online enrollment Archives - Registration Gateway
Automation, a worthwhile hassle

Automation: Is Implementation Worth the Hassle?

How much can a change in perspective affect a school district’s central office? Sounds more like life advice from Deepak Chopra than applicable guidance for running a school district. The truth is, a lot of seemingly impossible tasks have been made possible through technology and automation. The issue is that these particular tasks are regular sources of anxiety for central office and administrative personnel, and the idea of letting go of some responsibility is frankly terrifying.

A lot is at stake in a school’s central office – there are kids to worry about, parents to answer to, privacy to protect, and state and government funding to lose. Not exactly a stress-free environment. Letting go of this stress can make us feel vulnerable to error, so it’s understandable that a change in perspective about the technology-takeover is difficult to make, especially for the “digitally-challenged”.

Let’s go through some of these pain points to understand why letting go of the stress is something you can actually do in order to streamline tedious processes without error and in total compliance with state and federal laws, and yes, even with the parents.

Eliminate manual data entry for registrars during student registration.

  1. Why it Hurts: Data needs to be clean, complete, and accurate. Without perfect data, a lot can go haywire – Can you imagine not having the right contact numbers for a student in a time of emergency? Asking a school district to give up some of the control here is scary, for understandable reasons.
  2. A Change in Perspective: Get clean and complete data, with real-time flow to your SIS, by allowing the parents to enter student information and documents Type-ahead data fields prevent error by literally forcing parents to submit data in a certain manner. For instance, they must submit an actual USPS-verified address, and they must submit 2 or 3 or any number of emergency contact information as the school requires before they can complete their enrollment process. Little red asterisks can go a long way, and strictly prohibiting parents from skipping questions doesn’t hurt, either. Parents aren’t bothered by this process; they are thrilled knowing that the school district has everything they need from the guardians to keep their kids safe. They also love that they can have access to an appointment scheduler, allowing them to pick the time that works best for their own schedules.
  3. Relieve Stress, Retain Control: When setting up an online registration system, the implementation team should be responsive and willing to customize a school’s registration system to their needs. We can’t speak for anyone else, but at SRC, this is absolutely true. School districts are assured they can ask all their usual questions to make even the heaviest paper registration packets electronic. Some even choose to make the student handbook a requirement of this system, kind of like accepting the Terms and Conditions to use certain websites. Another thing to remember here is that your registrars still hold the power to review, accept, or deny any data that comes through the online registration system, making sure that incorrect data doesn’t slip through.
  4. Take a Deep Breath: Once approved by the registrar, these student enrollments are sealed, and flow directly into the Student Information System. Meaning the registrar never has to make a copy or pick up a phone to notify anyone that a new student has enrolled. Notifications are automated – everyone who needs to know, knows immediately, and is only given access to the information they are allowed to see. This is guaranteed to be in full compliance with federal laws like FERPA and HIPAA, as well as any state and local retention mandates. So YES, you can let go of this stress!

Get every document needed from parents on time, and know exactly where they are at all times.

  1. Why it hurts: This is not a new problem for school districts. Parents often forget to bring certain documents with them to their registration appointment, and those documents become harder to track down as time passes. Frequently calling and emailing parents to request these documents is urgent and important, but is annoying for both parties. In times of emergency, such as a house fire, parents usually look to the school district for copies of birth certificates and similar precious documents that may have been destroyed. This is just another reason it’s important for schools to be meticulously organized – failing to present these documents to a family in need is not only tragic for the family, it also damages the reputation of the school.
  2. A Change in Perspective: Intelligent Document Management Software. Man oh man, is that a mouthful. Basically, it refers to an incredibly intelligent electronic repository where all documents are stored in digital form. Within the repository, there are all kinds of placeholders to make sure that each document is appropriately labeled and secured, so that each document is extremely easy to retrieve – but only by permissioned users. It also refers to the means of transferring these documents into the system. Physical scanners can be linked to this repository by using a data glyph or bar code related to the individual student and document type. When the data glyph or bar code is scanned, it communicates where the document belongs to the repository and lands in the right folder and the correct document-type placeholder. So when you scan Jane Doe’s 4th quarter report card from 3rd grade, it doesn’t go anywhere except the place holder made specifically for Jane Does’s 4th quarter report card from 3rd
  3. Relieve Stress, Retain Control: So a fancy digital filing cabinet exists, how does that help a school district retrieve documents from parents? Well, there are actually a couple of ways this fancy filing cabinet can make your document dreams come true. First, parents can scan and upload these documents from home. Just like with registration data, registrars must approve and allow the submitted documents to take their place in the repository. Second, imagine the physical filing cabinet in your office calling out every missing document in every folder: Jimmy is missing his immunization record! Susie is missing her permission slip for next week’s field trip! Now imagine that physical filing cabinet pulled out a phone and texted Jimmy and Susie’s parents about their missing documents, and sent them an e-mail as well. By pulling daily reports about missing documents, and setting automated notifications to parents, you can automatically email and text parents until the document is provided. This can happen once a month, week, or every day if you like. It’s still under your control – you just don’t have to physically do it.
  4. Take a Deep Breath: This doesn’t just refer to student documents! It can handle records requests, HR documents, and essentially any other type of business process you may want to automate. Sure, the process has to be built out first – you can’t just go scanning and hoping the repository will figure it out – but there’s really no limit to what you can’t do here. And think of all the trees you can save!

Save a lot of money and time.

  1. Why it Hurts: Because DUH everyone wants to save as much money and time as they can, this isn’t news! This hurts because saving money can require doing less for your staff and student body. This hurts because spending money to save money is risky. This hurts because taking the time to fixate on the details can prevent big issues down the road.
  2. A Change in Perspective: We’ve already been through the ways you can allow staff to stop fixating on the details while still be totally compliant to legal policies and provide great communication to students and guardians. So let’s just think about the time and money it takes to make copies, deliver copies or call around the school to notify other personnel, file documents, find documents, set appointments with parents, buy stamps, lick envelopes, and mail home report cards and policy updates and permission slips, etc. Although individually these tasks can be small, they add up a lot of minutes and cents in the end.
  3. Relieve Stress, Retain Control: When your district utilizes an online enrollment system and/or an electronic document repository, you slice most minutes off of these tasks, and eliminate the printing, paper, and mailing costs that go with them. You also spend money paying your staff to have more productive workdays.
  4. Take a Deep Breath: The software we’ve been talking about isn’t exactly cheap, nor is it easy, breezy right off the bat. Staff needs to be trained on how to use it, and the implementation team on the software side basically needs as much training too, in order to deliver the best solution for the district. But is it worth the cost and the time it takes to get the software in place and the staff up to the task of using it? Absolutely. Most districts recover the cost in their first year and have exponential savings in following years. Staff members become more knowledgeable and comfortable each year, which expands the capabilities at hand. Guardians love that they no longer have to wait in long lines for their registration appointments. As taxpayers, they’re thrilled that their money was used to modernize the school district and make student information more available to them and accessible on their own time.

Going digital isn’t just possible, it’s worth it, and easy in the long run. It’s time to admit manual data entry and document retention isn’t as useful and safe as it feels, and it’s okay to upgrade! Treat yourself and your district to Intelligent Data and Document Management.

overwhelmed secretary

5 Common Errors with Manual Registration

A digital registration solution can help both parents and staff make the registration process paperless, secure, and efficient. Switching from a manual, paper-based enrollment system to an online registration solution will mitigate risks like misplaced student files and data entry errors.

Many industries have switched from analog to digital in order to save space and increase efficiency. Think about how much easier it is to find the song you want to hear now that you no longer have to go through a CD collection, input the disk into another device, and read the jewel case to find the right song. You simply search for the song within your own digital library or elsewhere online and it pops up and plays. You also don’t have to risk opening the CD case to find that the disk has gone missing, or worse, a different CD in its place. This discovery could mean the entire organization of your CD collection has been compromised. School systems and offices are now feeling a similar relief when it comes to the registration information and necessary documentation of their staff and clients.

With an online registration solution, the common errors that come with manual registration are prevented entirely.  Within a school system, the standard process of registering a child for their education has been that the parent personally fills out the forms, which are handed over to school staff in order to be manually entered into the student information system (SIS) and then filed accordingly, as well as distributed throughout the staff appropriately. A similar process also occurs when new employees are hired and have to submit the same information to the human resources department. SRC Solutions has reinvented the standard by going digital. Here are the 5 most common errors of manual registration that can be automatically corrected and prevented by utilizing a digital system. The examples given below regarding new student enrollment can also be applied to a new hire situation between the HR department and a new employee.

  1. Prevent incomplete data while increasing parent confidence.

Digital solutions actually make parents feel more involved and confident about their student’s registration, while simultaneously preventing them from making mistakes and disrupting the whole process. Normally, a parent is handed a hefty paper packet which asks all the necessary questions a school must ask in order to keep track and take care of a student. When parents fill this kind of information out on paper, it is very easy for blanks to go unfilled, either because the parent is resistant to answer or because human error permits them to skip over a question. When filling out the information online, products such as Registration Gateway make sure the parent cannot move to the next set of questions without answering absolutely everything the school considers necessary. It also prevents them from entering data in an unacceptable format. This ensures that the data flowing into the SIS is clean and complete.

  1. Prevent illegible data while saving time for staff.

Everybody’s handwriting is different, and what is legible to one person is not always legible to the next. The next step in the traditional registration process after parents fill out the paper forms, is handing over that packet to a registrar or secretary to be manually entered into the SIS. Even if your paper registration packet is only 10 pages long, and you only have 500 students in one school, you’re still depending on your staff to manually enter 5,000 pages of information, and decipher 500 different kinds of handwriting. The average manual data entry error rate for humans is 1 percent, meaning that 1 out of every 100 entries is erroneous, explained Ugerboek Software. Registration Gateway eliminates this step of the process entirely. The data flows directly from the parent portal in Registration Gateway, and, after being approved by the school, transfers directly into the SIS. This means no more translating parents’ handwriting, and no misspellings in the data as a result. It also saves hours and hours of time and redundant effort for the staff.

  1. Better control and regulate the student data.

St. Street. Str. (555)123-4567. 555-123-4567. 5551234567. There are many different modes that data can be relayed when you hand a client a pen instead of offering them options to choose from. With a digital registration process, the input of data is regulated according to the administrator’s preference. The data relating to each individual student can be managed on a grand scale to make sure that the data is logged and stored in the most consistent manner possible. This prevents problems you might not expect, such as issues with mailing addresses, contact information, and student transportation information. For example, you may think you notified every parent of a child who lives on Main St. about a situation on their children’s bus route. But if one student has their data logged differently (ex. Main Street), their parents may fail to be informed. Registration Gateway from SRC Solutions, Inc. is completely tailorable to any individual school district’s needs and preferences.

  1. Paper is vulnerable – make your data safer.

Paper is an incredibly vulnerable substance. It can burn, it can be torn, it can turn to mush during a flood, and it can be stolen or misplaced. In cases of fire or flood, school systems that rely on paper files are left without a back-up plan; the data is simply destroyed. Forest Brook High School in Houston, Texas, recently fell under fire for failing to provide student records that proved former students had been enrolled in their school, reported KHOU.com. When investigated by the Texas Education Agency, the school was also found to have student enrollment files that were completely illegible and some students even had two completely different transcripts with varying information. The TEA noted that one of the issues behind the inaccurate, poorly maintained records is the recent floods that have swept through the city, which may have destroyed many of the missing documents. Natural disasters do happen, but the threat of being handled by man is much more common issue and can even be more detrimental to school security. Storing these files electronically not only ensures safety in case of tragedies or computer malfunctions, but it also protects them from the eyes and hands that shouldn’t be handling them, as well as making sure they are constantly in the correct place and easily accessible. To give you an idea of how much time and money searching for misplaced paper documents can cost an organization, the average office spends about 8 hours performing paper management. Business offices with about 1,000 employees waste approximately $48,000 per week due to the inability to locate and deliver needed information, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Password protection and data encryption makes every student’s information available to the parents and the appropriate members of the staff, but secures it against privacy invasion. This also prevents infractions upon the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which mandates that schools must keep a complete, organized file for every child and protect it against privacy breaches.

  1. Ensure that parents submit all the necessary documentation and eliminate appointments with parents (or bring it down to the bare minimum)

Many documents have to be submitted to enroll a child for school before they can actually attend school and be sorted into the correct classes. Birth certificates, social security cards, proof of residence, vaccination and allergy records, and other documentation are the parent’s responsibility to provide for the school. Neglecting to bring one of the documents to the scheduled registration appointment means they have to schedule another time to come in and complete the process. With online solutions like Registration Gateway, each of these documents can be scanned by the parents on their own time, and then automatically distributed to the appropriate departments within the school. While some schools do still require an actual appointment with the parents at the end of their digital registration process, this step could theoretically be eliminated. If this is not the case for a certain school, the online registration process can ease the ability to make appointments between parents and administrators, as well as provide a way for the documentation to be submitted before the appointment date, or at the very least prepare the parents to bring all the right documents in at that time.

About Registration Gateway

The only true paperless solution of its kind, Registration Gateway streamlines student registration, re-enrollment and information tracking into a simple, intuitive process. By digitizing and automatically integrating data into existing student information systems, Registration Gateway saves money, increases compliance, mitigates legal and disaster risk and creates new funding opportunities. To read more, click here.

SRC Solutions, Inc., Mobile County Public Schools and STI Education Data Management Solutions Develop Integrated Solution to Online Student Registration

Mobile County Public Schools eliminates wasted time and money by implementing Registration Gateway from SRC Solutions, Inc.

Mobile County Public Schools has recently completed its online enrollment period using Registration Gateway. The Registration Gateway solution has enabled Mobile County Public Schools to eliminate the paper registration packet typically used for school registration. This is a savings of approximately 300,000 pieces of paper and printing costs.

“There is no doubt Mobile County Public Schools saved money not having to print registration packets.” said Linda Biggs Student Attendance Administrator. Registrars no longer have to manually enter registration information into INOW, Mobile County Public Schools Student Information System.  “Mobile County Public Schools has achieved 100% parent adoption of the Registration Gateway Online Enrollment Solution.” said Biggs.

The Registration Gateway Online Enrollment Solution flawlessly handled over 46,000 registrations on a single day.

-Terrence Mixon, Executive Director of Student Support Services.

Mobile County Public Schools also provided workstations at the Central Office as an option for parents to complete the registration process. “Once the parents understood the concept, they loved it” said Biggs.

When asked about the deployment of Registration Gateway from SRC Solutions, Inc. Mr. Mixon had this to say. “Everything we asked SRC to do, they were there to help us. I am very pleased with SRC.”

Mobile County Public Schools, SRC Solutions and our Student Information Systems provider STI worked hand in hand to develop an integrated solution through a set of API’s which provides seamless data flow into INOW.

-Terrence Mixon, Executive Director of Student Support Services.

“The collaboration between Mobile County Public Schools, SRC Solutions and STI provides a detailed framework for any district looking to begin the process of achieving a digital transformation. Mobile wasn’t simply looking for a way to change paper forms into online forms. Mobile was looking for a solution provider to implement process change across the district. SRC Solutions is excited to partner with Mobile County Public Schools in this initiative and beyond.” said Patrick Maher, CEO SRC Solutions, Inc. SRC Solution Inc. is a leader in process improvement in K12 Education with such products as:

Registration Gateway

  • Providing an Online Enrollment and Document Management Process.

Central Records Gateway

  • Student Relationship Management for your district documents and communication.

Human Resources Gateway

  • Providing an Online HR Onboarding solution for your district.

Conference Gateway

  • Engaging parents through a sharing of information.

Address Purification Gateway

  • Providing address validation and movement movement analysis to ensure your district enrollment is accurate.

About SRC Solutions, Inc.

SRC Solutions, Inc. provides school districts a mechanism for positive process change. SRC Solutions, Inc. offers a suite of “Gateway” applications each designed to tackle obstacles standing in the way of the educational process.

SRC Solutions, Inc. and GuideK12™ Announce Strategic Technology Alliance

Embracing customer feedback, SRC Solutions, Inc enhances the Registration Gateway Online Enrollment solution by integrating award winning GuideK12 geo-location technology to improve student enrollment and district boundary policy adherence.

SRC Solutions, Inc., creators of the Registration Gateway Online Enrollment solution, announces a major feature addition that will further simplify and automate student registration.  By integrating GuideK12™‘s geo-visual location technology, school selection becomes even simpler for parents.

Parents registering their students will now be able to enter an address to quickly determine their assigned school and visualize the school’s details in relation to their home on a map.

Registration Gateway already simplifies and automates what can be a time consuming, paper-heavy process and makes it more affordable and efficient.  The addition of GuideK12™ improves the experience for the users and provides more information allowing them to make better decisions.

“We are very excited about our new relationship with GuideK12™. At SRC, we continually strive to provide enhancements to simplify registration and to enable actionable data,” said Patrick Maher, CEO of SRC Solutions, Inc. “The GuideK12™ integration is a direct result of customer feedback and the initial response has been remarkable.”

Combining Registration Gateway’s Type Ahead Addresses, Address Purification Gateway and GuideK12™’s geo-visual location technology provides the highest level of simplicity as well as guarding against potential address fraud in K-12 education.

SRC provides a great service to school districts with their Registration Gateway product. At GuideK12™, we are thrilled to be able to embed our technology in a variety of third party solutions to enhance the user experience. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with SRC.

-Chuck Amos, GuideK12™ CEO.

In addition to the enhanced student/parent experience, SRC and GuideK12™ are enhancing the Registration Gateway Advanced Dashboard. Adding a geographical component will allow district leaders to map potentially hundreds of data points to better understand patterns and trends happening in their schools.

The applications are endless.  District outreach to non-English speaking neighborhoods is now much simpler to plan.  Furthermore, identifying where non-school age siblings live to forecast future enrollment can be easily achieved.

About GuideK12™:

Based in Eagan, MN, GuideK12™ LLC is a geovisual analytics software company, which enables education decision makers to instantly explore and analyze school district data by adding a geographic and visual dimension to their student and community information.   GuideK12™ offers a full analytics suite product to districts and works with third parties to enhance their education offerings by adding geo-visual components.  By visualizing information spatially, decisions on everything from boundary analysis, to policy changes to resource planning and forecasting enrollments can be more insightful and faster.  Named a finalist for a 2013 SIIA CODiE award for best enterprise solution and selected by the NSBA as a technology showcase company, GuideK12™ serves large metro, suburban and rural school districts throughout the United Sates. It is owned by private investors and a private investment group based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For more about GuideK12™, please visit: www.guidek12.com

About SRC Solutions, Inc.:

Founded in 2001, the Pennsylvania company is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), which simplifies and automates cumbersome, repetitive and counter-productive work practices replacing them with easy-to-use, innovative electronic processes. SRC Solutions flagship Gateway Suite incorporates solutions to manage online registration, validate and clean data, as well as improve Student Relationship Management in the K12 market.

For more about SRC Solutions, Inc., please visit: www.registrationgateway.com

Birmingham City Schools Deploys Registration Gateway

Birmingham City Schools realize both cost and time savings with Registration Gateway Online Student Enrollment

Birmingham City Schools (BCS) implemented a new process this year to register students for the 2014-2015 school year. As part of this initiative, BCS brought in Registration Gateway from SRC Solutions to automate the process. “It is estimated that BCS will save costs related to personnel hours, paper, and printing. The main goal is to save time,” said Dr. Sherene Carpenter, Coordinator of Attendance.

Also new to BCS this year is the ability for Registration Gateway to seamlessly feed registration data back into the iNOW Student Management Platform at BCS as well as electronically capture all related student registration documents such as birth records and proof of residency information. “Student and parent/guardian information is input into iNOW as clean data. We have corrected and updated student demographic information as well as diminished duplicate student information. The registration process is more streamlined and organized,” said Dr. Carpenter.

Dr. Carpenter indicated that one of the major benefits of the Registration Gateway process is the ability for parents to complete the process from any location taking as long as they need to complete the process. Once parents complete their registration online, they can then schedule an appointment to provide necessary legal documents to BCS further simplifying the process for parents and staff.

About SRC Solutions, Inc.:

Founded in 2001, the Pennsylvania company is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), which simplifies and automates cumbersome, repetitive and counter-productive work practices replacing them with easy-to-use, innovative electronic processes. SRC Solutions flagship Gateway Suite incorporates solutions to manage online registration, validate and clean data, as well as improve Student Relationship Management in the K12 market.

For more about SRC Solutions, Inc., please visit: www.src-solutions.com

About Birmingham City Schools

The Birmingham City School System is an urban district located in Birmingham, Ala., the largest city in the state. The city has a population of 212,237 according to the 2010 U.S. Census. It is the core of metro area of 1.1 million people. The district has 49 schools — 21 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, nine K-8 schools, seven high schools and one alternative school serving the needs of approximately 25,000 children.

Oxford Virtual Academy streamlines registration information to PowerSchool Student Information System

Oxford Virtual Academy is far from a traditional K-12 environment. And that can make registration and re-enrollment rather challenging for the “school without walls.”

Part of the Oxford (Mich.) Community Schools district, OVA provides some 1,000 K-12 students with 24/7 online courses, customized to their individual strengths. At OVA, education is based on options, flexibility and allowing students to learn in their own way, at any time, in any place, and at their own pace.

How could OVA streamline its registration and class selection system, integrating the process and making it more efficient while ensuring the accuracy and security of sensitive student data? By deploying Registration Gateway online registration and re-enrollment software from SRC Solutions.

“Our student body consists of a combination of full-time students from other schools taking virtual enrichment classes, homeschool students taking either a part-time or full-time curriculum, traveling students and students with medical issues,” OVA registrar Katherine Caron said. “There are many reasons a student can’t be in a brick and mortar facility; our school was built for that.”

Naturally, such an arrangement means that every student’s schedule must be completely custom-built. While creating wonderful educational results, this resulted in a number of difficulties – most notably a massive amount of correspondence with parents each year.

“Our registration and enrollment process was heavily email-driven,” Caron said. “This created hundreds and hundreds of emails with parents who couldn’t physically bring a sheet to our offices.”

Dealing with 1,000 custom schedules also proved problematic with regard to OVA’s PowerSchool student information system. Each schedule needed to be manually entered into the Pearson system – a process that took Caron, a true expert in OVA’s system, three full days … and a hired assistant two weeks.

How could OVA streamline its registration and class selection system, integrating the process and making it more efficient while ensuring the accuracy and security of sensitive student data? By deploying Registration Gateway online registration and re-enrollment software from SRC Solutions.

OVA opened its online registration portal last year, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback. The course registration process was simplified for parents, and staff members enjoyed significant time savings. Best of all, because PowerSchool allowed Registration Gateway to import student information directly, manual data entry was eliminated.

A Round 2 deployment ­­– featuring enhanced, integrated registration capabilities and brand new student enrollment/class selection tools – is scheduled for April 15. Backfile scanning, HR onboarding and athletic signup capabilities are also due for deployment in the near future.

“So far, we’re thrilled,” Caron said. “The team at SRC has been fantastic. My needs were great, and in the initial run, they had a very short window to get the solution up and running. They worked tirelessly to make it happen.

“In all, SRC offers a fantastic program. It’s been great, and we expect that it will get better every year. Issues arise with every new system, but their team has been very receptive to change. Most of all, I’ve enjoyed the fact that they think outside the box and go well beyond what’s ‘normal’ and ‘standard.’”

A lot like OVA itself.

About SRC Solutions, Inc.:

Founded in 2001, the Pennsylvania company is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), which simplifies and automates cumbersome, repetitive and counter-productive work practices replacing them with easy-to-use, innovative electronic processes. SRC Solutions flagship Gateway Suite incorporates solutions to manage online registration, validate and clean data, as well as improve Student Relationship Management in the K12 market.

For more about SRC Solutions, Inc., please visit: www.registrationgateway.com

Featured District: McAllen ISD (TX)

Parents and guardians have never much enjoyed traditional, paper-based student registration and re-enrollment.

But for parents of the 24,000 students at the McAllen (Texas) Independent School District, the process was close to unbearable. Filling out enrollment forms in person meant getting to an administration building, waiting in line and then entering information by hand – all on a sweltering August day in the southern tip of the Lone Star State.

Three years ago, frustration with the legacy process finally reached a boiling point. Parents were sick of filling out paper forms, and district staff was fed up with having to manually enter information into the SIS.

The time to adopt an online student registration and re-enrollment system had arrived.

“Our superintendent turned to the technology department and asked us to find a solution,” district data processing manager Sonia Mata said. “After evaluating multiple vendors, the bid award was granted to SRC Solutions.”

The Pennsylvania company deployed Registration Gateway, the only truly paperless student registration and re-enrollment solution on the market. The system went live in summer 2011.

“The first year, we had some issues that dealt with internal hardware and networking issues,” Mata said. “They weren’t software issues – they didn’t have anything to do with the SRC platform yet these issues were impacting users of the Registration Gateway system as well as other internal systems.

“When we initially launched, we told our parents that, starting July 18, they could log in and register. They did – in huge numbers. That high volume revealed a hardware connection issue that was slowing the data flow inside the McAllen network.  SRC responded immediately and volunteered to work with our network vendor to identify the issue.

SRC proved a valuable partner throughout the process.

Two years later, McAllen’s online registration system is performing flawlessly. Parents are enjoying a streamlined process, and district staff is loving automatic data transfer from registration form to SIS.

“Once I made that initial phone call to SRC, they had several individuals on board immediately,” Mata said. “There was a point in time where the district’s board of trustees was questioning heavily why there were problems with the online registration process. At that point, an SRC vice president actually came to Texas from Pennsylvania to address the board and support the technology department. They were the ones who helped us with the hardware problems we were having, even through that wasn’t necessarily their job,” said Mata.

All around, registration and re-enrollment at McAllen ISD is faster, more efficient and less expensive.

And compared with the traditional, paper-based process, that’s pretty cool.

About SRC Solutions With more than 5 million enrollments processed each year for schools, businesses and governments, SRC Solutions is the global leader in online registration. Founded in 2001, the Pennsylvania company is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), which specializes in identifying cumbersome, repetitive and counter-productive work practices and replacing them with easy-to-use, innovative digital processes.

As a XEROX® Platinum Partner and an authorized reseller for Kofax, Surety and Recruit Manager, SRC provides solutions for both the public and private sector, including document management, workflow improvement and integration into numerous ERP systems. SRC Solutions: Breaking the boundaries of paper.

 

Article from News Leader: Nixa schools ditch paperwork for student registration

Nixa — As the school year began, RaeLynn Anderson spent less than 15 minutes enrolling her daughter as a freshman at Nixa High School — and she filled out the forms on her laptop while she watched TV.

So the district’s online registration system, new this fall, is fine with her.

“Anytime they can eliminate the mountains of paperwork that we get home on the first day of school I think is helpful, because I just don’t know if a lot of people read everything that comes home,” Anderson said.

As one of the first area districts to require online registration, Nixa hopes to cut costs and increase accuracy and privacy of information as it reduces the amount of paperwork through the Registration Gateway, said Zac Rantz, communication coordinator for the schools.

“I do not know of another district that has gone completely online with everything as we have,” Rantz said.

Instead of filling out a stack of paper forms on everything from enrollment and medical information to technology use and the free and reduced-price lunch program, parents and guardians are now going online to supply data.

Some have suggested improvements. While the process wasn’t time-consuming for Anderson, for example, she said she knows of parents with several children who didn’t like the fact that they had to enter family information more than once online.

Yet many have offered positive feedback about the new system, Rantz said — “along the lines of ‘It’s about time. We’re glad that you’ve done that.’”

Nothing new

Online information isn’t new to the Nixa School District.

For a couple of years, families have been able to access grades, attendance reports and other student information through the district’s PowerSchool system, Rantz said.

But last year, a district Comprehensive School Improvement Plan committee began to look into online registration, too, after discovering that more than 90 percent of Nixa families have home computers with Internet access — and that implementation and licensing fees for an online system would cost less than the usual process.

By the end of the 2010-2011 school year, the district was notifying families of the upcoming change — or mandate, since Rantz said there’s no traditional paperwork alternative for less-than-computer-savvy patrons.

Learning curve

At new student enrollment in early August and as school began, however, staff and volunteers helped those who needed either coaching or computer access.

And the district will continue to offer help and access, Rantz said: At Inman Intermediate School, office manager Sue Clement has reserved a computer for parents’ use.

“My kiosk, I like to call it,” she said with a laugh.

Saving time, costs

While learning how to use the new system is taking some time right now, Clement said it is already saving time, too.

Although she and other office managers do double-check online forms to make sure the schools have all the information they need, they no longer have to input information from paper — a process that once took months, Rantz said, with about 5,800 students in the district.

In addition, as students are enrolled online, the system sends automatic emails to those in charge of services such as special education or the free and reduced-price lunch program, so staff can match students with services more quickly.

There’s been many times a child has walked in with their parents to meet us and receive a teacher, and we’re ready. We’ve got all that background information for them, so we can place them, and we can start serving them right away.

-Sue Clement, Office Manager

With an implementation and training fee of $9,995 and an annual license fee of $12,000, the system isn’t free.

But it didn’t take too many calculations for the district to realize that copying, paper, postage and staff hours cost more, Rantz said, especially when it came to sending summertime packets at $1 in postage alone to Nixa’s 1,600 or so high school students.

Multiple benefits

Accuracy and privacy are other attributes of the new system, he said.

Mistakes still pop up on online forms, but office managers don’t have to contend with deciphering poor handwriting.

The online system also makes families’ applications for the free and reduced-price lunch program even more confidential than turning in sealed envelopes, a district practice since 2008 that led to greater participation in the program.

“This is a just a way for parents to apply even more anonymously,” Rantz said.

Yet greater positive personal interaction between families and staff — without sheets of paper between them — was one of the first benefits Clement saw at Inman.

“This time, when we had orientation, they walked in and they truly got to meet the teacher, and the teacher could talk to them about expectations,” she said. “We weren’t giving them all these sheets of information and saying, ‘Do this, do this.’”

SOURCE:  news-leader.com

About SRC Solutions With more than 5 million enrollments processed each year for schools, businesses and governments, SRC Solutions is the global leader in online registration. Founded in 2001, the Pennsylvania company is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), which specializes in identifying cumbersome, repetitive and counter-productive work practices and replacing them with easy-to-use, innovative digital processes.

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