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The Daily Tar Heel

New Registration Options Fast, Easy

Parents can now register their children by mail or at their convenience rather than in official sessions.

In previous years, parents could only register during one of two registration sessions. This year, parents can bring in registration forms any day of the week, and they can also request forms be sent to their homes.

Assistant Superintendent Stephen Scroggs said the change was implemented to replace a hectic registration process that required an abundance of staff.

"Last year almost 400 kids registered in two days," Scroggs said. "It took a lot of personnel out of the school to accommodate."

Scroggs said the new process also will benefit parents, who can register at their own convenience.

"The process was changed to be more customer friendly," he said. "This process should be more smooth. You can basically register any time you want."

School System Superintendent Neil Pedersen said the new period should help ease registration for parents.

"The biggest difference this year is allowing students to register through the mail," Pedersen said. "On the initial registration days people had to come to the Lincoln Center and wait in line."

Registration forms can be brought in any time, but the traditional two-day registration sessions will still take place later this month.

The Lincoln Center Gym will be hosting the event from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 23 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 24.

Although the system schools are experiencing overcrowding, Scroggs said no students will be turned away.

"We expect to have enough room," Scroggs said. "You cannot turn away a parent in North Carolina."

Pedersen said the school system will address the problem of overcrowding by using the registration period to gauge the amount of new students. The schools will then hire teachers based on those figures.

"We don't have the option (to not let students into the schools)," Pedersen said. "We project kindergarten enrollment then adjust the number of teachers by the number of students.

"If we need to, we'll hire additional teachers."

Registration forms can be downloaded from the school system Web site, but online registration is not yet available.

Scroggs said the problem with online registration is the necessity of an authentic birth certificate.

"Online registration is something we're trying to do," Scroggs said. "The law says we have to see original birth certificates to verify age.

"That's the hurdle we have before we can do online submissions."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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