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What You Should Know: Upcoming EventsRegistering for Kittredge lottery. There has to be a better way and ..dekalb vanderlyn elementary pre k lottery school choice

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February 10, 2015 ...

Update: Superintendent Michael Thurmond issued this statement in response to complaints like the one below from a DeKalb parent trying to use the online lottery registration:

On behalf of the DeKalb County School District, I apologize for any inconvenience or delay experienced by parents attempting to utilize our online school choice application process.

During the first day of registration, yesterday, we experienced a significant increase in choice applications. Despite technical problems we were able to process more than 500 online applications. This large volume of traffic combined with the integration of a new online choice system caused some delay and confusion for some parents.

Today, we processed another 700 online applications by 10 a.m.

The IT Department and the School Choice Office are working around the clock to resolve the issues that have been reported. In response, we have implemented an enhanced technical assistance and support plan.

We have already put in place the following to assist our parents:

We will continue to provide our parents with updates and support on the District website and social media outlets including @DeKalbSchools for Twitter and Instagram and /DeKalbCountySchoolDistrict for Facebook.

Michael L. Thurmond

Superintendent

DeKalb County School District

Here is the original blog from yesterday:

If I were DeKalb Superintendent Michael Thurmond, I would copy the letter below from a frustrated DeKalb parent trying to access an online lottery form for Kittredge Magnet School and send it to the appropriate employee with this note: “This is unacceptable. Fix this today.”

When school systems botch simple stuff like this, it makes you wonder how well they handle the big things. While this note is from a DeKalb parent, I have had my share of problems with parent portals and online registrations.

The first line of defense from school systems is usually the parent did something wrong. I am sure parents mess up, but I have run into problems caused by glitches in the system.

Here’s a simple rule: If you are going to have online registration of any sort, make sure it works. (The President can share his experiences from the disastrous roll out of his healthcare sign-up page. Obama’s famous joke on that debacle was, “In 2008 my slogan was, ‘Yes we can,’ in 2013 my slogan was Control, Alt, Delete.’”)

+ BarryMaguire.NewsArt × BarryMaguire.NewsArt

I would like to share with you the experience my wife and I had this morning trying to register our third grader for one of the DCSS magnet programs. After receiving his scores from the latest battery of tests, we learned he was eligible for the Kittredge Magnet program lottery. Wanting all options available to our child, my wife and I decided to sign him up for the lottery.

Information sent home from his school initially stated the online lottery registration system through eportal would be up and running in late January. Then, in late January some more information came home saying that it was supposed to be up and running by Feb. 2. Then a notice posted on the DCSS website stated that it would be ready by the 10th.

My wife got a little frustrated by the delays, but I work in IT so I understand how complicated these things can be to get right. I told her not to worry -- they just want to get all the bugs worked out before they went live.

So this morning, anticipating smooth sailing, we log on to the eportal system, click through the required clicks to the page where it says:

"If your child is a current DeKalb County School District (DCSD) student, please click the student number of your student on the "Not Registered" box.   This option will assist you by filling in 90% of the Application for you!!"

Two exclamation points!!

Our son is listed there along with his student number, so we click on the number and....we get a blank form, nothing filled out. OK, so maybe they didn't get all the bugs worked out. No matter.

We love our son, so we will just take the extra time to fill out the online form manually. The first drop-down on the form is labeled "Student Type." We click on it and are given the following options: "Private School," "Home School" and "Another District." DCSS is not listed as an option. We try filling in some of the other fields in the form, but none of them work and we keep getting a pop-up prompting us to choose one of the options under "Student Type" first.

Crap.

Now my wife and I are both frustrated. After a lot more clicking we finally find a phone number to call (678-676-0035, in case you would like to try it yourself.) First five times we try it is busy. Finally, lucky No. 6, it rings... and rings... and keeps ringing for what seems an eternity (maybe 15 seconds) until finally a recorded voice says that there is no voicemail set up for this number so we can't leave a voice message.

Crap!

Last ditch effort: We try the main DCSS website and search for a number or email address to contact about issues with eportal. But the only mention we find about assistance with any kind of online system is this statement under one of the IT department pages:

"Our software engineers do not provide direct technical support for the eSIS applications, their primary responsibility is to:" and then it lists a bunch of stuff nobody cares about.

Crap!!

(FYI: eSIS is the Parent Portal - different than the eportal - that was recently replaced by the Infinite Campus Portal.)

We decided to enroll in the lottery the old fashioned way: print out a paper form, fill it out and take it down to DCSS office.  Will let you know how that goes.

About the Author

Maureen Downey Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.

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About the Author

Maureen Downey Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.

Recent Posts

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New Milestones scores: Some progress, but challenges persist | Maureen Downey

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December 19, 2013

  

           

    ChalkTalk

         Weekly Reminders and Important News

  
Upcoming Events    DECEMBER 23-31 Winter Holidays JANUARY -1-6 School Closed-7 First Day of Second Semester-8-28 Coralwood School Choice Lottery Dates-11 Saturday Parent Academy-20 School Closed, MLK Day-23 PTA Meeting/Summer Camp Expo FEBRUARY -14 Grandparents & Special Friends Day-17 School Closed, President's Day-22 Coralwood Foundation Auction
Yearbook  If you did not get a chance to pre-order a yearbook at Registration, no need to worry!  You can still order our award-winning Coralwood yearbook by clicking here.   To read the press release regarding our yearbook, click here.    

Parking Reminders while visiting Coralwood

Parents and Visitors,  

We ask that you not park or sit in your stopped car at the very edge of any of our driveways at Coralwood.  Please park/stop at least 10 feet back from the edge.  When cars are parked right up to the edge, drivers cannot see a child or parent getting ready to step off the curb to cross over that driveway and could hit a pedestrian crossing.  This is an easy way to keep all our parents, visitors, and children safe.  Thank you.  

Easy Ways to

Help Our School

True Blue School  

Georgia Natural Gas users can raise money for our school by simply linking their GNG account to Coralwood at Blue Schools   .  Once your account is linked, GNG will donate five dollars per month to our school for each registered customer. Amazon.com  Coralwood can earn a percentage of all Amazon purchases.  Just bookmark and use this special link when you visit Amazon:    Amazon   Shop as you normally would. Once you make your purchase, Amazon will process your payment and give a percentage to Coralwood.  Box Tops  

Please clip and collect "box top" labels found on your purchased grocery items. We keep a collection box in the front hall of the school and you can drop them off at your convenience. Consider having co-workers and friends collect box tops as well.

  

  

 

  

PTA Website Coralwood Foundation Website Dekalb County School System

Please spread the word that the dates for new, typically developing students to apply to attend Coralwood next school year are from January 8 - 28, 2014.  The application is done online at the DeKalb Schools Website, School Choice Registration, where parents create a Parent Portal.  The Lottery will be held in early March; results are posted immediately in the Parent Portal.

Coralwood will have two school tour times:  Tuesday, 1/14/14 and Wednesday and 1/15/14; both are at 3:00 p.m., and preregistration is not required.

Please call the Coralwood Office for additional information,  678-874-6002 .

 

Foundation NewsSaturday Parent Academy (SPA) - January 11th 9-12  

You are invited to attend a morning workshop hosted by the Coralwood Foundation for parents featuring multiple learning sessions with early education professionals. For more information on presenters, times, costs please click here. 

Coralwood Foundation Auction - February 22nd An Evening of the Arts at Callanwolde Art Center starting at 6:30pm.  Save the Date - Coralwood Camp Expo Thursday, January 23, 2014 5:30-7:00 pm with a brief PTA meeting at 5:15pm. Representatives from over 30 camps throughout Atlanta will be here to discuss a variety of summer camp options.  We look forward to seeing you!  Please note that no childcare or dinner will be provided at this event.  Please contact  Jill Blackley jblackley@gmail.com or Hydi Kalmin hydikalmin@gmail.com with any questions.

Winter Camps around Atlanta

Need some ideas of how to keep your children active and engaged during winter break? Do you work full time and are looking for daily or weekly full-day camps? Here are some different winter camps around the Atlanta area, many of these programs will also be at the Coralwood Summer Camp Expo on January 23rd, 2014 to present their summer camps!

Emory Total Sports Academy Camp. Offering indoor sports camps on individual days during Winter Break (before and after care options availiable) for ages 4-17.  http://wintersportscamps.com  

Marcus Jewish Community Center School's Out Camps . Located at the Dunwoody campus twenty minutes from Coralwood, they offer full day camps for ages PK-8 offering sports, indoor swimming, gymnastics, arts& crafts and more during Winter break as well as most school holidays (after care options available). http://www.atlantajcc.org/interior-pages/camps-school-s-out-camp-days/ . Preschool vacation camp options for children 6 months-5 years old. You do not have to be a member or Jewish to attend! Additionally, facilitators are available for an additional per day, please contact Jennifer Lieb 678.812.4094 for more information.

Jump Start Gym Gymnastics Winter Camp . Located in Sandy Springs off 285 and Roswell Road, Introduction to all ball sports (eg:baseball, soccer, t-ball) Children will also participate in Arts and Crafts, Group games, Gymnastics. Every day winds down with story time. http://www.jumpstartgym.com/?page_id=194  

Atlanta School of Gymnastics . Located in Tucker off Montreal Road, offering winter camps in early January before school begins . http://atlantagymnastics.net/index.html  

Two Crafty Chicks . Art camp located on Clairmont Road, ages 3-8, select dates in December (including a Saturday) and January. http://www.twocraftychicks.com  

Zoo Atlanta Winter Safari Camp . Ages K-5, different themed days, before and extended day options available. http://www.zooatlanta.org/home/book_a_program/kids_and_families/safari_day_camps/winter_safari_day_camp  

Georgia Aquarium Camp H20 Winter Camp . Now accepting Kindergarten students. http://www.georgiaaquarium.org/explore-the-aquarium/events-and-programs/camp-h2o.aspx     
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