Online component improves flow of registration process

By Nathaniel Reyes

Registration for the school year of 2019-2020 had an extra step added to it, as students were required to input their requested classes into Skyward. The move was made by the MTHS counseling department in an attempt to ease their load during the registration process.

Allison Hong is the counselor in charge of registration. She believes the extra step is an important addition.

“We think that it’s time [to implement an online component to registration], all the other high schools have implemented online registration and I think it makes things much more efficient and easier for students as well as us counselors who had to, in the past, manually input all the course requests,” Hong said. “I think it also gives students a little bit more buy-in and responsibility in terms of allowing them to enter their own courses online.”

Hong also explained how having the registration completed at a quicker pace reduced the workload on the counselors.

“Once all the course requests are entered…we determine how many different sections for each classes are going to be available and we determine our staffing and FTEs (Full Time Equivalents) for next year,” she said. “Having that done sooner makes our job a little bit easier. We do the schedule cleanups and everything else before the end of the school year and the master schedule then gets created.”

However, Hong did admit that she saw a few students that struggled with this step.

“For the most part I thought it was pretty successful, but I did see some difficulties with students who are learning support students or are ELL students,” Hong said. “That’s fine because that’s not a big population of students, so teachers were able to help as well as counselors just manually putting [course requests] in.”

Surprisingly, this is not the first time registration has been done, at least partially, online. In 1999, registration was done online with a program previously used by the district before the adoption of Skyward. However, this was discontinued due to the old software not working the same as Skyward.

When asked about this, Hong said that she didn’t know much about the previous program. However, she did know that it had a multitude of downsides that led to the discontinuance of its usage.

“I don’t know exactly the way it was done in the ‘90s. I have heard that they tried to do it online. I think it was a little bit different, but [Skyward] is much easier as the instructions are pretty straightforward,” Hong claimed.

She believes that, overall, the format of Skyward made the process more streamlined for both students and the counseling department.

“Year-long classes only required one entry and the background work to make sure that the courses were readily available for students to be able to enter was all done ahead of time, and I think that is what made things easier,” she said.

This is the first year that Hong has been in charge of registration and also the first time the registration process has had a significant online component. Hong claims that the department plans to continue the usage of online registration through Skyward in the upcoming years.