Registration for high school is a yearly event. Even though I’ve done it numerous times, there is always a way to make it go more smoothly for my family. I talked to some other families to ask what advice they would give to someone attending registration for the first time. So take what you need and leave the rest!
Before You Go
- Know what date and time your child needs to be there. Your schedule will only be available during your registration time.
- Register and pay for your PTSA membership. It’s easier to do in advance online but can be done during registration.
- Print and fill out your registration information before you arrive (check Manual website for documents required)
- Have your freshman or new student be prepared to take a photo for their ID.
- Seniors only – for a parking pass, driver’s license, and know your license plate number! If you are awarded a pass, you will be given instructions on when and where to pick it up.
What to Bring
- Bring a pen or two.
- Bring your checkbook, you will need multiple checks. (More on this later.)
- Bring address labels, if you have them.
- Bring your pre-filled registration information. (This is not yet available, watch in the Facebook group and via email for more information.)
Where to Go
- You will want to park in the back parking lot of the building.
- Go in one of the entrances in the back of the courtyard, close to the cafeterias (Right side as you face the building.)
What You Will Potentially Pay for at Registration
Please note that these fees are estimated and not all were available at the time of this article.
- Registration fees about $50, some fees are higher than others.
- PTSA membership $30 ($10 per member – sign up student and both parent/guardian(s))
- The yearbook is $65 if purchased at registration and $85 after that. This price does go up throughout the year. There are also extras that you can add for various prices.
- Crimson Card $70 (Students) and RAM Card $65 (Parents) (Gets you into the football and other games and dances, less expensive than buying individually. Please note there is a parent version as well as a student version.) More info.
- Various class fees (orchestra, dance, lab, etc.)
- Fees to join the booster club for your student’s magnet, if they have a fee. (Producers, Publishers, Catalysts, enVISION, etc.)
- Parking pass – seniors only
When to Arrive
Some parents fall firmly in the “arrive early camp” with the goal of being first in line. However, senior parent Trish Kline who has worked registration for several years suggests something a bit different: “My best advice would be to arrive about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way AFTER the session starts. So if the session is from 9-10 a.m., arrive around 9:40 a.m. You will breeze through registration as there will be no lines!”
Another thing to keep in mind: yes – there are lines, and yes, they look impossibly long. However, these lines move fairly quickly, and more quickly than you would expect. I would also encourage you to talk to the people in line. They are other parents that are interesting and have lots of great things to share about their student and the school. I still remember some of the great people I’ve met at registration.
Club and Interest Tables
There will also be tables set up for various groups. Some are selling products that are Manual related to raise money for their school related organization. Others are simply there to get students to sign up. Everyone working at a table is a volunteer, so they are willing to help you. Be patient and you’ll have a chance to have a conversation with them to help you learn more.
What to Do If You Can’t Be at Registration
There are two different answers to this question. The first is if your student can’t attend, but you can, you should come to register for them. That way you will be able to get your child’s schedule. There tends to be a mass posting on social media by the kids so they can see who will be in their classes before the first day. The second is, if neither of you can attend, you cannot simply show up at another time. Each registration time has the schedules for those students only. You will need to wait until the first day of school.
There is also a makeup day. August 10 is for all grades from 9:00 a.m.-NOON. This is only for students that are out of town on assigned date.
Fee Waivers & Free or Reduced Lunch
I spoke with Dana Wilson, the Manual Bookkeeper, about the Fee Waiver program. Here is what she had to say: “Fee Waiver covers all classroom fees and classroom field trips that are during the school day. At registration, fee waiver covers all registration fees except the Class Dues. Fee Waiver does not cover any extra curricular activities, club expenses, athletics, yearbook, spirit wear, PTSA, etc.”
“Manual High School is NOT part of the JCPS Free and Reduced Program. Students have to apply and are approved for Free and Reduced. (Apply here.) If a student qualifies for the program, the fee waiver will be applied at the school for class fees. If a student qualifies for the program, we suggest that they bring the letter with them to registration for proof (just in case they do not show up on the list that we receive from the board).”
Save time and effort by signing up for your PTSA membership before you go to registration. Membership is $10 per person. Sign up your student(s) first, then parent/guardian(s). http://bit.ly/JoinManualPTSA
(Faculty & Staff: Please note there is a different sign up for you, please watch your emails.)
Thanks to the following PTSA Members for helping gather ideas and information: Mickey Gramig, Wendy Travis-Hampton, Sondra, Wojciak, Tina Hardy, Lynn, Deveaux, Stacie Wickenheiser, Nicole Finley, Denee Walsh, Elizabeth Milliken, Mary Beth Glowatz