New student enrollment is one of the most paper-intensive processes still in existence. Enrolling new students involves several steps, some of which are easy to forget.
Often the people responsible for new student enrollment are administrative staff who are constantly interrupted by phone calls and people showing up. A school may process a dozen forms for each new student, and when this is done on paper, it can take an inordinate amount of time.
If a family moves into a district, they may be faced with repeating the enrollment process at an elementary, middle, and high school if their children span these ages. There’s a much better way: putting new student enrollment online using custom workflow software. Here are 6 ways school districts can improve the enrollment process by putting it online.
1. Make Registration Electronic and Easy
Anyone who has had to register a student partway through the school year knows that it can be fraught. Not only do countless forms have to be filled out by hand, but you also don’t always know upfront what type of identification is required, whether transcripts from old schools are needed, and what to do if a child is eligible for special services. When the process is put online, parents can step through it methodically so no steps are skipped and there’s no driving back and forth to gather information.
2. Issue Alerts to the District When Children Are Eligible for Special Services
In the new student enrollment process, parents can fill out information indicating that a child may be eligible for special education services or for free or reduced-price meals at school, for example. When these forms are filled in by parents, the district can be notified automatically for their record-keeping needs, and students can receive these services much faster than if the process is done on paper.
3. Allow Parents to Update Student Medical Information Securely Online
When students have asthma, severe allergies, or other medical conditions, the school nurse needs that information on file to know what to do in an emergency. With a secure new student enrollment portal, parents can fill in information about their children’s medical conditions quickly and be certain that it reaches the school nurse immediately. If medications must be given at school, provision can be made for this online at the same time.
4. Automatically Capture Student Demographic Data
When school systems collect information about student demographics and manually add it to databases, the risk of error is great. But when new student enrollment takes place online, demographic information can be collected as part of the enrollment process, and with the right workflow software, it can be automatically entered into the appropriate demographic database, saving countless hours of time and associated expenses.
5. Manage Student Parking for the School Year Online
In high schools where some students drive themselves to school, managing parking can be tricky. Some schools assign student parking places, which is a process that can be taken care of online in the new student enrollment process. If parking places are assigned by lottery, this can be taken care of online so that a student knows precisely where to park from the first day. This can keep traffic around the school safer and more organized.
6. Allow Transcript Requests to Be Made Online
If a school requires transcripts from previous schools as part of new student enrollment, developing an online process where parents input previous school information can speed the process along. With the correct contact information, the new school can ask the old school directly for transcripts, and in some cases, these transcripts can be provided electronically so there’s no wait for the mail. Online transcript requests are easier on all parties concerned.
Turn a Paper-intensive Nightmare Into a Streamlined Process
Student enrollment necessarily involves the collection of large amounts of information. On paper, it can add up to mountains of forms that have to be manually processed and filed. But with the right workflow software solution, like ProcessMaker, new student enrollment can be done online, drastically cutting down on paperwork, postage, and time spent manually collecting information.
ProcessMaker is designed to be flexible and usable by non-programmers who simply want to create logical workflows to get things done more efficiently. It comes with numerous built-in templates and is open source so it can be customized perfectly. Why not test drive the Enterprise Edition of ProcessMaker and see for yourself? It’s the first step to taming unruly processes and cutting back on paperwork and the manual processes associated with it.