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"Walk-Through" Registration-A Pleasanton Thing?

Original post made by Susan, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010

Someone posted on another thread here that they had never heard of a 'walk-through' registration process before moving to Pleasanton. I attended or my kids attended public schools in two other states where no one was required to 'walk-through' anything to register their children for school. Is walk-through registration a California thing, a Pleasanton thing-or what? It certainly is a dreaded thing.

Comments (17)

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Siena
on Aug 18, 2010 at 8:55 am

When you say "walk through", are you talking about schools? Or are you talking about someone giving you a big tour of the entire city?

If you're talking about schools, I can only pass along my personal experience. When my family moved from PA to OH back in the early 1970's, we were required to have my parents take me to my new school to get a tour and have them show us where everything is located. I liked that, being a little kid and not really knowing anybody or anything around me.

Then when we moved from OH to CA in the mid 1970's, same thing....we were told to come in for a tour of my new school and to get to know where the cafeteria is, where my classes are, my locker, etc, etc......

Seems like a decent idea to me. What is it that you don't like about it?

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Posted by maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 18, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I think what Susan was asking about was not a tour of the school/campus but "walk-through" registration in the sense where the parents need to turn in forms and pay fees/donations in order to get their child/children's class assignment/schedule.

I'm glad to see that the P-town schools are doing a portion of the process on-line.I understand that it's a great way for the schools to raise funds for their organizations (PTA, etc.). I get it, I really do. I'm just waiting for when it can all be done on-line.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Siena
on Aug 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Ah, okay.....thanks maja7. I totally misunderstood. Whoops!

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Posted by ptown mom
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 19, 2010 at 12:51 am

I love our schools here in Pleasanton and understand that by doing walk through registration. We get parents to come to school, get them to turn in all of their forms and money prior to school starting and with the use of volunteers we take a small amount of the craziness from the office staff but today's registration at Harvest Park was insane. It took me over 2 hours and I had to write 4 separate checks. I know we need to make sure we get a lot of things done but can't we streamline anything? Why is it so chaotic? Has it always been like this in Pleasanton?

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Aug 19, 2010 at 8:13 am

Registration went really well at PMS this year.Only real wait was for P.E. clothes. People were in and out, great cheerful, helpful volunteers- best ever for me! Thanks to all who stepped up and made this a positive experience.

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Posted by molly
a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 19, 2010 at 8:30 am

Just have to say that Foothill's registration was a snap. In and out Tuesday afternoon in less than 45 minutes. Lots of volunteers made the process run smoothly, and next year I will volunteer to help as well. Good job FHS!

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Posted by PTA Mom
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Aug 19, 2010 at 8:56 am

To ptown mom: First - it would be nice if we could do 1 payment for yearbook/organizer's and you don't have to write checks - HPMS-PTA would prefer credit cards because it is faster. Did you think about volunteering at HPMS registration to help "streamline" the process? My understanding is that no parent volunteer stepped up to Coordinate Registration there and it fell on the PTA volunteer coordinating all the Volunteers for the PTA this year, Elizabeth Dallmann and the rest of the PTA board to coordinate it within 10 DAYS. FYI, Elizabeth was also Co-Chairing the Coordination at AVHS during the same time. If you have a problem with the process - Get involved and help change it! Personally, I found both schools MUCH better than last year. Kudos to all staff and parent volunteers - Thank you for putting in your time.

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Posted by Randy
a resident of Mission Park
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:07 am

I just went through it twice this year for my three kids at Amador. I do understand the schools idea of getting the parents involved and to see the school, as they make you go from one end to the other, it seems a bit ridicules for those returning students. My returning kids knew what they wanted or didn't want before ever going there, could have done it all online and saved me leaving work to deal with this. A real waste of everyones time, including volunteers and staff.

For the Freshman, yeah, get the parents there and learn what the school offers!!!! But with that said it is so much of a rush and confusion for the new parent, that they seldom get any understanding of what is there. Kids quietly sitting at tables selling shirts or other objects does not get a parents attention, at least the robotics club had a decent display to catch your attention and the band was everywhere.

The individual checks at each location is by far the most annoying part of it, at least this year some of the locations took cards, thank you for that. I just don't get why you can't create a running bill as you go through and pay at the end when you get your check off list finished. They explained it that each group wants to manage their own money, give me a break, that may have been a good excuse before computers were invented, but in this day and code the items and payments, track them and divide the money at the end. I know the other big issue is the two proofs of residency, their are other ways to deal with this and second its a scam anyway, as there are many students living in other communities going to school in Pleasanton schools anyway.

The person that mentioned the school tour has a great idea, I know they do it for the new Freshman, but one for the parents would be great as well, maybe on a weekend so the parents could attend. PTA and Clubs holds a BBQ and does their recruitment there......

I will say that most all staff and volunteers were very friendly, even on the third day! While its a hassle this way, its still a great school district and I appreciate what they do the rest of the school year!

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Posted by Val Vista Mom of Two
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:09 am

We registered both our children for Foothill this week and it went smoothly. We also were able to write one check for everything except we had to pay for the Senior event seperately. All and all, it was very well organized. Our children have been attending Pleasanton schools since Kindergarten so I'm not sure if walk through registration is just a Pleasanton thing. I'm not familiar with other cities or states. One thing though, it's sure getting expensive for everything since the schools are low on funds! People I know who don't have children asked me if our children went to a private school since it was so expensive. They just don't get it.

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Posted by New Amador Mom
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:13 am

Randy - AVHS has a Freshman Parent tour during Freshman Orientation. My husband and I found it helpful and our guide Kate very knowledgable about the school. What was really helpful was showing us where to go when we came to register that afternoon. There was even a cheat sheet of parent FAQ's.

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Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:26 am

The only necessary part of registration is the school forms (now available online, ahead of time) and PE clothes. The teachers will nickle and dime us anyway during the first two weeks of school. The only reason for "walk through" as opposed to "drop off" is so the PTA can guilt you into a donation. Our prior district had us pick up the packet at school, read, complete and enclose checks, and then return the packet a week later to pick up the teacher assignment. They raised just as much in PTA funds, and it was a lot easier and calmer. Fewer volunteers were needed and less time during the workday.

That said, registration seemed a lot quicker and easier this year. Maybe because there were fewer volunteers and therefore fewer stations :) Or maybe because I skipped the PTA station (I can't afford to donate this year, and no one is REQUIRED to stop at the PTA station!!).

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Posted by gina
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:44 am

the walk through registration actually works very well to keep the paper work organized for the amount of students that attend any particular school. otherwise the staff in the office will be over burdened with unnecessary work and the district can not afford to pay overtime.... it is essential that all your student's records and information is processed and taken care of in the safest and most secure way.... i use to work in the SF school district 30 years ago... it could be quite a mess when the paper work would get behind.

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Posted by mom of FHS student
a resident of Verona
on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:19 am

must say that Foothill's registration process was really easy this year - great job - so much btter than last year ...seriously only took less than 30 minutes - wrote 3 separate checks - parking pass, photos, and one for the rest of our fees-THANK YOU FOOTHILL for putting the forms online this year....

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Posted by Claudette
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:29 am

Yep, walk through registration... just a money making opportunity for fundraisers. If you can't give or don't want to, you just have to realize what is necessary. Drop off your forms, that you print out now from your own computers and printers, have your 2 residence proofs, take your ID pictures and pick up your assigned class schedules as you exit. It took less than 30 min.

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Posted by kathy
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

You can't write one check because it involves different organizations. School money goes to the school and PTSA money goes to them, etc... The school is not allowed by law to divy up parent organization money nor are they allowed to "touch it" (collect it). As for making you come to down to see the school; the district requires the schools to have the parents come in to collect the required legal forms and emergency cards and they are the ones that require the proofs of residency. Maybe if enough parents complain to the district they might like at a district wide registration on-line process!

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Posted by Toni
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

Amador's Walk-Thru was great! The staff and volunteers were helpful, the on-line forms(like last year's) were so much better to use! And you can use a credit card at Amador!! Thank you for all the hard work. It took us maybe 40 minutes from start to finish.

1 person likes this
Posted by Beale
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I found it interesting that while standing in the registration line at the school, I walked under a school sign that stated I was at a "green school", a "green school" I say, as I and hundreds of other parents were being required to drive from other locations and bring in our computer printed school forms and computer printed (yes PG&E, ATT, etc. pdfs are available and are being used) proof of residency forms. Now multiple that scenario by the number of schools in the district.

Thousands of people just killed trees, used up gas, and polluted the air unnecessarily to get to the schools where the lights had to be turned on and the industrial AC units were blasting and doors were wide open to keep things moving. Doesn’t sound too “green” does it?

..or we could have done it all online with accounts, passwords, scanners, attachments etc. from wherever we were sitting before that, just like most anything else; leaving very few people who would need to go to the school.

If this is all just a ruse to raise donations funds from a captive audience, add that button to the websites too! The people who want to donate/volunteer will continue to do so. You might actually get more donations, as it is easy to enter a check mark or click a yes button. You can even add the option of recurring monthly deductions from debit/credit cards.

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