Indianapolis Public Schools Open Enrollment continues
through July 25. Jennifer Alonso, Assignment Specialist with the Office of
Student Assignment (OSA), was somehow able to peel away so we could ask her
several questions about Open Enrollment and what it has to offer our families
this year!

Why is IPS Open Enrollment such a great opportunity for
families?

Because of the flexibility. We have extended hours on
Wednesdays till 7:00 p.m. during Open Enrollment for parents who work in the
daytime. We are also open both Saturdays during Open Enrollment. That’s also
good for parents who can’t come during the week.

Here, we address any special issues and provide specific
answers to a wide variety of questions.

What services are provided at Open Enrollment that most
families don’t realize?

We have the Health Department here. They are able to pull up
student immunization records if the family doctor participates in the state
database. They can offer families resources about clinics and where to get
shots. They can also give information about where to get sports physicals at
low cost.

The IPS Transportation Department is here as well. They are
able to pull up bus stops for parents who want to know what time and where
their students are going to be picked up and dropped off. So when they ask us
[an OSA representative] those questions, instead of not being able to give
families an answer, we can now refer them to the transportation station in our
enrollment area.

What are the most important things parents should
understand or expect coming into open enrollment?

Supporting documents are a big thing to remember. Families
should know what to bring: original birth certificate, immunization records,
proof of address and an ID.

We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from parents. We have
enrollment set up in stations this year, and we give families a paper that
tells them what to expect at each station as they move through them.

If families don’t want to wait, we also have an express line
this year. We tell families what school they are going to be assigned to, and
they can just drop off the copies of all their documents at the express line.
They then get a mailing with their information instead of having to progress through
the onsite process.

We also have a lot of bilingual help during Open Enrollment,
and I’ve noticed a lot of our Spanish speaking families are coming downtown
because they are getting word that we happily provide that support.

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