Registration 2014

welcome_to_kindergartenThe infamous “Kindergarten Lottery” has been in full swing, having started a couple months early this year (January as opposed to March). Aside from policy changes and a new Kindergarten program (Dual-language immersion housed at the revolving door school building on Kirby), I learned a couple things from Stephanie Stuart today.

First, she played a major role in curating a bunch of relevant information and teaming up with a graphic designer to produce a “Welcome to Kindergarten” booklet. The booklet does a really good job of explaining the complexity of Schools of Choice, why we have it, how it works and even has a little lexicon for icons used on the registration form and the jargon used in the Policy. It also includes a list of frequently asked questions (with requisite answers, of course *grin*), and a two-page spread that introduces and highlights each of the 12 elementary school choices. And the very end, the Policy of Controlled Choice is laid out in 6 pages. Overall, the booklet is 42 pages – a little meaty, but it is packed. I am anxious to hear what other parents think of it.

Secondly, I feel like a buffoon for having missed this, but parents this year will not be using an online registration program at all. Last year, the District debuted  a program from Dr. Alves that was problematic, but it got the job done. This year, the District contracted with Codagami, and apparently the contract called to replace only the internal part of the tool, such that Unit 4 staff will utilize the new program. Parents are dialing back to 2012 and having to fill out forms which they submit to the Family Information Center. The current form does not appear to have any of the helpful icons from the booklet, so I am a little confused as to whether the form listed on unit4registration website is really the same form parents are filling out or not.

As stated on the Unit 4 webpage, here are some dates for those wishing to attend a scheduled information event:

  • February 27th, 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.: Tours at all elementary schools
  • March 3, 6:00 pm: Schools of Choice Community Forum at Stratton Elementary School
  • March 5, 8-9 a.m. & 12-1 p.m.: Informational Choice Chat at the Family Information Center
  • March 6, 5-6 p.m.: Informational Choice Chat at the Family Information Center
  • March 11, 8-9 a.m. & 12-1 p.m.: Informational Choice Chat at the Family Information Center

UPDATE: Please use the Proximity App, not the old WebQuery tool.

In an interesting little twist, the district’s web version of “EduLog” (a program that tells the distance from a given address to all schools, sorted by proximity) called “WebQuery” even includes St. Matt’s and Prairie Elementary. 🙂



7 Responses to “Registration 2014”

  1. SC Says:

    Could be a useful tool – if it works. My query results for a first grader included St. John’s, Sylvan and High School #1, along with Prairie Elementary and St. Matthews like yours. I couldn’t pull up bus stops or a map, as it purports to include. Nor could I get it to work directly from the Unit 4 registration website (on my iPad).

  2. SC Says:

    And there is no explanation of the K choices – KA, KF or KP.

  3. kirsten Says:

    Kindergarten full-day, a.m., or p.m., I would guess.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Good observation. Curious, though, if you choose KF, KA or KP you get all Unit 4 elementary schools, so …. why the difference?

      For some fun, you should try “All grades”. 🙂

  4. charlesdschultz Says:

    I heard back from the Unit 4 Educational Technology team, and here is what I have:

    • Kirsten was right, KF = Full day, KA = Kindergarten AM, KP = Kindergarten PM
    • A handful of parents apparently request only half-day Kindergarten, thus Unit 4 supports it
    • WebQuery is a vended product, thus Unit 4 can only change so much; they are making requests, though. For instance, they have asked that WebQuery support iPads
    • WebQuery is getting an upgrade pretty soon: “The new results include only those schools that fit the proximity criteria for the address entered (the closest school OR those schools within 1.5 miles), and will only include schools that are actually part of our district ☺”

    Another reader has asked about the accuracy of walk distance (1/4 mile from Mellon Center to South Side?) and what makes something eligible because of a hazard? What does that mean?

  5. WebQuery, iPad RFP and normalized deviance | Citizen4: A citizen's blog about Champaign Unit 4 Says:

    […] a previous post, I talked a little about the WebQuery tool. The Unit 4 Educational Technology team has replaced […]

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