It’s hard to imagine life today without the Internet, but the Benicia Unified School District’s registration system has given parents a good idea. Up until this year, parents had to go to their child’s school, and then stand in lines to sign up, and get a child’s teacher and classroom assignments. This year it’s different. Betty Jensen, the district superintendent’s chief assistant, said parents were heard loud and clear about the need for a way to register their children in the modern age. “The reason why we’re doing this is that parents were complaining that everything can be done online except school registration. This year we decided we would really try to do it all online,” Jensen said. The new process benefits parents and students, but also the district by cutting back on time, staff and parent volunteers.
The fruit of the district’s labors went into effect July 17 and utilizes the existing Power School software system all parents use to see a child’s attendance and obtain other educational information. Earlier this summer, the district sent e-mails and other correspondence alerting parents that in-person registration would no longer be available, and they would need to sign up their children online. The process is not entirely paperless, though. Parents still need to print out, and sign and verify, that they have read and understand various documents such as the Parents Rights & Responsibilities, and the memorandums of understanding for seniors and eighth graders. Parents will be able to drop the signed documents at their child’s school or the district office at their convenience. “The education code still requires those physical signatures,” Jensen said.
So much of today’s business is done online that district staff is not anticipating any significant issues with the new system. However, there may be some parents who may need extra help learning how to use Power School and how to navigate registration online. To address those needs, three help sessions will be held at the district office located at 350 East K Street. These sessions are for parents who may not have a computer, or who speak a language other than English. They will be held at the following times:
- 9am-6:30pm, Monday, Aug. 7
- 9am-3pm, Tuesday, Aug. 8
- 9am-3pm, Monday, Aug. 14
For more information about the BUSD new online registration system go to Beniciaunified.org or call Betty Jensen at 707.748.2611