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My experience with Infinite Campus Registration Process

Original post made by Lily, Charleston Meadows, on Jun 8, 2011

I wanted to share my Infinite Campus Registration experience with you and hope to hear your experience too!

First of all, I want to mention I NEVER received any notifications from the district regarding the Online Registration. I think parents were only contacted via emails but somehow I never received the messages. I heard about this from another parent last Tuesday week and she told me my children won’t be able to attend school if we did not complete the registration online. I was worried so I drove down to the district office to find out more information, was told the project manager, Diane Lund was on vacation and was sent to the Central office, and left the office with a business card (to email Infinite Campus).

I left a message on my way out and took someone a day to call me back (maybe a lot of parents were on the same boat as me?) . I finally received the 32-digit activation code (yes, you read it correct, 32 digits) and created an account. I was told I need to wait an hour before the online registration link will appear in my Inbox. I waited two hours but the link was nowhere found. I called and messaged support again and they said the link was sent to my husband (but he doesn’t have any account?!). After another hour, the link showed up. I clicked on it but only one child showed up. I messaged support again and they responded back fair quick and said they would work on it. I visited the district again (waited a day but haven’t heard from support and I was worried about the status for my children because the deadline was around the corner and I did not want them to lose their spots at their schools.). I was once again told I needed to speak with another lady (maybe Diane Lund's sub?), who was not there yet. I could only visit them before I went to work and it was disappointed that she was not there to help at 8:30am. After another day of waiting, I finally able to register both children.

Some of the issues I had:

1. Information did not automatically transfer from one child to another. I need to re-enter all the contact information for me, my husband, three emergency contacts, doctor and dentist!

2. Mixed up information between me and my husband and I could not fix.

3. The interface is very old-fashioned. It uses Flash which my ipad does not support. It should be more user-friendly. The scrolling works poorly too.

4. No confirmation page. Parents should be able to save the form as PDF after they submitted the form.

5. No confirmation email to let parents know they have registered their children.

6. After completed the registration, the “online registration” message in the portal Inbox should disappeared. I was confused if Ihave completed the process or not (again, problem would resolved if an confirmation email was sent).

This is a very poor system; especially we have used a better system (InfoSnap) in previous years. Compare to InfoSnap, Infinite Campus behaves badly:

1. Why only one parent in the household has access to the registration form and it was picked by the system randomly?

2. Parents cannot fill out the forms half-way and continue at another time. They need to go through all the pages again, from the beginning. It is very frustrated, especially for all working moms with very limited time.

Another thing I need to mention is, I am not sure why the district did not send letters to families who haven't submitted the form, even after the deadline (June 1st). I was told my email address was mistyped in the system so it couldn’t deliver and children cannot start school if they didn’t have the form completed. Is the district expecting to send all these children home on the first day of school?

I hope the district can tell us why during this financial crisis, they are spending our tax money on this new piece of software? How much they have spent on this software and how much they spent to hire the project manager who obviously failed her job badly. I thought a project manager should overlook all the details and make sure the project runs flawlessly and before pushing the product out to parents! We are having so many issues! My list can go on and on but I should stop.

I love the district but hate to see our money go into bad investments.

Comments (3)

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

Mom -Sorry about your problems. Some of them may have been due to trying to use something besides a computer for the process. We had no problem, although my emergency info, etc. from last year needed to be re-entered.

Infinite Campus is much more than a registration system. It allows teachers/staff to send emails to a grade or class. It has an online grading system, including individual assignments, etc. I do find that most software written for the world of education is clunky and has poor user interfaces.

Send you suggestions to the District - they are good ones.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

We had problems this year with the online catalog selection process and also the registration process. Both systems are hard to navigate, cannot be left until later without completely restarting, do not remember any of the information from last year and from one student to the next. Also it is confusing as to which student in the family is which and which parent is which. Both registrations took hours rather than minutes and involved emails and phone calls.

The online registration in previous years was very much easier.

If the kinks are not sorted out next year then the system is a waste of money because Infinite Campus is a mess as was InClass for some, not all, of my students' classes.

The biggest problem is that in the past we had a pile of paperwork to fill out the day before school started. Now we have a couple of hours on the computer in Spring and still a pile of paperwork before school starts. In other words, parents work is now doubled by this so called streamlining and simplifying. I am not as computer savvy as some parents, but I am a lot more so than many other parents. I feel sure that there must be loads of parents who cannot master this process.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Just thought I would mention that I have just wasted an hour trying to do this process for my two students for next school year. One hour wasted, no help from the phone numbers listed (one knows nothing about the process) and it is still not done.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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