Marietta Public Schools will be a beta-testing school for the online enrollment program recently released by Wengage Accounting and Student Information Systems, the data systems provider for Oklahoma public schools.
In past years, enrollment was a lengthy and exhaustive process in which parents were required to go to the school and spend time filling out paperwork, often standing in lines at different stations. It sometimes took hours before parents finally completed the procedures necessary to get their children enrolled for the coming year.
Obviously, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, having all those people in one place at one time isn’t the best course of action, so when the school got the opportunity to use online enrollment, eliminating the crowd and the hassle, they took it.
“Parents can complete enrollment for their children from home on the computer, I-pad, or even their phone,” said Roberta Morgan, Elementary Secretary and Wengage Administrator for the district.
Instead of filling out pages of paperwork, the online enrollment program will allow parents to log into the system and verify or change information that is already there, submit their proof of residence, and enroll their children, all done from the comfort and safety of home.
“Parents will have to fill out three or four forms that are required by the state,” said Morgan, “but that’s a vast improvement over filling out everything by hand, sometimes reporting the same information several times.”
After parents submit their enrollment information, the secretary at the appropriate site will receive an email and review the documentation. If all is well, their child will be enrolled. If not, the parent will be contacted by email so they’ll know what’s missing.
Morgan is hoping to have the system ready for a test run on July 15, which will be done using the children of staff and faculty members.
“We’re going to use them to work out any bugs in the system before we turn it loose on the rest of the district,” said a smiling Morgan.
Before parents can use the system, they’ll be sent a user ID and password.
“The ID information that parents have previously used for grade book access won’t work,” said Morgan. “That information is actually the student’s access information, and parents can’t use it for enrollment purposes.”
The only way to get that ID and password to parents is through a current email.
“That sounds easy,” Morgan explained, “but our records indicate that we actually have current emails for only half of our parents.”
If you are a Marietta parent and haven’t received a user ID and password by July 27, you do not have a current email on file. But don’t panic, it’s easy to do. Just contact the school by utilizing the general email address, email@example.com. That will update your email and enable you to get the necessary information.
“If you send your email address that way, please include the names and grades of your students so that we can match up students with their parents’ email address,” Morgan added.
Morgan emphasized that for a parent to use the online enrollment system, they must be listed as a legal guardian and have legal access to student records. Additionally, the enrolling parent must be listed as the primary contact; otherwise they won’t be able to use the system.
“Throughout the years, we have some parents who have inadvertently been entered into the system multiple times, or students have both parents listed instead of one main contact,” said Morgan. “We know that both parents are important, but the system allows us to enter only one primary contact. We’re trying to clean up our files, but we need parents’ help.”
Also of note: the program can only be used by existing students (those who attended Marietta during the 2019-20 school year) and Pre-K students who have pre-enrolled.
Parents of new students will still need to call the office to make an appointment to come in and complete paperwork. Those appointments can be scheduled by calling (580) 276-9444 and following the voice prompts.
Using the new online enrollment system provides many advantages for the school.
“Online enrollment is actually something we’ve had in the works for a while in order to streamline a tedious process,” said district Superintendent Brandi Naylor. “Thanks to the hard work of Mrs. Morgan, we are going to be able to not only offer this service, but also limit potential virus exposure for our staff and families.”
And that’s not all. Parents won’t have to stand in line or spend as much time filling out repetitive paperwork. Also, they can use their ID and password to access student grades and attendance information from elementary through high school, as well as being able to see cafeteria charges and other information.
Online enrollment is a win for everyone concerned.
“The technology is very updated so parents won’t feel like the system is awkward and antiquated,” added Morgan. “It’s extremely simple to use, and we can’t wait to have it ready to go.”