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.

This is how San Francisco does it

Earlier I mentioned how Wake County does “Schools of Choice”.

I got a better one now. I sent this off to the Board, the FIC and Wiegand this morning:

I came across yet another school district (San Francisco) that does a most excellent job of explaining the registration process. They pretty much describe exactly what we do without using the words “choice” or “proximity”. They also have an online school selector that tells you which school is in which area and allows you to choose various features.

Is your PTA online?

I gave myself a mission to contact PTA “webmasters”, and frankly I am disappointed that most schools have absolutely no information about their respective PTA, much less how to find them online. I am scratching my head trying to figure this out. I can understand that PTAs are simply volunteers, and it is entirely possible that most do not know how to generate a webpage (even though there are wide array of tools to help with this). The bigger issue, I think, is that Unit 4 does not make this easy at all. Unit 4 gives the “keys” of the PTA page to the school principal – if the principal has any free time whatsoever (a rare occurrence, I am sure *grin*), what are the chances they are also quite web-savvy and know how to get their PTA online? Of the few schools that have information on their PTA page, some have no links, email addresses and/or phone numbers. Makes it really hard to contact folks like that. 🙂

 

My self-appointed mission? To make it a ton easier to get PTA information in a webpage. Heck, I would even volunteer to pop up a very basic page for each school. The tricky part is ongoing sustainability, and teaching all the right people the steps they have to go through. Ideally, I would want to remove the PTA information out from under the principals domain; I am confused why that is set up that way. As part of that, I would encourage PTA folks to use a 3rd party site (not champaignschools.org). Unit 4 is joining up with IlliniCloud, and I have hopes (and designs) to get them to host more stuff for us. If that falls through, there is always the IMC, and I can donate some space as well.

 

Some schools have some nice stuff setup already. Some are using facebook, at least one is using tumblr, several are using Google Groups (and even Google Sites), a couple utilize u4friends.org (I have a mail to Mr. G David Fyre about that), and one seems to be run by a colleague at work (small world, eh?). I had a great meeting with Maeve Reilly last Friday; she is currently helping the Centennial PTA and has inherited a Google Sites/Groups setup. I also got her going on a Facebook Page. It is great that parent volunteers are stepping up to the plate. But why are each of us re-designing the wheel? Why is there so little apparent support from the schools? Keep in mind, I have a limited perspective on this – most assuredly, I am receiving a lot of support from our school. But system-wide, I see very little support.

 

More to follow.