After a few false starts, OCHSA’s first phase of registration finally commenced the week of July 25th. Originally it was slated for July 12th, then the 18th, then the 25th. “This delay will provide additional testing time to resolve systems issues created after a recent software upgrade,” said OCHSA.
That was all fine. However it turned out that returning families like us were pushed until the 28th so that new students and seniors would have first priority. I wasn’t sure if I liked that at first but it all worked out okay. The on-line portion of the registration process was smooth and easy this year, and I like that.
During on-line registration you can purchase a Student Activities Discount Card if you want to ($30), a 2012 Yearbook ($80 and up depending on whether you choose the DVD option), Senior Yearbook Ads ($125 to $350 – ouch!), Student Parking Permit ($55 for a full year; $28 for one semester), Student Locker (up by $5 this year to $55); as well as pay for things like Homework Club, Grad Night 2012, and Parent Paid Student Transportation (bus and train); sign up or renew your ENCORE! and PSO memberships (see Lingo), and most importantly, reserve your day and time to complete the registration process on campus. When all was said and done, I was in it for about $200.
Now we are on to Phase Two: On Campus Registration, which is this week, August 15-19.
It’s kind of like the unofficial start of the new school year.
Students get to go back to campus, see their friends, get their academic class schedule, their locker assignment and even take their class picture. This last part is kind of odd because it’s the one and only class picture for the year and it’s taken in August on a casual, I’m-just-stopping-by-to-register-and then-go-the-beach kind of a day. But oh well. Live and learn. Now we know it’s coming so my daughter shows up prepared and looking her school-year best.
On-Campus Registration is fairly quick and easy. Arrive at your reserved time, check in, turn in the required Health Inventory form and/or the optional Medical Form, and then you’re on your way. There are a series of stations that you attend in alphabetical order (A through F).
Here the basic rundown:
First stop: The Breezeway where there are a variety of Information Stations set up. Here you can get the scoop on Transportation Information, After-School Program (Homework Club) and the “OCard,” OCHSA Foundation, etc. I guess this is for those who did not purchase some or all of these items during on-line registration. This is a second opportunity to do that.
Next stop: Reception Desk. If you purchased any or all of these items, here is where you can receive your locker/combination assignment, Bus/Shuttle Pass, and Student Parking permit.
Then it’s on to Station C where you can shop the OShop.
Station D is billed as Conservatory Information and is a “Required Station.” If memory serves me correctly, this is where you sign up to contribute your volunteer hours. Parents are loosely expected to serve at least 10 hours per year volunteering within their child’s conservatory. If you don’t sign up here, there are opportunities made available throughout the year and you can sign up for those as they come along.
Station E is where students have their photo ID photo taken, which is applied to a Student ID Card along with their student number, grade, and birthday. If you purchase an OCard, this student ID number is associated with it and is used to make purchases on campus from that account. (*UPDATE! INSIDER ALERT – August 17th – So I thought that the whole “fingerprint scan” thing (see below, Station F) was new this year, but I assumed maybe it was part of the new security program. I heard today from someone who has been working registration week that the fingerprint scans will be used for student identification – i.e. their OCard – to prevent unauthorized use/theft/sharing, etc. Wow, so
big brother high-tech! I have not heard this from any official source so at this point it’s hearsay. I will try to confirm this when I’m there on Thursday.)
Lastly, Station F, which is upstairs near the cafeteria, is where students pick up their academic class schedule, text books, and do a fingerprint scan.
That’s it. The whole process takes about 30 minutes. If you are a new student and you’ve planned it right, you can go directly from Registration to New Student/Parent Orientation. Here’s this year’s schedule:New Student/Parent Orientations All 7th and New 8th – Thursday, August 18th
New 9th through 12th – Friday, August 19th 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Center for the Arts
Margaret A. Webb Theatre – 801 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
12:30 – 1:00 Check in at Margaret A. Webb Theatre
1:00 - 1:30 Introductions, Welcome, Overview of School Students Only
1:30 – 2:00 Campus Tour
2:00 – 2:45 Icebreakers, games
2:45 – 3:00 Schedule Walk-Through
3:00 – Parent Pick-up Parents Only
1:30 - 2:00 Parent Orientation New Parent Welcome Reception – For Parents Only
Hosted by OCHSA PSO
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Symphony Hall Lawn
Below is how OCHSA describes these orientation events. We attended the year we were new and not only was it beneficial because it allowed us to get a little more acquainted with the campus, but it also was FUN! We were so excited to be there and this orientation was a part of the whole experience, which we were soaking in and enjoyed very much.“The first day of school can be stressful, confusing, and often overwhelming for anyone. However, attending a new school entirely can heighten these concerns. Through this orientation, your child will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of OCHSA’s unique culture, find where their classrooms are located, and also meet many other new students that will be in one or more of their classes this upcoming year. Having this chance to find their classrooms and meet some new faces in the process will help alleviate some of the anxiety. “We also realize that this is a new experience for many parents. Sending your child to a new school can be daunting, especially if the distance is a long way from home. We would like to schedule part of this time for a parent orientation to the OCHSA culture, as well. We will go over our different forms of communication, ways to get involved, and have a question and answer time.”
I will be volunteering on Thursday at the New Parent Welcome Reception, representing Creative Writing. If you are there, stop by and say hello!