School district officials expect to replace long lines in the sun with a quick and early trip to campus, thanks to online registration at Corona del Mar and Costa Mesa middle and high schools.
"What we're hoping is that when people leave registration this year, they will have a huge smile on their faces and look forward to a terrific school year," said Asst. Supt. Of Secondary Education Charles Hinman.
The schools this year are trying out the system that replaces the back-to-school stack of papers usually sent home.
The school registration and student management software program, K-12 online, by Jireh Information Systems Inc., allows parents to fill out emergency cards, health surveys and other vital documentation.
Each student uses a specific access code to log in. Once signed in, the software keeps the students' information on file, so parents can update it if it changes.
Parents can also buy items from the school store, so that at the in-person registration they can walk in with a signed sheet of paper, pick-up their items and take school photos, said Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction Steve McLaughlin.
So far, the new system has been successful with few questions, only very minor issues and lots of praise from parents, he said.
"We've really been just very pleased with its implementation," he said.
Costa Mesa High Parent Teacher Student Assn. President Jennifer Piatti, who registered her eighth- and 10th-grade students, said the online registration was so much easier and more environmentally friendly.
She can also see the new system making in-person registration better.
"I'm hoping it's going to go a lot smoother," she said.
Online registration opened Aug. 1 for CdM and Aug. 8 for Costa Mesa, McLaughlin said.
About 44% of parents had registered at CdM and about 46% at Costa Mesa as of Tuesday, district spokeswoman Laura Boss wrote in an email.
Hinman said the numbers are encouraging. As a father, he knows that parents usually wait until the night before, or the morning of, to fill out registration papers.
"I'm actually ecstatic that we have 50% done," he said.
Hinman said they will know by Tuesday — the first day of middle school registration — whether to implement online registration at all secondary schools next year.
Piatti said she'd like to see it continued and expanded.
"I'd like to see it start with pre-school registration and on up," she said.