RPS registration more efficient this year

When high school students register for the new school year today and tomorrow, they will benefit from nearly a year’s worth of work by a process improvement committee at the Rockford Public Schools.

The work of the registration/enrollment committee – which included clerical staff members as well as department directors – ranged from the simple to the complex. New signs direct parents through the registration area. Forms were consolidated and clarified. It sounds like straightforward work.

However, as the committee quickly found out, you change one thing about the process and it impacts dozens of other areas.

RPS 205 is one of the largest school districts in the state and one of the top three employers in the Rockford region. Even so, I have been surprised at how tight-knit the district feels.

There are so many employees here whose loyalty and dedication is inspiring.

Stands for new signs at RPS registration await their debut this month.

Stands for new signs at RPS registration await their debut this month.

Gregg Wilson, director of transportation and the Student Assignment Center, is one of those people. He played an integral role in advising the registration/enrollment committee. After decades with the district, he sees the big picture and the smallest of details. Quietly this summer, he used his skills at woodworking to make 479 stands for the registration signs. The photo shows his van full of the stands. He is so humble, he would be mortified to know I’m giving him any credit at all. That’s OK.

I think it’s important that taxpayers know that this, too, is the work of public servants.

Improving the registration/enrollment process is part of a larger streamlining at RPS 205 – projects to make the district more efficient and “leaner.” In the manufacturing world, this is called value-stream mapping. It is also called process mapping or process improvement. At last count, it has saved us $1.4 million in labor and materials.

So far, we have improved procedures for textbook inventory and distribution, professional development and purchasing, as well as registration/enrollment. The work continues. Let us know how it’s going by emailing me at the address below.

Mary Kaull is communications coordinator at the Rockford Public Schools. Contact her at mary.kaull@rps205.com. Like the district on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.