Monthly Archives: August 2014

Top 10 New (School) Year Resolutions for 2014

As a new school year starts, administrators and teachers are gearing up to implement lesson plans that will meet or exceed the year’s school resolution. Just as we make our own unwelcomed but necessary new year’s resolutions at the turn of the year, so does a school or district at the beginning of school. A resolution typically centered around some big initiative that is focused on whatever education problem plaguing the nation at the time. 1973775_med

 

In some cases, it’s a new name for an existing problem that has already been tackled by a predecessor initiative.   For example, 1:1 laptop initiatives have now become BYOD so that every child has access to a computer. Or “online learning???, changed to “blended learning???, transformed to “flipped classrooms.???

 

Nonetheless, every year there are a set of infinitives that keep administrators scrambling throughout the year to meet benchmarks and exceed targets so by the end the school year, they have maintained par and have a feeling of accomplishment.

 

So to properly kick-off your school year, here are 10 current initiatives (in no particular order) for the 2014-15 school year.   And while there are an array of initiatives that focus on numerous topics, we made this list on a broad scale.

 

Take a look at the list and let us know what you think: Are there any initiatives we’re leaving out? How many of these initiatives has your school implemented?

 

  1. Common Core for 21st century learning to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  2. STEM for global competitiveness.
  3. Adaptive Testing to better pinpoint a students learning level.
  4. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.
  5. Flipped Learning where students gain first exposure to a topic outside of the classroom and use classroom time to assimilate the knowledge.
  6. Digital Literacy Skills so students understand how to take information from a computer and use it in multiple formats.
  7. Environmental Education to reduce environmental impact and costs and increase sustainability.
  8. Healthy Schools Programs to boost the nutritional value of meals served at school.
  9. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) so learning experiences can be more personalized to the student.
  10. Race to the Top to spur innovation and reform in state and local K-12 districts.

Can Your School Benefit from Online Registration?

Are you (and your staff) working overtime during peak enrollment weeks? Do you find that your current system is outdated and pushed to the limit by relying on manual forms of data management? Would you like to expand your institution and enroll more students?

If any of these apply to your current situation, then you may benefit from an online registration system. But when choosing an online system, consider the needs of all stakeholders: the school, students, admin, district, and parents. Include representatives from each area in the discussion to best assess the needs of each group (parents want registration to be quick and easy, while administrators want to collect a lot of data).

During the decision process, compare systems thoroughly to ensure you are getting the one that best suits your needs. Can the system be used year-round? Can you create your own forms? Does the company provide adequate customer support? Does the system integrate with your current SIS?

Ensuring upfront that a system meets all of your needs can reduce stressful and time-consuming activities later on. Consider features like lottery management if you participate in selective enrollment or a payment processing solution and webstore if you’d like to sell items and collect fees and donations.

Any company can create an online registration system, but companies that specialize in the K-12 market truly understand the needs of K-12 schools, such as residency verification alerts, recouping fees for lost textbooks, and providing customized forms and reports.

5 Advantages of Online Registration

Waste of time and materials can make registration time a nightmare for public schools and school districts. Even smaller charter schools struggle to make registration periods an efficient process for administrators, teachers, parents and students. Online registration is a wonderful opportunity for a school district or a charter school to redirect it’s energy towards the parents and students who need it, while leaving the paperwork aspect of the job in one secure, fast, and convenient location.

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Five Advantages of Online Registration:

 

1. It SAVES TIME! With constant cut backs in education funding, the expression, “Time Means Money??? has never been more true. Valuable school personnel can take the time they are spending on paperwork creation/organization and put it where it belongs – in the service of students and teachers. It’s hard to imagine an office without dozens of paper organizers and stacks of forms to be filed. Online registration takes all of that and puts it onto your computer screen with a few quick taps on the keyboard.

 

2. Streamlined Paperwork Throughout a District. Online registration allows school districts to create uniform online forms that remain in the system throughout students’ education. This means no more lost files or important medical history forms that use precious time and resources to recover. It also allows schools in a district to use the same format for standardized documents/forms, keeping things simple for parents who may have multiple children in the same school or district.

 

3. Remote Access to Documents and Information: This is a valuable tool for personnel and parents alike. For parents, they don’t have to hear their children’s, “I forgot it??? or “It’s lost??? when it comes to school forms because they will be able to navigate them online.

 

4. Multi-Language Translation. Globalization allows districts to benefit from a myriad of cultures and languages. However, multiple translation forms are exceedingly costly. Online registration offers forms that are translated in applicable languages without a district having to create multiple copies.

 

5. Control of Information Access. Districts can make sure that confidential information is secure while allowing general information to be accessed by a wide variety of users. No more locking file cabinets.

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