Jan 22, 2018
For the last couple of months I’ve been writing a new Enrolment system. As the weeks have passed I have become more aware of the complexity of the process – no longer is it just about filling out a form and answering a few questions. I’ve documented some of the complexity here to perhaps remind myself that I’m always under estimating the work involved:
- Each year is an independent set of enrolments, so we need to be able to open and close the process, and archive the historical data.
- Within each year we have eligibility. There appear to be some common eligibilities such as ‘sibling at the school’, ‘parent at the school’, ‘in-catchment’ and ‘out-of-catchment’. Your school may have others.
- Creating a set of questions for the parent/carer to complete is actually the easy part. Even where these questions have pre-requisite responses and default values.
- Once the responses have been completed the parent waits to submit the enrolment application. This is particularly important for ‘out-of-catchment’ enrolments as these are very time critical in regard to being first in the waitlist.
- With the enrolment submitted the school would normally move to an interview process where the application would be reviewed and important documents copied. With an electronic system this changes somewhat. The review process can be carried out online, the school can review the applications when time permits and any responses that are unclear can be queried with the parent via a message protocol. The parent can then respond and the staff member can then choose whether to update the response or not.
- The review process is completed when the staff member identifies which documents the parent is required to produce. A standard list of document descriptions is included and the staff member simply selects those required. Again a message is sent to the parent in regard to providing these documents, either the originals or certified copies. Again our technology can help with this process – where we allow the parent to upload a photo or scanned image of the document. The parent will bring the original along to the interview and the staff member is only then required to ensure the uploaded image is a copy of the original and they can mark it as ‘Original sighted’.
- When the review is complete the parent is notified that they can upload copies of those required documents, print and sign a copy of the enrolment application, and they can also book an interview at this time.
- Prior to the interview we send a couple of email / SMS reminders to the parent, prompting them to remember to bring their signed application form along with those required documents.
- At the interview the staff member can view the application, sight the documents, check the signature and welcome the student to the school.
- There is work to be done here, however the final step of electronically uploading the enrolment data into the student management system will provide a significant time saving for the office staff.
I’m hoping that we will find lots of schools who will find this application useful. We have pre-loaded the standard application form for the Queensland department of education. You can enter your own form, or if it is a form shared by other schools then you are welcome to send us a copy and we can make it available for other schools to use.