One of Stacey Walker’s favorite things about being a school counselor is getting to tour prospective students around the school. She enjoys being their first point of contact in the enrollment process at Benton Middle School. Walker serves as the 6th Grade Counselor there. She previously worked as a counselor for Stockwell Place Elementary School. Both of these jobs have given her extensive experience with Bossier Parish schools and the enrollment process. Here’s what she says you should expect:
What to Expect From the Enrollment Process
1. Find out what school they’re eligible to attend
If you’re looking to move to Bossier, then you’ll also want to know what school your child will be eligible to go to according to the “School Attendance Zones.” First, you’ll want to go to bossierschools.org then you’ll want to go to the “Schools” tab and click on “School Attendance Zones.” This page will have a list of all the Bossier Parish Schools. If you have a specific school that you want your child to attend, you can click on that school and find the map that shows the area you’ll need to live in for your child to attend that school. Walker says that you can tell your Real Estate Agent your preference for the area you want to live in so your child can attend the school of your choosing.
If you already have a residence established in Bossier, then you’ll need to find out what school your child is eligible to attend. First, you can go to bossierschools.org then you’ll want to go to the “Schools” tab and click on “Find my Bus.” You can enter your address and it’ll tell you what school your child is eligible to attend according to your residence.
2. Call the School to Ask for Enrollment Info
Walker says it’s a good idea to call the school your child is eligible to attend and get specific information on what paperwork you need to bring. You’ll also want to schedule a time for you and your family to tour the prospective school.
3. Prep for Enrollment Process
Once you call the school to set up a time to tour, then you can start preparing for the enrollment process. You’ll need to bring some key documents with you to enroll your child. These documents usually include a proof of residence, birth certificate and shot record. You can also print and fill out the registration form and bring it with you.
4. Take a Tour and Begin Enrollment Process at School
Walker says you’ll usually have a first point of contact at the school to begin the enrollment process. Most of the time it is a counselor that will give you a tour of the school and then go over paperwork with you. Walker usually goes over a welcome packet with the student and the parents that contains a welcome letter, school handbook and info on uniform and supplies. This is a good time for parents to ask any questions they might have. During the screening process someone will go over all your child’s documents and then they will be enrolled at the school.
5. Welcome to Your New School
The enrollment process often varies from school to school, but Walker says as long as your bring the proper paperwork and stay organized then it’ll be easy. At Benton Middle School, Walker usually makes the schedule for the new student and she calls a buddy that is in their class to walk their schedule with them. She wants to make the new student feel welcome and it also gives the parents peace of mind.
“I know how important it is to make them feel welcome and make them feel at home,” she said. “I want them to feel like it is a warm and welcoming place.”
Walker loves her job and she enjoys welcoming students to the Bossier Parish Schools family.
“Bossier Parish is a growing parish. There is always growth here. That tells you right there that we are the parish to be in. It’s the best place to be.”
Quick Enrollment Tips for Parents:
- Stay Organized: Walker says the key to an easy enrollment process is staying organized. Parents should keep a folder of all their child’s necessary documents needed for the enrollment process. It’ll be very helpful when you register your child at the school.
- Keep Good Documentation: There are some key documents that are important for your child’s enrollment at a Bossier Parish school. These documents include a birth certificate, social security card, proof of residence and a shot record.
- Ask Questions: When you are touring a Bossier school, feel free to ask questions. Walker says their job as counselors is to answer any and all questions that parents might have. They are ready and willing to help make the enrollment process easier for parents.
- Do Research: Parents shouldn’t be afraid of looking up all the information they can about their child’s future school. This will help them have peace of mind during the enrollment process. They can also call the school to ask about their specific enrollment process.
- Stay in Contact: Walker says it’s good to get in contact with the future school that your child will be attending, but to also stay in touch with the old school so you can get the proper documents from them.
For more information on Bossier Parish Schools, you can visit their website http://www.bossierschools.org/