Many SCTA educators not only teach in the District, but many of us are also parents of students in the District. At the New Teacher Orientation, Superintendent Jose Banda proclaimed a new administrative focus on “operational excellence” through the prism of providing high quality “customer service.” The experience of enrolling students to start school in the District, or to transfer schools, suggest that there is a lot of room for improvement in our District.
We all want to increase enrollment. But to enroll or change schools in Sac City, parents have to weave a maze of confusion and frustration. The first thing parents quite naturally do is go to the school to enroll their child. But enrollment no longer takes place at the neighborhood school. Parents are told that they have to go to the “Enrollment Center” at the district office. Unfortunately, the hours aren’t convenient. A parent who takes the morning off on a Thursday might be surprised to find that the office doesn’t open until 11:00 a.m. Returning at 11:00 a.m., particular close to the commencement of the school year, they are likely to find a long line, which will take at least another hour of time. This past Thursday, August 25th, the line was over 100 people at 11 a.m. Once inside things weren’t much better.
Just need a form like an “intra-district transfer form”? Going to the website starts a circle of confusion, because according to the website, “You can request an intra-district permit from the Enrollment Center”–not online.
Perhaps even more frustratingly, today, fewer than seven days before school starts, the Enrollment Center is closed as it is every Friday–until school starts. And on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the Enrollment Center is only open until 3:15 p.m. Others have complained at the lack of an adequate number of translators to help parents for whom English may not be a first language.
Enrollment may be parents first experience with our district. Clearly we can do better.