A first-year experiment is producing results that surprise and please Hamilton City Schools officials.
The district took an ancient school just across the Great Miami River in West Hamilton and turn it into a one-stop center for families wanting to register their children in the city schools.
The strategy behind switching away from the old enrolling registration, which required parents to take each of their children to the appropriate school to sign up and often entailed multiple trips, was to put it all under one roof.
From July 2017 to last April the new Central Registration At The Miami School — a three-story former school first opened in 1903 on Ross Avenue — has handled the enrollment of 1,677 new students coming to the 10,000-student Hamilton Schools.
“What that number tells me,” said Michael Wright, director of student services for the district, “when parents come to register, we are immediately getting them enrolled because we have all the services here.”
The single-stop center saves time and effort for new school parents, said Wright.
If the child needs remedial classes in English, bilingual staffers can communicate with their parents.
Special needs or physical disabilities are identified, and parents are informed of special services their children may require. Bus transportation sign-up is handled along with all other paperwork, all of which used to have to be handled by the office staffs of each of Hamilton’s 12 schools.
And each school’s student supply list, which differs according to grades, are easily handed to parents and any questions quickly addressed.
“What we’ve done is we are actually able to get their kid into school the very next day,” said Wright. “It’s quicker and easier.”
New school parent Tara Warren said she appreciates the convenience and thoroughness of new center and its staff.
“This is our first time going through it,” said Warren who was registering her kindergarten-age child.
“It’s one stop and they give you a list of what you need to bring. It’s as easy as they say,” said Warren.
Joni Copas, spokeswoman for the city school district, said having dedicated staffers at the Miami School, whose task is to catalogue and enter data on incoming students, is far superior than relaying on the often over-burdened administrative staff at individual schools.
“And it makes for less (pedestrian) traffic in individual schools,” said Copas.
“This really minimizes (data) errors and that’s a big piece of this success,” she said.
Errors on student data and registration are down 300 percent, said Wright.
For information on the Miami Center — located at 140 Ross Avenue — call 513-887-5033 or go to the "enrollment" tab on the Hamilton City Schools' website at hamiltoncityschools.com.
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