Student Registration

Northern California District Moves to Online Lottery System for Student Transfers

The San Mateo-Foster City School District in Foster City, CA is automating the lottery system it uses to assign transfer students within the district.

For more than 15 years, the district with 12,000 students in 20 schools has used a labor-intensive paper-based lottery system to determine which of the 1,000 students who request transfers each year would be able to do so.

This year, it will begin using an online system designed and deployed by InfoSnap, a cloud-based registration management system provider, instead. District Enrollment and Communications Coordinator Amber Farinha said that, not only will the streamlined lottery process save "countless hours of hand-entering applications," it will give school staff members a way to better manage school waiting lists online. It will also allow more efficient communication with families via e-mail and mailed notifications.

"We've done the math and InfoSnap will save us thousands of dollars just in manpower alone," she said.

Since the San Mateo-Foster City School District has a large Spanish-speaking population, InfoSnap's online lottery process also provides multilingual localization so that transfer request forms can be filled out in Spanish as well.

"We were looking for an online-based lottery solution that would make it easier for families to apply for a transfer," Farinha said. "This is an investment for our district that will provide a clear and concise lottery process."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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