New Albany News

District adds back-to-school online portal

By

New Albany-Plain Local parents will not receive a large packet of school information in the mail this year.

In an effort to reduce costs and paper usage, district officials are asking parents to register and verify students' information online.

"Parents have been asking us for an online resource," said Patrick Gallaway, a spokesman for the district.

Gallaway said parents should receive an email from the district within the next two weeks. The email will include a code and instructions on how to access the new system through the district's website, he said.

It will allow parents to verify or change student addresses, phone numbers and emergency medical information, he said.

Gallaway said the system will track student verification and the district can email parents who have not verified students' information before the start of the school year.

Parents who have not received a district email about student verification by Aug. 11 can call the district administration at 614-855-2040 and request a login code.

Gallaway said the district also is developing a back-to-school portal on the website that would include school fees and supply lists, parent-teacher organization information and other information parents and students need to know for the 2014-15 school year.

"It brings us up to date," Gallaway said. "We're modernizing the process."

The back-to-school portal will be launched Aug. 4.

It would save the district an estimated $8,000 annually in postage, Gallaway said.

Last year, the district updated its transportation policy and posted a form on the website that is completed online prior to the start of the school year. Gallaway said that program was successful and will continue this year.

The form includes pertinent information, such as an emergency contact if a parent cannot be reached and any joint custody agreements. It also allows parents to have students picked up or dropped off at different locations, depending on the day.

The form is used throughout the school year and allows the district to ensure students are taken to the right place every day, Gallaway said.

The district also has consolidated online payments to one section. Previously, school lunches and book or laboratory fees had to be paid separately.

This year, Gallaway said, the district will use one system, payforit.com, so parents can pay anything they need to through one resource on the website.

Gallaway said many of the new programs were prompted by requests from parents.

Comments