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Streamlining School Registration

Robert Woosley has four children in the Brookhaven School District.

     With the first day of school fast approaching, a new student registration system the district has inaugurated simplified his registration process.

     On Monday and Tuesday, Brookhaven School District administrators rolled out “One Stop Shop” student registration. Parents could visit Lipsey Middle School to fill out registration papers for each child.

     With two children at Brookhaven High School, one at Alexander Junior High and one at Lipsey, Woosley said he appreciated having one central location. He also appreciated having more time to work through the paperwork.

     In years past, students have trekked home from the first day of school with a thick pack of registration forms to return the next day.

     “We’re still having the same paperwork, but more time,” Woosley said Tuesday.

     Participation in the early registration program was optional. Parents who didn’t attend will still have the same paperwork to fill out and return to school with their children after the first day of classes next week.

     Administrators have been pleased with participation so far in the new program.

     Director of Accreditation/District Testing Coordinator Stephanie Henderson estimated about 20 percent of district students were registered on Monday. Figures for Tuesday weren’t available, but Henderson believes they were on track to be comparable to Monday.

     Tuesday morning was pretty slow, but began to pick up quickly throughout the afternoon, Henderson said.

     Administrators were also encouraged by another number: 40 new kindergartners registered at Mamie Martin Elementary School. Those are first-time students in the district.

     “That’s huge,” said Lipsey Principal Sonya Foster. “That’s two classrooms right there.”

     Based on what she has heard, Henderson believes most parents have been enthusiastic about the new option for registration.

     Shamicka Sanders, a parent registering Tuesday afternoon, said she thought early registration was a good program and was glad to see it.

     “Everything went smooth,” Sanders said.

     Those comments are typical, Foster said.

     “Lots of good feedback, word of mouth,” she said. “Very complimentary.”

     Foster and Henderson highlighted that parents like Woosley seem particularly pleased.

     “The parents with multiple kids, they really like having one site,” Henderson said.

     Not everyone was completely satisfied, however.

     “I found it to be frustrating,” said Lisa Case, filling out paperwork for the high school Tuesday afternoon.

     Case said the paperwork that’s been available for pickup at the district’s central office since mid-July was incomplete and lacked several of the forms, forms she then had to fill out when she arrived at Lipsey to drop the almost-complete packet off.

     Foster acknowledged there were several forms that weren’t ready until recently. Therefore, they couldn’t be included in the packets available at the central office.

     However, Foster was also encouraged that no other problems were reported.

     “To be the first try at it, it’s done very well,” Foster said.

     Henderson hopes in futures years, participation will only increase.

     “There’s always room for growth,” Henderson said.     

     Regardless of how high participation becomes, for his part, Woosley just hopes to see early registration become a staple of the district.

     “Everyone has been real nice,” Woosley said. “Everything’s real well done.”