Unit 4 online registration being turned off at 8:am Thursday, March 28th

EDIT: I said Friday, but I meant Thursday. Sorry!

This was a little bit of a surprise, especially for anyone waiting for the last moment. 🙂 If you want to do your registration online, do it before 8:am!!

http://www.champaignschools.org/news/news_view.php?action=view&news_type=press_release&id_news=776

The final day of the Schools of Controlled Choice registration period will end tomorrow, March 28, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Parents beginning their registration online will need to come to the Family Information Center by 7 p.m. tomorrow to complete their applications and verify residency. If families do not complete this final step of verifying residency in person by tomorrow’s deadline, they will not be included in the assignment process. Families can also complete all of the necessary paperwork in person at the Family Information Center.

To reduce the number of incomplete applications, we will de-activate the online registration form tomorrow morning, March 28 at 8 a.m. to encourage parents to visit the Family Information Center on this final day. We believe this will help families ensure their applications are complete.

Since tomorrow is the last day of the registration period, we will have additional staff on hand until the Family Information Center closes at 7 p.m.

Wrapping up the March Registration

As of 8:20 am, the Unit registration “dashboard” showed that 534 parents had submitted applications and that the required paperwork had been processed – I suspect there are still a large number of parents who still need to file paperwork and/or wait for it to be processed. But still, with only one day left, it seems like a long way to go ’till we get to the expected 800 ballpark.

 

A reader has made the following comment:

“[The FIC]  said that they had contacted about 100 people who had registered at least partially online but have not been in to the FIC.  Some were not aware of the need to come in, others just hadn’t made it in yet, and others were purposefully waiting and watching the numbers to make their decision (I don’t know why when you can change your selections through the 28th).”

 

According to the dashboard this morning, only two slots are at or over capacity; the Garden Hills Bilingual program (20 out of 20) and Westview (56 out of 54). Which is a bit interesting, considering the history of Choice in the past (2012, 2011). Still, we have a few hundred more the district is expecting, which will dramatically change the existing picture. But …. only one day left*.

 

We will check back tomorrow to see what things look like.

 

* “one day left” is essentially only for “priority” selections; parents can still register and choose schools after March 28th, but they will effectively be placed on an ad hoc waiting list. Obviously, if the school is underchosen, the waiting list is empty. 🙂 My guess is that, if we assume the dashboard to be an accurate, real-time count (a HUGE assumption), then a ton of parents will be registering after March 28th and causing all kinds of fun for the FIC.

Brand-new registration website is now live, with working* version of EduLog interface

school_choice_edulog_interfaceGoing to make this quick.

http://choice.champaignschools.org/

This is the new website for Unit 4 registration. It is also referred to as the “dashboard”; I have not yet read up on it too much, but one would infer that one can “manage” one’s school choice from such an interface.

I am quickly going through the registration process and am noticing several things. First, there is extremely little data checking; I am entering bogus data for most fields and the web interface assumes they are all good. The one field that has been checked so far is the birthdate, so at least a very minimal amount of checking is happening. Of most interest to me was the EduLog interface, which you can find on the fourth screen after you have successfully entered your birthdate and address (you get an error message if either one is whacky, I found out).

Big caveat!! The software interface is not working well. My child, A A (yes, that is the name I gave my fictional child, very easy to type) has a proximity to Barkstall. Proximity B at that. And yet Carrie Busey is a 10 minute walk and I already have one child there as a Proximity A student. So… be warned, there are bugs. Wow, Carrie Busey doesn’t even show up on my list…..

Overall, the registration site looks and feels very much like Dr. Alves’ previous incarnations. That lack of data checking really worries me a lot. We paid over $100k for this? Yuck. And it was late. And we didn’t beta test it. Yuck.

*working means that it does accept an address and tell you how far they think you live from each school.

 

UPDATE: as of 8:36pm, March 1st, it looks like the Carrie Busey problem has been resolved. Go forth and find new problems. 🙂

I'll be at the Choice Community Forum tonight

The school district is holding their second community forum on the Choice process tonight at Carrie Busey in Savoy. I’ll be there – my goal is to observe how the community forum is being run, what information they share with new parents, and how parents react to the information. Maybe we will even get down to the nitty gritty details of numbers. 🙂

 

http://www.champaignschools.org/news/news_files/2013-01-04_Community%20Forum%20Flyer.pdf

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 6:00 p.m. Carrie Busey Elementary – 304 Prairie Rose Lane – Savoy
(Parking lot is located on the east side of the building)

Updates from the schools

428048_429237587144295_831096359_n

The first of three “Community Forums” on the Kindergarten selection process will be tonight, Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:00 p.m. Stratton Elementary – 902 N. Randolph Street. This is generally for new (to the district) parents who will be going through the registration process and selecting which school they want their child to attend. As such, there is a short presentation about the selection process itself, followed by a general open house where visitors can visit booths for each school.

 

  • Meg Dickinson of the News-Gazette covered a really cool kick-off event for the Young Entrepreneurship program, matching local business reps with aspiring high school students in a mentoring-style relationship:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/business/entrepreneurs/2013-01-23/new-champaign-schools-program-has-local-pros-mentoring-high-s

 

  • The next iteration of the Future Facilities project will be a “Community Dialog” on February 12 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Both times will cover the same agenda. Note the translation services (Spanish, French and Korean) and shuttle.

http://www.champaignschools.org/news/news_view.php?action=view&news_type=press_release&id_news=673

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/275293649266997/?ref=22

Registration 2013

A visitor to this blogged asked about the 2012 school assignment data, so I cleaned it up and got most of it working. I also responded to someone on Chambanamoms.com who just asked about registration. To top it off, Unit 4 put out there annual schedule of Choice Community Forums:

  • Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:00 p.m. Stratton Elementary – 902 N. Randolph Street – Champaign
  • Tuesday, February 5, 2013 6:00 p.m. Carrie Busey Elementary – 304 Prairie Rose Lane – Savoy
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2013 6:00 p.m. Temple Baptist Church – 1100 Broadmoor Drive – Champaign

Here are the visualizations I did of the “overchosen” schools, or basically, which schools folks selected for which choices (you get a grand total of 5 choices):
overchosen_visualization_2011

overchosen_visualization_2012_adjustedoverchosen_visualization_2012

The one the left is from 2011, the one in the center is 2012. A quick glance shows a very common trend (which has persisted for the past 4 years that I have been collecting data), with a very minor “flattening” effect in 2012 (just slightly more diversification). One interesting thing that popped up in 2012 is that Carrie Busey jumped up two spots while Barkstall dropped 3. I also added an “adjusted” graph to the right which shows how the magnet registration (done in February, prior to the March 2012 registration) affected the popularity of the schools. As you can see, the magnet registration pretty much filled up each of the three magnet schools (Garden Hills, Stratton and BTW aka Washington).

On November 7th (and December 7th and January 4th) I followed up with the district administration and the Board about Dr. Susan Zola’s proposed Choice recommendations. I am still waiting to hear back. I reiterated the need to go back to the four local software companies I identified last year in an effort to completely rework the Choice RFP. While this is a big deal to me, I am wondering if anyone else even cares. 🙂