HHS Online Registration

For most people, registering for classes in high school can always be associated with a sheet of paper that listed course offerings by subject.  Students would be given a pencil and then directed to circle the classes on the paper that they would like to take the following semester.  That sheet of paper would be handed back to the teacher or given to the school counselor and the student’s job was done.  The hours of work by administrators and counselors entering the information on those sheets of paper into a computer, however, went unseen.  And students never had much of an idea if some of the classes they circled would be open until they received their official schedules on the first day of the semester.  

This year, Haywood High School (HHS) is streamlining the registration process for students by allowing students to register online.  Not only will students register online, they will have discussions with their advisors to make sure they are on track to access the educational opportunities available to them.  

HHS Principal Brittany Avent acknowledges that there is a lot of work done on the front end in order to give students the opportunity to register online, but the work will be worth it in the long run.

“This will be the first year we’ve had students register online.  It’s an option we’ve always had through Powerschool, but we’ve never used it until now,” she explained.  “It takes a lot of prep work on the front end.  Students can register at school or at home if they have internet access or a computer.  The majority of students will register on computers at school, but if for some reason a student is out sick or isn’t in school during the registration window, they can register at home.”

Beginning March 3, parent meetings will occur at HHS to allow parents and students to discuss the registration process as well as make sure the students are on track with the classes being selected.

As students transition to online registration, there are support systems in place along the way to make sure the students are receiving guidance along every step of the registration process.  

“To pilot the program this year, we’re doing a regular paper schedule that will be completed during advisories and then we’ll have three separate parent meetings starting this week (March 3) and continuing into next week.  When we come back from spring break, we’ll take six days and call students to computer labs for counselors to walk them through the process of registering online.  Two days for rising seniors, two for rising juniors, and two for rising sophomores,” Brittany said.  

As students begin to wade through their options for classes, advisors have one on one discussions with each student to explore all options that are available.  This speaks directly to Haywood County Schools equity commitment.

“The physical paper copy allows the student’s advisor to sit down with the student and make sure plans are aligned with the student’s goals for graduation.  I think about our equity commitment and thinking about every student in the building being safe, seen, heard, and valued, and I always go back to the one on one interaction with the advisor and how much attention a student is getting as they prepare to register for their classes,” Brittany explained. “I don’t think we’ll ever completely go away from the paper process, but it will definitely be streamlined by doing the actual registering for classes online.

Advisors are trained throughout the year on the registration process and graduation requirements, and they also know each of their student’s academic needs before the process begins.

“During our professional development days, we go through the registration process in small chunks.  In the fall, we may look at graduation requirements.  Then, we look at specialized topics like dual enrollment or AP classes.  Finally, advisors get the student transcripts and a blank copy of the registration sheet and go through every student in their advisory group and start to plan out what the student needs, so the conversation with the student is more efficient.  Each advisor has between 12-16 students,” Brittany said.

The one on one attention during the registration process is invaluable to the student and is a vital part of the process.  As students become more familiar with the process, however, they will be able to take more ownership in registration.

“As students become more familiar with the process, the less they’ll have to lean on their advisor, but right now it’s very helpful to have that support,” Brittany explained.

Any major change doesn’t come without a few hiccups, and online registering is no different.  Rising ninth grade students have not been able to directly register online, so registration for them will look a little more traditional.

“The only issue we’ve run into is registering rising ninth graders online.  Right now, they’re filling it out on paper and our counselors will enter those into the system,” Brittany said.

Apart from that issue, the process is going as planned so far.  

“This year, registration may take a little bit longer because the students will have to learn the software, but moving forward the actual registration process will only take a couple of minutes.  The planning will be done beforehand, but registering online will make things much quicker and easier for our counselors, too.”

Parent meetings will begin Thursday, March 3 and conclude on Tuesday, March 8.  The actual registering for classes will begin the week after spring break.  

Thursday, March 3 – Parent meeting for rising seniors – 5:30 – HHS Cafeteria

Monday, March 7 – Parent meeting for rising juniors – 5:30 – HHS Cafeteria

Tuesday, March 8 – Parent meeting for rising sophomores – 5:30 – HHS Cafeteria