As we inch closer to March and the spring months, K-12 institutions everywhere are gearing up for student registration season—where parents of new and returning students complete registration requirements to enroll their children for the upcoming school year. For many of these institutions, this is a tedious process that involves a lot of detailed paperwork.Schools are required to collect and maintain large amounts of personal data on students—from basic identifying information to emergency contact details to medical history. Without an organized, efficient system in place, this process can be extremely difficult to manage. And the difficulties are not exclusive to the school administrative personnel. The stacks of paperwork can be a nightmare for parents as well (especially those with multiple children to enroll).If you’re institution trudges through a cumbersome student registration system year after year, it’s time for a new approach. With a few simple steps, you can revamp your student registration process and give staff and parents a much better experience:
#1: Digitize your enrollment packet.
The first step toward a more efficient student enrollment process is to eliminate paper forms and move the process online. Chances are, your enrollment packet includes a number of forms designed to gather important information like this:
- Student identification details
- Emergency contact information
- Immunization records
- Recent physical exam data
- Medical authorizations
With a digital enrollment packet, parents can view and complete the necessary forms on their own time using a computer, tablet, or mobile device. They can also upload required documents (such as birth certificate, photo identification, and proof of residence) directly to any online student registration form before submitting. And the data they submit can be protected by advanced online security features.Creating customized online enrollment packets eliminates mounds of paper and hours of manual data entry, saving a tremendous amount of time for parents and staff alike.
#2: Integrate your digital systems.
Once your enrollment packet is online, you can further streamline your student registration workflows with digital integrations. If the data collected during registration needs to be entered into another online system, an integration can automatically and seamlessly route the online form data to the right platform. Here are some examples of places you might route your form data:
- A Google or Excel spreadsheet
- A CRM tool, such as Salesforce
- A school-wide email system
Digitally integrating your online forms with your other tools streamlines department workflows and gets information where it needs to be quicker. It also further eliminates manual data entry and the associated errors, reducing administrative burdens.
#3: Set up automated notifications.
The final step to fast-tracking your student registration process is to automate notifications associated with student enrollment. For example, if the school secretary needs to review and approve enrollment applications, you can create an automatic notification that alerts the secretary each time an application is submitted. Using logic rules based on certain form fields, you can set up any number of automatic notifications, such as these:
- If a form indicates a student qualifies for free or reduced lunch, relevant parties in the district can be notified of this special need.
- If a form indicates that a student will participate in before or after school care, the director of those care programs can be notified.
- If a form indicates a student has severe allergies or other chronic health conditions, the school nurse or healthcare staff can be notified.
Setting up automated notifications ensures extraneous student needs are addressed as soon as possible and nothing slips through the cracks.
Paperless student registration is the way to go if you want to give parents and staff a delightful experience. If you’re looking for other ways to improve processes at your school, explore our online form templates for education.