Enrolling Online in Primary Schools
I think my school was the first to offer online enrollment forms in Ireland back in 2008 and we’re now into our 7th year of offering this service. Around half of all our enrollments into our school come through our online form and the feedback we have received from parents is excellent. We use Gravity Forms for our enrollment form but there are some other options out there that are just as good and potentially even better.
Gravity Forms is a plugin for WordPress, which my school’s web site is run on. It is a subscription-based service but is incredibly powerful and allows us to create flexible and complex forms. Thankfully, we don’t need any of the complicated stuff and its main advantage for me is that it ties into our web site beautifully.
Many schools that have started up online enrollment forms use Google Forms, which is a really simple and straightforward way to log enrollments. Forms is really easy to set up and simply requires a Google account. All filled forms are exported into a Google Spreadsheet and this information can be copied into a database very simply.
Another option for schools is Aladdin. Aladdin is Ireland’s most popular Student Management Information System and they have added a module in their Settings menu that allows you to set up an online pre-enrollment form, which is very useful if your school is already using the service. We’ve been using Aladdin for about 5 years now and it’s amazing how it just keeps getting better. As this module develops, I think we’ll be making the switch from our Gravity Forms to Aladdin.
I don’t see any reason why a school can’t use online enrollment forms to get all the data required for enrollment, as well as POD, as it certainly makes life a lot easier than paper-based methods.