Two high schools tried a new approach to distributing registration packets for families this year.
And as the registration period ends, school district leaders are looking for parent feedback on the changes.
The change was designed to save the school district money, which will then be put back into the classrooms, school leaders said.
In the past, parent volunteers copied and collated between 20 and 25 pages of back-to-school and registration information for high school families. The packets each cost 31 cents to print and $1.80 to mail.
This year, students at and were sent a link to an online registration packet that allowed families to print — themselves — only what they needed.
In the end, it saved the district 80,000 sheets of paper and $6,752 in printing and mailing costs for the 3,200 students at those two schools, according to school leaders.
"In an effort to reduce cost and paper consumption, the high schools followed the lead of many banks, service providers and credit card companies who now offer the opportunity to read statements online and only print what is needed," said Debbi Hartman, the district's community relations manager, in a statement.
"All the information in the registration packet, including instructions and forms, was posted online as separate pdf files. Parents were informed via the district’s SchoolMessenger email system that the registration packets could be accessed at their convenience."
In some instances, forms that were required by all students were also emailed via SchoolMessenger, the district’s parent email notification system, Hartman said.
The online registration pilot encountered a small problem in mid-August when the district website began unexpectedly preventing the pdf files from being opened; the district’s technology department corrected the error, and parents were notified that the files were once again accessible.
Hartman said Rochester Community Schools is committed to reducing both the amount of paper that the district uses and the costs associated with printing and mailing.
"Any money the district saves on non-instructional items can be directed to the classroom, which reflects the district’s budget prioritization," Hartman said.
What do you think? Rochester Community Schools welcomes parent and student feedback on this pilot program. Was it easy to read online and print? Would you prefer to have the packet mailed?