Archive for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Baldwin school district’s online enrollment getting established with patrons

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education

July 22, 2014

About 20 percent of Baldwin school district students have been enrolled for the coming year since the district's new online option.

Superintendent Paul Dorathy told Baldwin school board members Monday that 419 students had been enrolled online since the option became available July 1. The district has also collected $38,000 in student fees from online payments, he said.

The online enrollment program can be accessed through an icon on the district’s website, usd348.com.

The local technology company Reflective Group created the enrollment software and is sharing it with the district at no cost for the district’s help in developing and refining the system, which the company hopes to market to other school district.

Online enrollment appears to have had few problems, and Reflective Group has been responsive in helping finding solutions to those that have popped up, Dorathy said.

Despite those positives, the 419 enrolled students represents “at best” 20 percent of the district’s enrollment, Dorathy said. Although the district would like to have had a better response, the early enrollments would help reduce lines at the district’s traditional enrollment to be scheduled in early August, he said.

There are misgivings among parents about the security of paying student fees online, and the $38,000 paid was about 30 percent short of what the district should have collected from the number of students enrolled, Dorathy said. That was anticipated and all parents need to do to complete the online enrollments is bring a check or cash to the district office. District financial operations director Cynde Frick said it was anticipated the district would be available to take in-office credit and bank card payments starting Tuesday.

After discussion with building principals, the traditional enrollment process will be changed from a two-day schedule of long hours and long lines to a five-day schedule with some evening hours available for working parents, Dorathy said. There would be computers available in each school building for parents who would like to avoid lines and enroll online, he said.

In other business, the board:

• Re-elected Nick Harris board president for the 2014-2015 school year by a 4-0 vote (board members Sandy Chapman and Sheryl Gill were absent). Chad Christie was elected vice president by the same 4-0 vote.

• Agreed to make the district’s dental and vision insurance coverage available to retiring faculty members starting with those who retired in the 2013-2014 school year. The retirees will be responsible for the entire cost of the coverage, but will benefit from the district’s group rate. The board also agreed to extend health insurance coverage to spouses younger than 65 of dead or retired teachers with the same provision they pay all the cost of the coverage.

• Accepted the resignations of district nurse Carrie Enick and primary center food service employee Victoria Chappell and hired Sarah Johnson as a junior high school teacher and Diane Jones as a food service kitchen manager.

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