The Oregon school board on Tuesday approved an agreement with InfoSnap to provide online student registration to parents.
Currently, parents register at the schools.
“It’s hectic,” said Board President P.J. Kapfhammer. “It takes each school days to process and try and get it done. It’s a joke, really. We spend thousands of dollars on paper and postage and processing. It’s almost impossible to track costs because it’s so diversified. This will have a streamline effect and will save the district money.”
Parents will also be able to pay fees and other costs online.
“You can register to participate in athletics, field trip acknowledgement and permission slips, and handbook sign-offs,” Jeff Ziviski, a member of the board, said after the meeting. “There’s no more of these forms coming home. And you can pay for student fees through this program. It will be very secure and safe.”
“Essentially, they created a `one-stop shop,’” said Kapfhammer.
“This is something parents in the community have, for years, been asking for,” said Ziviski. “It makes registration more efficient, takes less time for the parents. They don’t have to go anywhere to register. They just type in all their basic information for one year, then update the information after that. This eliminates the need for paper. No more lost forms, which take a couple of hours to fill out. We’ll be freeing up time by our employees and they can do other things to benefit the district. It will eliminate the need for parents to take time off work and come into the schools to register. They can do it at home on the computer, or go to the public library to log on. It’s just much simpler for everyone. We’ll have computers available at each of the schools that parents can use if they don’t have a computer at home. We’ll make sure to accommodate everyone.”
Different personnel in the district will have access only to information directly related to their jobs, he added.
“So principals will only have access to students at their schools, teachers will only have access to students in their classrooms. The school nurses will have access to certain health information for all the students. So the access is quick if a health issue comes up with one of the students so they can address the issue more quickly,” said Ziviski.
Parents will still be able to register the current way if they don’t want to do it online, said Ziviski.
“We’ll still have those days where they can register at the school. Essentially, we’d take that data and still key it to the computer so that all the students are in the online system. But that option will be available,” said Ziviski.
InfoSnap, founded 12 years ago, links with Powerschool, an online grade system that the district has had for years.
The agreement calls for the district to pay InfoSnap $17,700 for the first year, then $11,800 after that for annual maintenance.
“It’s another way that the board’s trying to involve the community and their input, take their ideas under consideration, review them for cost-effectiveness, and implement those things we can justify,” said Ziviski.
The district will work with InfoSnap for the next few months to determine how to implement the program, then plans to launch it in January for new students entering the district, he said.
“It’ll be like a soft launch to make sure everything is working right. Just a few students will be coming into the district in the next semester so we can test it out, make any improvements we need to, then move onto the next phase in February and March for the kindergarten registration. Then it will be used school-wide when everyone registers for school next year,” said Ziviski.