respond to legitimate school traffic, such as teachers trying to access online grades or email. These attacks can range from a slight annoyance, such as the single student who brought down Fulton High School’s network for a few hours, to downright disastrous, such as the month-long network shut down at Community Unit School District 303 in Illinois. The scary part is it only took two high school students and their smartphones to launch this devastating attack on the school’s network.

So how do we prevent our networks from becoming liable to DDoS attacks and our most connivingly tech-savvy students?

Teachers aren’t always aware that they can open doors to security risks when they log into school’s network while students are around. Even more dangerous, as teachers access different web apps on the school network throughout the day, it is not unusual for teachers to leave some or all of their accounts logged in at the end of the day.

Properly signing off of each account goes a long way to protect the school network server and database. Allowing the IT department to implement a privacy protocol is a very effective first step towards ensuring digital security, as long as it’s followed by rigorously educating staff on what that protocol is.

Are there more technologically-offensive approaches to preventing DDoS attacks?

  • Disruptions are rendered short-lived if a district has a software protocol that shifts unwanted inbound traffic to a separate IP address.
  • Intrusion detection software can alert IT staff, who can then shut down DDoS attacks before they cause more disruption.
  • Having two data centers is also a foolproof way to sidetrack DDoS attacks. If the first data center becomes flooded with unwanted traffic, IT can switch all users to the second one so that network access can continue uninterruptedly for other school staff.
  • Although currently at a very high cost, DDoS-mitigation software automatically shuts down attacks without the second step of manual intervention.
  • Storing files in a secure cloud and preventing school staff from downloading files onto personal devices can go a long way to protect sensitive data – as long as staff are taking all the necessary precautions to protect login data. This includes changing passwords frequently, keeping passwords complex, never sharing passwords, and logging off of all accounts when leaving a device.
  • Narrowing the amount of authorized personnel from accessing certain information minimizes risk. This can happen on various levels, such as barring almost all school staff members from accessing social security numbers, and limiting teachers’ access to their own students’ information rather than the entire student body.
  • IAM (Identity and Access Management) technology lets users access online resources with a single sign-on that meets district security policies. IAM also puts tighter controls in the hands of IT staff. This includes automating when accounts, resources and certain operations should be blocked.
Registration Gateway