For the first time, Sumner County Schools will allow most of the tedious registration forms to be filled out online in advance of students registering.

The process is good only for returning students, who, beginning July 24 on through registration days of July 29 and 30, could go by the school they will be attending between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. (except on Saturday and Sunday) to receive a log-in and password. That sign-on would allow parents or guardians to go online to complete the vast majority of registration forms students need for the 2019-20 school year.

The forms must be filled out in advance of registration. Otherwise, students would not receive their class schedule for the school year. Those who were unable to obtain a sign-on beforehand, or who did not have access to a computer, tablet or other such device, were required to do the online registration at their school's registration night.

Some registration night events and requirements, such as two proofs of residency, school fees, school pictures and shot record updates for rising seventh graders were still required to be shown at registration in person instead of online.

Portland High School Principal David Woods, who said that colleagues in other districts have used the online registration process before Sumner County adopted it and have told him that it helps to save time on a couple of different levels.

"There is no question it will save time," Woods said. "People are able to log in on a device or computer at their own convenience and their own time and do it. I've got some colleagues that teach in other counties and other states tha have done to this and it just streamlines the process."

Woods said that the paper and pen process of registration used up until this school year was very time consuming for the office staff.

"When people came in a register, you would fill out everything with a pen and paper, and quite honestly, it would take several weeks for our staff to get all the information on 1,100 students in the system and up to date. Now, something as simple as a change of email address or a phone number is a very easy change to make. I think it's going to be great."

The log-in and password assigned to the student will be in effect now as the student's parent portal, where parents or guardians can log in to check a student's grades and assignments. The county has switched to a new system for the parent portal beginning this school year.

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