With the software already in place, the Unified School District 234 will utilize online enrollment for the first time this school semester as a means to provide a more convenient method for parents and guardians to enroll their students and make payments.
“We hope it’s a great asset for our parents,” business manager Gina Shelton said during the board of education meeting held Monday evening, pointing out that the same process will be completed by parents, whether done in person or online.
The online enrollment will kick off Friday, July 15, and will allow guardians to log into their Parent PowerSchool account, where they can enroll students, pay textbook fees and add money to lunch accounts electronically. That online enrollment will be available until at least about a week prior to the Sept. 1, school start date, providing time for the information to be imported.
Any progress made in the enrollment process can also be saved and returned to later at the parent’s convenience. Those enrolling more than one student can decide to enroll and pay for one student at a time instead of all at once or having to make numerous trips to the school offices.
“We’ve had some good feedback, I feel like, from anticipation of people doing it,” Shelton said of the response so far.
Shelton said the school completed a couple internal tests already and said the process is simple, likely taking only about 15 minutes, but Shelton encourages parents to go ahead and start gathering information so that process will not be delayed once it is started. Some of that information required includes contact information for parents and step-parents, such as phone numbers, addresses and social security numbers; three emergency contacts, preferably local; and the student’s basic medical information such as immunizations, personal doctor and any allergies.
With the easily available opportunity to use electronic payments such as credit or debit cards as well as checks, Shelton said they hope it may reduce the number of returned checks, adding the entire process will help the district save money.
New students to the district will still be required to enroll in person.
Those needing to find out who their students’ teachers will be in the upcoming semester can contact the individual school secretaries after Aug. 17. That information will be posted on Parent PowerSchool about a week after that date.
If anyone comes across an issue while enrolling online, they can contact Jason Fryar at [email protected] or contacting the board office at 620-223-0800 for assistance.
“We want to be as helpful as possible,” Shelton said, especially as it is their first year of using the online enrollment.
Shelton said the only thing that cannot be done online is the free and reduced food application, which still needs to be printed out and sent in or dropped off at the school. Shelton encourages all parents to fill them out because it affects school funding.
Shelton also pointed out that there will be a flat textbook fee of $35 this year instead of providing reduced textbook fees based on free and reduced lunches. Accommodations may be available for those unable to pay at once.
During their July meeting, the board of education also took time to reorganize itself as it does annually. Jordan Witt was nominated to be the board president for another year. Gary Billionis submitted his resignation from the board, effective immediately. Jamie Armstrong was nominated to take his place as board vice president. Vanessa Poyner was named the hearing officer for suspensions and expulsions.