a father helps his son with homework, which positively impacts student success

How does sharing academic progress with parents impact student success?

When districts digitize their student documents, many workflows and everyday tasks become easier with less room for error. One such process is keeping academic information accurate and updated. This must be done to ensure parents are aware of student progress and able to provide the right support at home. Why is this important? Research has shown that simply sharing progress reports and similar academic documents with parents can have a major impact on student success.

Sharing academic data leads to greater parent involvement
Parent involvement is key to ensuring that students are continuously making academic progress. One study by researchers at North Carolina State University, Brigham Young University and the University of California-Irvine found that the support parents provide for students has a larger influence on academic progress than any other factors at school, including teaching efforts put forth by educators. When you look at how long students are at home versus in school, this becomes less surprising, as they spend a mere 14 percent of their time in the classroom each year, according to “How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School.”

Sharing academic progress with parents enables them to be more helpful at home.Sharing academic progress with parents enables them to be more helpful at home.

How do schools make sure that parents are actively working with students to help them excel in their studies? It’s not only up to the school to have all of the relevant academic information ready to share with parents, but to make an effort to include them in discussions that revolve around student performance.

A 2012 survey by MetLife found that parent engagement has increased dramatically over the past 25 years or so, with 80 percent of parents reporting that their children’s school has helped them understand their academic progress and how to provide the right support at home. One of the reasons for this significant improvement is the ability for schools to digitize their student records.

“With student software, schools are able to maintain up-to-date academic data.”

How can online solutions help?
With online school solutions like SRC Solution’s Central Records Gateway, school administrators are better able to maintain student folders with clean and up-to-date academic data. This is challenging with paper documents, as there’s more room for error when completing millions of student forms with accurate information. Security breaches and misplaced files are also common problems that districts face when dealing with paper forms. When these obstacles are in the way, it’s difficult to keep parents in the loop and provide them with the academic data they need to stay involved in their children’s schooling and contribute to any decisions regarding their education.

“Data-driven decision-making can support schools and districts to facilitate more informed decision-making, enhance overall school performance, and improve student achievement,” explained the The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. “Furthermore, it can help to engage family and community in the process of addressing achievement gaps, improving teaching and learning, and motivating students. Data-driven decision making can also help districts maximize the use of limited funds for the greatest impact on student achievement.”

Online student software like Conference Gateway also streamlines processes required for conference scheduling. Instead of manually signing up for meetings, parents can log into the system at home and choose an open time. After parents book a conference, they can leave messages for the teacher explaining exactly what they want to discuss. This has proven to increase parent engagement at conferences. This is essential, as parent-teacher meetings are where important academic information is shared and teachers are able to suggest ways in which parents can most effectively support their children as they strive to succeed in school.

While parent engagement has increased over the years, districts using paper-based workflows can continue to make improvements by switching to digital student solutions. With software like the ParentShare Gateway from SRC Solutions, updated student data can be shared at the click of a button to keep parents in the know and increase engagement for student success.

Ensuring Unbiased Admissions Processes

Ensuring Unbiased Admissions Process for Public and Charter School Districts

Charter schools and public schools have recently been under scrutiny to ensure that their admissions process is legitimately allowing students of all backgrounds and situations a fair shot at enrollment within their districts. Setting the rules for a fair enrollment process can be very simple task, but enforcing those rules and providing transparency can be a challenge with paper processes.  Without leveraging technology, school lottery processes can be subject to questioning from parents and school protocol monitoring committees. So the question to be answered is: How does a school district or charter school ensure that their admissions process is securely unbiased?

  1. Unfair admissions processes are very common.

According to the L.A. Times, “253 California charter schools are currently flagged for discriminatory admissions practices in a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and Public Advocates.” The factors that have been measured in order to identify these districts include bias against English language learners, mandates for parents, auditions and academic performance. State law in California requires that charter schools take in all students, therefore deterring any child from a charter school education is unlawful on any grounds. While states have different laws pertaining to how public and charter schools must implement their enrollment process, each district or charter must fairly impose those laws and act in accordance with their own state’s laws.


2. What happens when a school system foregoes a rigorously regulated admissions process?

Nepotism and favoritism are running rampant in school systems neglecting to technologically ensure the fairness of their admissions process. In New Orleans, where residence is not a factor in deciding the placement of any student, only 7 public schools have opted out of the common admissions process which ensures equality for prospective students. Using a singular online registration form, the two New Orleans school systems have been able to fairly divide proportionate amounts of gifted (avg. 7% per school), special education (11%), economically disadvantaged (85%) and white students (7%) (Source: Louisiana Department of Education). Only seven schools have neglected to utilize the common application, and three of these schools have vastly disproportionate statistics, accepting mainly white and gifted students and only 21-61% economically disadvantaged students and 4-8% of special education. These three schools have been accused of cherry picking through applications by imposing an admissions process with a “unique set of requirements so complicated that parents have to make spreadsheets to keep track of the steps”, which includes hand-delivering an physical application during school business hours (Times-Picayune, 2016).

3. How can the right technology help this situation?

Parents and students deserve transparency when it comes to applying for schools. School systems deserve a lottery process that graces both staff and students with respect and equality. This prevents their methods from being criticized and the community from reproaching the school’s reputation. Efficient school choice software solutions allow a school district to tailor the enrollment process in accordance with state and local laws as well as school policy. With a digital lottery process in place, potential students should have the ability to apply for admission online, with the opportunity to rank their choice buildings within one district. This is the closest anyone should be able to come to tilting the scales in this process, and when everyone is able to do it – it’s fair. Once the rules of this technological admissions process are put in place by the district, the algorithms can impartially determine a “weight” for each student, based on factors such as free and reduced lunch needs or the presence of siblings in a particular school, and assign them proportionately into the correct school buildings. This prevents parents from claiming favoritism and prevents any negative allegations for the school district. Humans will always act out of self-interest, but technology can achieve the objectivism necessary to ensure unbiased admissions processes.

Spring-Ford Area School District (PA) Improves Inter-Departmental Communication by Partnering with Registration Gateway

Deploying online student registration has improved on communication techniques leading to more efficient use of time and resources.

Registration Gateway, the leading product in student enrollment software saves time, money, paper and mailing resources in several different ways. For the parents, it’s the convenience of filling out student registration information at home. For a lot of registrars, this is a big perk… But for Sally Sacks, the Information Systems Analyst for Spring Ford Area School District, her favorite outcome of implementing Registration Gateway is the way communication has been improved throughout the school. Departments are notified immediately of new student information thereby promoting a more unified way of distributing necessary information.

When a new batch of students enroll for the upcoming school year, a lot of departments have to be notified – each with their own individual requirements. Nurses need medical information, transportation services need addresses to formulate bus routes, Special Education needs all of the above and more. It’s all very complicated and it has to be done smoothly and quickly in order for staff across the district to get in gear.

Registration Gateway has had its most valuable effect on improving the efficiency of communication between district departments. The minute student registration information is sealed [by a school employee], much of the data entry is automatically imported into our SIS, and trigger emails are automatically sent across the district. Notifications are triggered to District Child Accounting, individual school building offices, guidance counselors, nurses, ELL Department, Special Education Department, and Transportation Department.”

-Sally Sacks, Information Systems Analyst for Spring-Ford Area School District

And as for the other perks? With 96% of student parents completing their enrollment process online through Registration Gateway, and the other 4% using the Registration Gateway portal from the Spring-Ford Area office with the help of an employee, Sacks says, “We have saved money on printing, copying, personal hours of answering many, many phone calls, returning calls, scheduling appointments, and hours of data entry work.”

“Like any other business comprised of multiple departments, inter-departmental communication can get messy within a school district. It’s difficult to comprehend how 10 different sets of people all need versions of the same information for their own reasons, and how fast they have to get that information in order before the school year can run smoothly,” said Patrick Maher, CEO of SRC Solutions, Inc. “Spring Ford is like any other school district in this sense, but by taking advantage of the automated notifications and strict security rules within Registration Gateway, momentum is gained when new student information comes in, instead of drowning in a pile of forms and keeping departments waiting for that information.”

Money and time are both saved on printing, copying, and phone calls which leads to a smoother parent registration interaction allowing more time to be focused on the child rather than data entry. According to Sacks, “All the involved departments are able to schedule and complete appointments, set up their own schedules and review scanned documents needed to follow up with parents.”

About SRC Solutions, Inc. | registrationgateway.com
SRC Solutions’ flagship product Registration Gateway has had a long and successful partnership with K12 school districts. Being a technology leader is nothing new to SRC Solutions. Going all the way back to 2008, Registration Gateway was one of the first Online Enrollment solutions to offer real-time data integration to Student Information Systems and integrated document scanning and management.

Registration Gateway