Thursday, December 23

Duval Student Registration Still Sucks

Another year, another child having to enroll in DCPS from a private school. The website and process is so bad that it's laughable. So bad that I blocked it from my mind or it got worse from last year. Maybe some of both. But it should have been easier with one kid already in the system. It's just not. Dumb, stupid, bad. And I'm not even close to done as I write this.

If you don't have a kid already enrolled, then you can have the fun of creating your own focus account as you also try to navigate the student sign-up. I, however, had my own focus account with all the clunky information it provides, including a link to enrolling a new student, for some reason found under a documents tab.

I went through the 20+ web page document to sign my second child up. You're told at some point which documents to upload but not on the upload page, so I think I missed a couple. And I can't go back now, since I hit submit. I also don't have the auto-generated student ID because I hit submit and then navigated to my parent portal to link the account. But since I didn't copy the ID, it disappeared somewhere in the outer limits of the internet because the email confirmation did not include the ID. 
The form itself caused me to make this mistake because I had to physically choose "English" as my language three times rather than it be default. I even had to choose NA twice instead of the default N/A, which always resulted in an error. I was also told to toggle on the mailing address if it was the same as my home address, but toggling it on left it open to fill out the form. Poor instructions and a form designed by complete amateurs. And I forgot to upload a birth certificate, so I tried to add that later and was told I could not log back in and that i already had a student number associated with my kid. But I never got the number because that page disappeared. And the link to a page that might help in the email confirmation I received was a broken link. Obviously it was. So I think I'm stuck having to call an office that probably has to hand-write all the info I've already filled in the forms.

Normally, I can get something done when I finally get through to a human at DCPS, which is often better in person. But it's overall a terrible experience that probably cost us taxpayers an obscene amount of money.

I received word that I'd have to finish the registration by going in to my child's school, which, of course, is wrong. If you're transferring in and listed as an applicant (maybe moreso if trying for an accelerated program), you actually have to link the parent to student accounts at the school choice office. And why? Are there dozens of St. John's County parents trying to fake their way into DCPS? 

Not surprisingly, the school choice office was closed over the Christmas break, just before the time to register for the new year. Or just when parents of transfer students would also have off. I mean, really, how much do people in this office really do most of the year? And then when they are actually needed, they're on vacation. When I showed after the holiday, I was told (for no reason other than to be bitchy) that I hadn't put the student's current grade on the form, which was technically impossible based on the aforementioned form. I also needed my password, which I didn't have readily available, and which was not offered by the employee, in order to use their coviddy community computer kiosk to finish the link between parent and student. Obviously, it took logging in and about eight clicks in order to get to the right place. The staff also forgot to return my license to me, which was just the icing to the cake that Duval schools let's us eat.

[Update 2]
I showed up at Fletcher to sign up for AICE from a private school. Having already been accepted to AICE and Duval Schools (and dealing with the madness above) two years in a row, I still had to turn in extra copies of birth certificates and whatnot to the school.
Also, there was no parking and no contact telling all the parents we could use student lot for parking. 

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