Question – I am a principal’s secretary at an Elementary. I’m on the Advisory committee with GAEOP. The committee met last week and I asked the question about when we might have a fillable PDF for the Discovery registration card. And perhaps when it would be available to put on our individual schools web site? I know that Jordan and Salt Lake districts are currently using this. As an elementary school secretary, we are always trying desperately to find ways to use our 8 hrs. effectively. We would love to not have to use the time copying and creating packets and spending money on paper and postage. Huge amounts of hours are spent every spring, throughout the summer and early fall preparing these packets. It would be great if we could plan a registration date where the parents brought in the forms already printed and filled out. The other issue that is difficult is the email addresses. They are so hard to figure out the printing, you know, is it an a or is it an o or an i or an l, having the parent fill it in is nice in a typed form. We desperately need more help in our offices, and this is just one way that would help us out. The plan would be, put the entire packet on our schools web site; the parent fills out the PDF file and forms and then prints them at home. Then parents could bring them to the school site. This would help with postage and lots of very needed time in the office to do others things that can’t be expedited any other way. Thanks for listening, we know the budgets are tight but it doesn’t change the fact the elementary school secretaries are really stretched thin.
Response – We appreciate the hard work of our principals’ secretaries and the responsibility they have for assuring that our schools run smoothly; we continue to streamline processes and take advantage of technological advances that will help us all work smarter and more efficiently. Our biggest challenge has been that schools want to design their own cards. We’ve been meeting for some time to get everyone to agree on a standard card – including consistency in form items and compliance with federal and state regulations. The next step will be to have this available online.
While the suggestion to have parents bring them in already filled out is intriguing, it’s not immediately clear how well this would work. (That’s a nice way of saying we’re not sure how many would do it – and we’re not in a position, practically or philosophically, to tell parents to go away and come back when they have filled out the forms. Our superintendent would take great exception to such an approach – he is fond of saying that the kids aren’t here for us, but that we are here for the kids.) We will, though, continue to do all we can to make the process easier for both parents and school personnel.
Thanks again for the question.