student enrollment Archives - Registration Gateway
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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.

Ensuring Unbiased Admissions Processes

Ensuring Unbiased Admissions Process for Public and Charter School Districts

Charter schools and public schools have recently been under scrutiny to ensure that their admissions process is legitimately allowing students of all backgrounds and situations a fair shot at enrollment within their districts. Setting the rules for a fair enrollment process can be very simple task, but enforcing those rules and providing transparency can be a challenge with paper processes.  Without leveraging technology, school lottery processes can be subject to questioning from parents and school protocol monitoring committees. So the question to be answered is: How does a school district or charter school ensure that their admissions process is securely unbiased?

  1. Unfair admissions processes are very common.

According to the L.A. Times, “253 California charter schools are currently flagged for discriminatory admissions practices in a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and Public Advocates.” The factors that have been measured in order to identify these districts include bias against English language learners, mandates for parents, auditions and academic performance. State law in California requires that charter schools take in all students, therefore deterring any child from a charter school education is unlawful on any grounds. While states have different laws pertaining to how public and charter schools must implement their enrollment process, each district or charter must fairly impose those laws and act in accordance with their own state’s laws.

 

2. What happens when a school system foregoes a rigorously regulated admissions process?

Nepotism and favoritism are running rampant in school systems neglecting to technologically ensure the fairness of their admissions process. In New Orleans, where residence is not a factor in deciding the placement of any student, only 7 public schools have opted out of the common admissions process which ensures equality for prospective students. Using a singular online registration form, the two New Orleans school systems have been able to fairly divide proportionate amounts of gifted (avg. 7% per school), special education (11%), economically disadvantaged (85%) and white students (7%) (Source: Louisiana Department of Education). Only seven schools have neglected to utilize the common application, and three of these schools have vastly disproportionate statistics, accepting mainly white and gifted students and only 21-61% economically disadvantaged students and 4-8% of special education. These three schools have been accused of cherry picking through applications by imposing an admissions process with a “unique set of requirements so complicated that parents have to make spreadsheets to keep track of the steps”, which includes hand-delivering an physical application during school business hours (Times-Picayune, 2016).

3. How can the right technology help this situation?

Parents and students deserve transparency when it comes to applying for schools. School systems deserve a lottery process that graces both staff and students with respect and equality. This prevents their methods from being criticized and the community from reproaching the school’s reputation. Efficient school choice software solutions allow a school district to tailor the enrollment process in accordance with state and local laws as well as school policy. With a digital lottery process in place, potential students should have the ability to apply for admission online, with the opportunity to rank their choice buildings within one district. This is the closest anyone should be able to come to tilting the scales in this process, and when everyone is able to do it – it’s fair. Once the rules of this technological admissions process are put in place by the district, the algorithms can impartially determine a “weight” for each student, based on factors such as free and reduced lunch needs or the presence of siblings in a particular school, and assign them proportionately into the correct school buildings. This prevents parents from claiming favoritism and prevents any negative allegations for the school district. Humans will always act out of self-interest, but technology can achieve the objectivism necessary to ensure unbiased admissions processes.

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