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FARMINGTON — For the first time, the Central Consolidated School District is using an online-only enrollment system expected to streamline the registration process and help increase communication between parents and the district.

New and returning enrollment for CCSD is open and will run until Aug. 15, the longest enrollment period the district has used, said James Lowe, district coordinator of data assessment and compliance.

The extra time allows parents and guardians of students to adjust to and become familiar with the new system, Lowe said.

The new system will allow district staff to ensure they have correct and up-to-date information from parents, a task the district has struggled with in the past.

"What we saw last year was contacting parents was a huge and difficult problem," Lowe said.

Chuck Culpepper, assistant superintendent for the Bloomfield School District, that approach would cause problems for his parents because about 35 to 40 percent of families in the district don't have reliable Internet access.

"Going online is a hinderance for those living in rural areas and who are struggling with being on a budget," Culpepper said.

But CCSD officials said they will provide help for parents who don't have Internet access or want help completing the process.

Parents can use CCSD schools' computer labs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday until Aug. 15, Lowe said. A registration team consisting of principals, secretaries and volunteer parents will be on hand to answer questions.

Returning students have been able to use the system since June 15, and new students have been enrolling since July 28..

Parents of students returning to the district can log into a system tied to the student information system Powerschool and verify their student's pre-loaded information for enrollment.

New students can complete most of the registration process online, but parents are required to bring documents — including immunization records and proof of residency — to the school to receive their student's schedule.

Lowe said about 200 new students have been able to register online and only 15 have not turned in the required documents.

With the higher quality of information collected, Lowe said the district hopes to increase contact through email to parents.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt.