August 1, 2014

USD 231 to offer online enrollment

Corbin H. Crable
chcrable@gardnernews.com

Starting June 13, USD 231 families will have a new option to enroll their students online for the upcoming academic year.

Educational Services Director Christy Ziegler made a presentation to the Board of Education at the board’s May 9 meeting in which she outlined how online enrollment will operate. Before going online, the student’s parent or guardian must go to the school their child attends or will attend and sign up to receive a login name and password. The parent or guardian must take a form of photo identification along with them in order to receive the information.

They then can go to www.usd231.com and click on to the “online enrollment” button on the left side of the school district’s home page. After entering their assigned Family Access login information, the adult will be taken through a nine-step process in which they list information about their student, including contact and medical information. The nine-step process also includes a media release form, an Internet use form and a permission form by which the parent allows the school’s staff to administer over-the-counter medications in the event their student falls ill while at school.

If they enroll their child online, parents must also pay tuition fees online, Ziegler said, although the school district will waive all credit card fees during the open enrollment period.
USD 231 Superintendent Dr. Bill Gilhaus praised Ziegler and USD 231 staff for finally making enrollment accessible to families via the Internet.

“I think people will like doing it this way rather than the way we’ve been doing it for years and years,” Gilhaus said.

Community Relations Director Leann Northway noted that parents will still have the option to participate in traditional enrollment, in which parents pick up an enrollment packet, fill it out and send it or take it to the school their child will attend in the upcoming year. Parents also have the choice to bring their packet to the school district’s Open Enrollment Day, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at each of the district’s schools throughout Gardner.
Open enrollment for the 2011-12 academic year runs from June 13 to Aug. 1.

In other business, the board:

•approved a price increase in the Gardner Edgerton High School family activity pass (see related story).

•joined Gilhaus in recognizing Shining Star Award recipients Denise Newburg, a paraeducator at Moonlight Elementary, and Susan Thies, computer teacher at Nike Elementary.

•approved site development for the installation of five modular classrooms at Moonlight Elementary for an amount not to exceed $60,000. Operations Director Gary Diener told the board that the school district has been working with the city’s Planning Commission to ensure the construction and structures will be code compliant. City staff members, he said, are working with USD 231’s civil engineer to develop site development bid specifications for the construction of the building pad and grading, among other specifics. Nearly half of the $60,000 costs will go toward funding those tasks, he said. The school district will now solicit bids for the work; the Planning Commission is expected to review and approve the installation of the modulars at its May 23 meeting. Diener said the anticipated completion date for the project is June 15.

The board will convene for its next regular meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, June 13 at the district’s offices, 231 E. Madison St. in Gardner.

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