Parents and students at both Derby secondary schools waited in line, many for several hours this past week, after computerized enrollment systems went afoul.
School staff is confident the system was working correctly at the end of the school year this spring, according to Heather Bohaty, assistant superintendent – human resources. However, when parents and staff tried accessing the system following the rollover to the new year, something had gone wrong.
Some students found their schedules for the coming year either incomplete, multiple courses scheduled in the same period or no courses in a period.
The computer issues did create more schedule changes during the enrollment period, thus longer lines were found when the schools opened for in-person enrollment.
“For families, we apologize for the inconvenience at enrollment,” Bohaty said, adding that the district continues to work to trace the source of the problems.
Bohaty said when the problem was noticed, the schools scrambled to create ways so parents and students were not waiting in line. Parents were allowed to sign a waiting list, a time was estimated and they could leave and return later.
At the high school, a schedule change form was created, so the problems could be written down and the form left for staff. The changes will be made as time allows.
“We are working through those at this time,” Bohaty said.
In addition, high school students can click on a ticker across the top of the DHS website, which is part of the district website, www.derbyschools.com. That ticker provides an online form that students can use to make adjustments.
Bohaty does ask those using the online form to note it has a “check” box on each page, which must be checked to allow the process to move to the next screen. Utilizing that box was not clear to initial users of the form, she said.
In addition, Bohaty said high school students will be allowed to make schedule changes for two weeks after the start of school.
School does start Aug. 15 and Bohaty encouraged parents to attend the Parent Communication Day on Aug. 13, from noon to 8 p.m. for all schools but the high school. In addition, parents of kindergarten students are urged to contact their school to make sure they know the schedule for the beginning of school. Some schools have a staggered start for kindergarten students.
At DHS, the events are 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 13, as part of Pantherpawlooza, for school tours, activities, food, games, athletics and booths offering information on student organizations. The theme this year is Back to Your Future, and both parents and students are encouraged to attend.
"If I did my job this poorly, I would be fired. Hopefully there will be some accountability. There has been zero communication for freshman parents, no information on schedule selection originally, and no information about the school. A complete and abject failure derby high has shown itself to be this far."