DPS Enrollment: FUBAR

The messages started coming in this morning.

Seriously DPS enrollment center is a hot mess! People have been here since noon and not helped yet. I have been here since 1 and I bet I have another 2 hours to go. They have 2, maybe 3 people working. First day of enrollment, which is way late this year and they still can’t get their crap together !


They need a lesson on efficiency because wasting 6.5 hours for a 5 minute process is ridiculous. That would be a major turn off for someone new to the district to sit thru that process.

And another:

DPS enrollment center a disaster. Been here since 9:35 and still have over 20 people ahead of me to enroll. Only 2 people have been called back to enroll in the past hour or so. This is ludicrous.

7 hours…. I got there at 9:35 and didn’t get called back until 4:25
Once I finally got called back the employee doing our enrollment was nice and apologized for the wait, but 7 hours is insane
Go to any charter school and you’ll be in and out in 10 minutes.
And they wonder why enrollment is dropping?
But this isn’t a new issue at DPS.
I was doing work for Lori Ward back in 2010 when I was sent in to talk to Dr. Sheila Burton, who had a tiny office. I took one look at the copy of the copy of the copy of the enrollment form and knew I could help. Good thing I keep stuff- here was what they were using:
thumbnail of registration form 062411

This is the form DPS was using for registration in 2011 (click to open PDF)

It was fugly as we say in the business. Much of the time was also spent having a parent fill it in, then having someone try to read their writing- and enter it into the computer.

I spent time trying to explain to Richard Melson, their chief of IT- that you could swipe a State ID and fill out a large part of the data- and that we could set up a PDF that would allow direct entry- or a website to handle much of it. Or- to send the hand written forms off – to a mechanical turk for data checking and entry. All of this went straight over his head.

Here was the form redesign that we offered:

thumbnail of DPS TNW Registration Form v4

The form The Next Wave designed- which would you prefer to fill out? Click to download PDF

We also suggested making every single school a registration station, instead of the centralized office model. Why should parents have to trek downtown to register their kids when there is a building closer to home?

If you want to download the registration forms at home, good luck. Instead of a bundle- or one complete package- the pre-school registration page has 4 separate downloads. Then, it routes you to the Home access center- where you have to complete an account.

Compare all that mess to the webpage for Emerson Elementary at the end of my block: https://www.nhaschools.com/schools/emerson-academy/en/apply

Wow- that’s easy- and note, their website is secure- and DPS- in 2018, still doesn’t have a secure certificate on their site. The edict from Google on secure websites was in the spring of 2014…

The Dayton Public Schools enrollment center

You should be embarrassed to enroll your kids in DPS- and bored too.

Here is a photo of the waiting room- with people bored out of their gourds, I anonymized the photo so as not to embarrass anyone for sending their kids to DPS- when they could be registering to join Dayton Public Prep– which will run DPS the way real professionals would.

Note- the DPP website is secure.


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