For a very long time, schedule pick-up day has been the same. Every year there are long lines, tightly packed people, stations, and posing for photos. Near the exits, exclamations of disappointment or joy fill the halls when students compare schedules. Now that atmosphere will change. Instead of going to RBHS to pick up their schedule, all students will need is the internet and the CPS Family Portal.
For the 2019-2020 school year, students will receive their schedules entirely online. CPS parents will sign in through the Family Portal and complete a series of steps to be able to see the schedule on Aug. 7.
Betsy Jones, the Counseling Director of RBHS, said that the process wouldn’t be as different from the regular schedule pick-up day.
“To register for the 2019-2020 school year,” Jones said, “CPS parents will have to complete online in the Family Portal what they would normally turn in on the schedule pick-up day such as health forms, parking passes or changing their home addresses.”
RBHS will be hosting a back-to-school connection event on Aug. 1. At this event, students and parents can buy the yearbook, apparel, and parking passes.
“At this event, parents will also get support on how to access the Family Portal,” Jones said. “Every parent has a special login. Their username is a given number, and then their password is their email address that is registered in E-school. As for yearbook pictures, when students check out their laptops during the first few days of school, they will also take their photo.”
An official announcement about the schedule pick-up process will be emailed to parents when summer school is in session. The reasoning behind this transition from paper to digital was simple.
“The reason we made these changes was because we wanted to go paperless,” Jones said. The other reason is with paper; the counselors had to come in very early to get schedules made and fix schedules. So with a digital schedule, now the time used to fix schedules can be maximized.”
Jones thinks there are some significant benefits in going digital. She also acknowledged that there were some downsides to this.
“Some of the benefits of putting schedules on the Portal is that there are no big lines, there are no worries of missing schedule pick-up day, and it can be accessed anywhere,” Jones said. Some bad things with this could be that some families can’t get into the Family Portal or don’t have internet. That is the reason we are having the event on Aug.1.”
Junior James Glaser thinks the new online schedule is a great idea moving forward for CPS. He shared some of the pros and cons that Jones addressed but has more to add.
“I think digital schedule pick-up up will be really convenient both for initially getting your classes and keeping track of everything,” Glaser said, “but people could lose out on getting to go around and seeing where all of their classes.”
Freshman Kyle Chen acknowledges the benefits of the schedule going online, but he also has some concerns about the changes.
“One of the concerns I have is that If I had a problem with my schedule, I can’t immediately go down to the counseling office anymore,” Chen said. “But, I don’t have to wait in line or stress about if I can make it to schedule pick-up day.”
Jones said that parents cannot begin the steps until after Jun. 21 because the counselors and the computers need to “roll into next year,” and that takes time.
“I think the digital schedule is in the right direction for CPS,” Jones said. “It is one step forward in modernizing our school system as we go forward.”