Bibb parents will register children at schools

Registration no longer will be at Welcome Center

jmink@macon.comJuly 9, 2014 

Many Bibb County parents are accustomed to registering their children for school at the district’s Welcome Center, but that routine has changed.

This year, parents must register their children at the school they will attend. Registration officially begins Monday.

While families won’t be turned away if they venture to the schools this week, some principals are off duty until next week. Registration times vary, but essentially they will be the same as normal school hours, said Erin Weaver, interim deputy superintendent of teaching and learning.

Some parents have shown up at the Welcome Center, where construction work is being completed to refurbish the center for other uses, said Stephanie Hartley, a spokeswoman for the system. Those parents are being directed to their children’s particular school.

The Welcome Center will no longer serve as a central location for registration, as officials look to repurpose the building and revert to the former registration process. The center was an initiative touted by former Superintendent Romain Dallemand, with renovations to the building running about $1.25 million before it opened.

The central registration process received a low rating on a community survey, however, and several parents said they preferred the old process, officials told The Telegraph.

Also, it’s important for children to see the school they’ll attend, Weaver said.

“It’s a more welcoming and inviting atmosphere, and the children get to see where they’re going to go to school,” she said. “We also know it’s a lot easier for some families to go to their neighborhood school than across town to the Welcome Center.”

Meanwhile, the Welcome Center is being restructured “to be more of a welcome center,” interim Superintendent Steve Smith said at a recent school board meeting.

The idea is to transform part of the building into a heritage center, showcasing some district memorabilia. The building, which sits near the Hutchings College and Career Academy on Riverside Drive, also would be used for professional learning and human resources offices.

If parents are unsure of the school their children should attend, they can visit the registration page on the district’s website, plug in their address and see the school zone that correlates to their address.

When registering, parents need to bring their child’s birth certificate; Social Security card; immunization form; hearing, vision and dental screening; government-issued photo identification, and two proofs of residency -- including a lease or mortgage, and one of the following: a utility bill, most recent income tax return, property tax statement, automobile registration or insurance, or mail from any government agency. Parents should also bring their child’s last report card or transcript, if applicable.

For more information and to access the school zone application, visit schools.bibb.k12.ga.us, click the parent and student information link on the left and then the registering new students link.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 744-4331.

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