First day of pre-k registration goes ‘smoothly’ at new Houston office

jmink@macon.comFebruary 19, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Some parents were forced to wait Tuesday morning, but overall pre-kindergarten registration at Houston County’s new central registration office ran smoothly, school officials said.

While the office waiting room was packed earlier in the day, only a handful of parents were scattered throughout the room by noon. By the end of the day, officials had registered 120 children, said Linda Horne, assistant superintendent for school operations.

It was the first big test for the office, which opened in January as a place for all Houston County students to register instead of going to the individual schools. Officials expect 1,200 to 1,300 people to have registered their children for pre-k by the time the process ends March 15.

When neighboring Bibb County opened its registration office, it was met with mixed reviews. Some parents complained about long wait lines. On Tuesday morning, the average wait was about 30 to 45 minutes, with one person waiting more than an hour, Horne said.

The process was drawn-out for a few people, who did not bring the correct paperwork. But overall, parents cooperated and were “very willing to wait,” Horne said.

“It has gone very smoothly,” she said.

Tiffany Lewis, of Warner Robins, sat in the waiting room, filling out registration papers for her son. Lewis said she didn’t mind waiting and was happy to venture to the new office on South Davis Drive.

“I’m glad it’s set up this way,” she said.

Officials decided to open the office partly to ease the registration process for parents who have children in multiple schools. Before, parents ventured to individual schools to register their children, and the process was often different in each school, officials said.

As a parent of four children, Christal Wilson, of Bonaire, understands how difficult registration can be. She now has two children in Houston County schools -- one in high school and one who just registered for preschool.

“It’s nice when you have multiple kids,” she said. “This is a one-stop shop.”

Parents are encouraged to follow the registration schedule for each elementary school:

• Now-Friday: Quail Run, Lindsey, Parkwood and Westside;

• Monday-March 1: Eagle Springs, Pearl Stephens, Miller, Linwood and Northside;

• March 4-8: David Perdue, Centerville, Bonaire, Hilltop and Shirley Hills; and

• March 11-15: Lake Joy, Perry, Kings Chapel, Matt Arthur and Russell.

For a list of required paperwork, visit www.hcbe.net/central-registration.aspx.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.

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