As summer break from classes is about to end and youngsters approach the first day of school for DeSoto County Schools, the press is on to have school registrations completed.
All students who attend classes in the district must be registered and parents show proof that they actually live in the district.
The department that compiles the student registrations for the school district will have extended hours at the district office in Hernando, now known at Central Services, to aid in completing the registration process.
In addition, for the first time, that office will also be open on a Saturday to give working parents another option in getting schoolchildren registered.
Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, parents can come to the registration office, 5 East South Street in Hernando, and do it all in one sitting.
Typically open between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday, the registration office will also be open until 7 p.m. the evenings of Thursday, July 20, Tuesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 27.
“We understand that a lot of schools with their time frames sometimes won’t work for parents that are working,” said DCS Chief Operations Officer Rob Chase. “Plus, from a district perspective, we want to open up an opportunity for them to be able to come up here and be a registration one-stop shop. If you have 2-3 kids and have those children at different schools, you can register them all here at the same time and get it all done right here.”
Much of the registration process is done online, said Melissa Green, who is the district’s Director of Management Information Systems. Parents of children returning to school should have received by email an access code for them to go to the district website, www.desotocountyschools.org, and simply update the child’s information.
If a student is new to the district, however, parents still go to the district website and fill out the required information. However, Green said the process is not completely finished at that point, for new students and also for returning students.
“The new students to our district also have to provide birth certificate and Mississippi immunization compliance, along with the two proofs of residency, which are a current mortgage or lease documents and a current utility bill,” Green said.
Parents of returning youngsters don’t have to provide the birth and immunization documents, but they do have to provide residency proof. All of the documents must be presented in person at either the school attendance center for their child or at Central Services.
“Schools are running Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. for registration, where we at Central Services run Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., along with the additional extended hours days,” Green noted, adding the Saturday hours in Hernando come after hearing from parents who were not able to get in during the week.
“We have had so many phone calls from parents who cannot make it during the normal work day,” said Green. “We felt like we needed to help these parents that work Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
Some of the information the school district requires is not done for just their benefit, Green pointed out. DeSoto County Schools is required by state mandate to obtain addresses, phone numbers and other information.
“Mississippi law requires for addresses and phone numbers to be updated each school year,” Green said. “Mississippi law also requires that parents prove residency each year. They give us the list of guidelines and things that we may take.”
The first day of classes for the 2017-18 school year is Aug. 3.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.