Many districts have the same problems with school registration—even though it’s one of the most critical processes for every school. Getting students to fill out forms is only half the battle. Even if everyone fills their forms out quickly, you often have to manually enter them into a student information system. This isn’t exactly the most efficient and exciting process. Plus, it lends itself to human error.
At the same time, districts still relying on paper enrollment forms can encounter security issues. If a completed form gets misplaced—or an unauthorized individual takes one into possession—the district could be exposed to liabilities.
Add it all up, and the whole long-standing process wastes a lot of time that could be invested in other initiatives.
Better Paths Forward: Mobile Enrollment and Online School Registration
The good news is that by adopting an online school registration system, your district can enhance the registration process for everyone—students, parents, teachers, and even the IT department.
But you can’t just decide to move to online school registration and expect that all your problems will be solved. You need the right approach.
Let’s take a look at seven ways your IT department can simplify online school registration for everyone in the district.
1. Assess Your Current State
First things first: You need to take a look at where your school stands with form collection. What’s working and what isn’t? Do you have the right people and tools in place?
Study your current setup and try to identify obvious areas for improvement. For example, if your district has been using the same approach for school registration as it’s used since the 1970s, chances are you’re due for an upgrade.
2. Understand Data Requirements
Districts need to share data—there’s no other way around it. That said, there are some regulations that govern how student, athlete, and staff data can be shared.
In order to secure privacy and reduce liabilities, you first need to understand data requirements. Instead of managing data manually, look for systems that keep sensitive data secure right out of the box.
3. Consolidate and Streamline Forms
Nobody likes filling out forms. When you have to fill out the same information over and over again, this problem gets even more pronounced.
Simplify online school registration by consolidating forms however you can. If you’re not sure where to start, get secretaries, registrars, and other key stakeholders involved to help with the process.
When a FinalForms client analyzed his district’s online registration processes, he found that the district was asking for the same information across multiple forms. After meeting with key administrators, the district was able to drastically reduce the number of forms parents had to fill out—improving the registration experience along the way.
4. Get Staff and Stakeholders to Buy In to the New System
Even the best online registration system won’t help you much if staff, parents, the board, and the community don’t use it.
Get stakeholders to buy in by explaining the benefits of using a digital system—such as how convenient it is, how it makes it easy to track forms, and how the right system helps keep sensitive student data secure. As such, the right system will reduce liability by ensuring your staff is informed and your district is more protected against costly legal battles or settlements.
Keep in mind that parental involvement can have a profoundly positive effect on a student’s academic attainment, as illustrated by a 2019 study from the University of Plymouth, so anything you can do to increase parental involvement will be well worth it.
For the best results, consider hosting a training session so that all stakeholders can get up to speed without having to figure a new system out on their own.
5. Communicate Proactively
Don’t wait until the school year starts to distribute forms. Instead, start communicating during the summer to give parents a heads-up that forms will be due soon.
6. Send Out Automatic Reminders
When you communicate early, some parents will take care of their registration obligations right away. Others will procrastinate.
With a modern registration system in place, you can send automatic reminders to parents who haven’t submitted their forms—gently nudging them toward the desired action without lifting a finger.
7. Use a Registration System That Integrates with Your SIS
Teachers and administrators are invested in the educational experience. They don’t necessarily have time to hop from platform to platform to find the information they need—particularly when they might not be experts at using any of those platforms.
You can simplify online school registration by using a system that integrates with your SIS. That way, data can be collected, verified, and delivered to the systems you need right when you need it. FinalForms integrates with SIS information to provide a seamless data management experience.
Want to learn more about how to connect FinalForms to both of these platforms in five simple steps? Check out our integration pages for step-by-step instructions and FAQs:
Ready to Partner with FinalForms to Simplify Online School Registration?
If you’re ready to bring frictionless online school registration to your district, FinalForms can help.
With the right policies and a system like FinalForms in place, you can bring much more efficiency to the online registration process for all stakeholders.
Schedule a demo today to find out how your IT department can use FinalForms to solve your district’s online school registration problems—enhancing the educational experience and delivering more value to students and families along the way.