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District Makes Registration an Easy Extravaganza


When it comes to getting students ready for school, Godwin Heights pulls out all the stops.

Parents recently enrolled their children for fall classes during the district’s fourth annual Enrollment Extravaganza in the high school’s physical education building.

Welcome back, Wolverines!

For mom Cecilia Beltran, it was an opportunity to make sure three of her five children – Jaelyn, who is entering third grade at West Godwin Elementary; Julian, who is going into second grade at West Godwin; and Jaedyn, who will start kindergarten – were signed up and ready to start classes Monday, Aug. 20. “I thought everyone was helpful,” Beltran said as she navigated her way from table to table.

Carrie Worst, whose son Parker is entering his sophomore year at the high school, agreed. Last year was Parker’s first year in the school’s special education program, and Worst said she was impressed with the work they did with him.

“I like the hands-on approach they take,” she said. “They also give you up-to-the-minute news on what’s going on (with your child). They communicate really well.”

The gymnasium was lined with tables for the daylong event, as teachers and other district employees in blue T-shirts with the words “I Am Godwin” in gold lettering, assisted parents. On the balcony, students smiled for school pictures while, outside, volunteers served hot dogs, burgers and chips.

It’s “a one-stop shop” for parents each fall, said Executive Administrative Assistant Cindy Pate, lead organizer for the event. “A mother who comes in with an elementary (student), a middle schooler and a high schooler, she can enroll them with one person, at one stop, and she’s done – they’re all enrolled, instead of having to go to individual buildings like we had them do in the past,” Pate said.

All hands are on deck to make the event run smoothly

Enrollment Extravaganza started as a high school-only event. It went so well, administrators expanded it to the entire K-12 system the following year, Pate said.

In addition to signing students up for classes, parents received information on district and community-based services, most notably busing. Pate said that’s the biggest change Godwin Heights parents can expect this fall. “We used to share transportation with Wyoming Public Schools and now this year, for the first time, we are doing it ourselves. That’s a big change for our families.”

Pate said it’s hard to get a read yet on 2018-19 enrollment numbers, although she does not expect to see much change from last school year, when the district had about 2,130 students, a slight dip from 2016-17.

She credited Godwin’s administrative staff and teachers for pulling everything together to make the extravaganza go as smoothly as possible. “We have teaching staff, custodians, paraprofessionals, administrators, coaches (involved) – it’s a team effort,” she said.

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Godwin Heights encourages parents to get involved

Staff assist parents step-by-step in enrolling students

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Gregory Chandler
Greg Chandler has worked as a journalist in West Michigan for 30 years. A graduate of Central Michigan University, Miami (Ohio) University and Grand Valley State University, he has written for The Grand Rapids Press and the Holland Sentinel, as well as several magazines. He is formerly the news director at WHTC-AM in Holland and also served as publicist for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. In addition to writing for School News Network, he is a correspondent for The Banner, the official magazine of the Christian Reformed Church, and also broadcasts high school and college sporting events in the Holland area. He currently resides in Grand Rapids.

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