The Scituate Recreation Department is preparing for its last walk-in registration ever this weekend, as the staff prepares for a online registration that will make the long waits at Scituate High School a thing of the past.
“We’ve been researching it for well over a year now. So it’s been a long time coming,” said Jennifer Vitelli, director of the Recreation Department.
The online program, which will prompt Scituate families to create profiles on the site in order to sign up their children for any of the 300 classes offered annually, will most likely be released in December.
It will mean that the thousands of Scituate parents, who have sometimes waited in line in front of Scituate High School overnight, can sign up their children from the comfort of their own home first thing in the morning.
Although the registration for this fall’s courses will still be in person, Vitelli said the online addition will be extremely welcome come winter, especially as registration in general is on the rise.
Whether it’s the economy keeping people closer to home, or just more awareness of the array of programs the department offers, enrollment has been up this past year. This summer alone, the department saw record-breaking numbers.
“We had over 14,000 attendances - the number of times someone comes in to participate in a program in an eight-week period. So it was a super busy summer, and very successful,” Vitelli said.
All that manual labor to input the 5,000 registrations a year will also be sidelined with the implementation of the new system.
“We have to close the office down for a number of days just to input everything that came in. all of that now will already be done,” Vitelli said.
Scituate is one of the last communities to catch on to online registration, but it will be a welcome change, especially as the benefits of the program will reach far beyond just the ease of registering online.
“It will help for scheduling, the software we have now does it, but this will be even better, and all the financial reports,” Vitelli said. “We’re very excited to it there are a number of benefits not only to our community but to our office…and to streamline the process, we’re very excited.”
Staff members expect that when they are ready to launch the new program, there will be a massive outreach campaign. Between e-mails to parents directing them how to create an account prior to the registration opening, to hopefully more media coverage about the new program, Vitelli said parents will be well informed before it comes time to implement the new system.
“It’s going to be a big change to how its handled. They have been manual for so many years,” she said.
Fall registration will take place this Saturday, Oct. 1, from 8 to 10 a.m. at Multi-Purpose Room at Scituate High School.
A list of classes can be found here.