Student Registration Woes

So, there are two of us trying to get 900 kids registered for the August 17th first day of school. We opened up registration for the new school year on June 1st but, of course, many have waited until the critical juncture before getting it done. My following complaints:

  1. Parents whose kids have been attending here for years but, for some mystical reason, still don’t know that they need 3 forms of proof of residency.
  2. Parents who leave a message in Spanish even though my voice recording is in English and there is no option for Spanish.
  3. Parents who send in documents via email without putting the child’s full name in the subject box. I have no idea what kid to look up.
  4. Parents who call the Technology Help Desk with questions about their kid’s classroom supply list, the dress code, etc. Really?!
  5. And all the parents who will wait until the first day of school to totally cram the lobby and get all huffy because things are so slow.

If you have parents and students who speak Spanish, it’s probably on you to have a Spanish option for them. If they don’t speak English, what do you want them to do?

3 forms of proof for kids who have been attending for years? What possible reason could you have for that - if the address hasn’t changed, why do you need more than 1?

On the parent side - teachers or administrators who send out emails without making it clear what school/grade they teach. With multiple kids of different ages, it drove me nuts when I’d have to try to figure out which kid this email referred to. And no, I don’t have the name of every teacher each of my kids have memorized by the second week of school.

I think it’s to demonstrate that the address is still valid. In some areas, people commit fraud in order to get their children into a good school district. Some districts even send people to homes for inspections to ensure the child actually lives there. (It’s pretty shitty that desperate parents have to go to such lengths to get their kids a good education in my opinion.)

Sure, and I understand that for first time registration. But I’d say if the same kid is registering from the same address for the next year of school, a single form of proof should be sufficient.

Yeah, here you actually don’t have to prove residency for subsequent registrations, but for some reason you do have to provide it for a new registration of a second child at the same address. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense when you consider that the address proof doesn’t actually have the kid’s name on it.

On the other side, I personally know of at least one family that moved away but kept their kid enrolled for at least a year and a half after they moved since they liked the school. If proof of residency were required that wouldn’t have flown.

Why the hell don’t you have a Spanish option? Did you/the school not know until just this year that you have Spanish-speaking parents? Aren’t you in the Chicago area?

Is there a separate help line for those type of questions?

I get it. I’m rather indifferent in that I understand why the policy exists but I don’t exactly care if it went away. I work in HR, so I’m familiar with polices that are stupid or don’t work. I occasionally run across a manager who decides he’s not going to follow a policy in protest and I always like to tell them, “If we need to talk about changing the policy that’s fine. Let’s talk about changing it. But as long as the policy exists, we need to follow it.”

Sigh, I’m that parent, but I do think (obviously) that I was justified. My kid had travel vaccinations to go to Kuwait and Iraq. So he had all the required school vaccines, just not on the state mandated timeline. Yeah I argued.

Regarding registration, you have to renew it every year? Even if you’re staying at the same school and just moving up a grade? That seems so weird to me. If I move Vaderling to a different school within the district there is a small bit of paperwork but registration is a one time thing that is good from K through 12 in the school district where I live.

Speaking of which, I hate any sort of “multiple forms of ID” needed. If I have ID from the state government, that should be enough. That’s the point of ID. Especially nowadays where everything is paperless. I don’t have a bunch of mail I can show you.

Exactly. The utility bill I showed the school? I printed that from home, and it would have been trivial to edit to whatever name/address I wanted.

As a counterpoint to the OP, take it from a parent of two middle schoolers, registration is no walk in the park for us either.

Barring local, state and federal requirements, it seems like the onus is on the school to make this smoother for everyone.

The “what possible reason” is that people cheat … a lot. They need a picture of their lease if they rent or a mortgage/property tax document if they own. They need a picture ID with their name and address. They need a picture of a bill. That is perfectly reasonable and easy for someone who is actually living where they say they are living.

The “every year” should be obvious. I could do a monthly rental in an upscale community like Tinley Park that spends $15+ thousand per student and then move to a different community. If I didn’t have to prove my address every year, I could just say, "Hey, I proved it LAST year, or the year before, or the year before that.

Every time a school is closed, you see people with signs on TV crying about how we need COMMUNITY schools, and that it hurts a community when a school is closed, etc. Well, then I guess the kids who attend schools should live in the COMMUNITY in which it is located.

Besides, carpetbaggers who sneak into districts have no investment in the community from which they are stealing. They don’t go to PTA meetings, they don’t volunteer for things and, many times they don’t even show up for required events. If things go bad in that community, they just carpetbag their way to another one.

We have a district web site with all the information on it. Powerschool regularly sends out bulk emails to parents with information and news. The main office menu has an extension just for that. Teachers are readily available by email or phone.