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School district’s Welcome Center opens

School district’s Welcome Center opens

Parents looking to register their children for school and find other services now have “one-stop

Parents looking to register their children for school and find other services now have “one-stop shopping” at the Ellis Health Center on McClellan Street.

The Schenectady City School District opened its Family Welcome Center last Monday, housing its transportation and central registration offices. The center, located at 600 McClellan St., will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Superintendent Eric Ely said the purpose of the center is to have a central location for new residents to register their children, sign up for bus transportation and any special needs services if necessary.

Also, that information can be sent out to the individual schools electronically. “We’re trying to go paperless in a lot of ways.”

There is Internet access at the facility and a chance for people to get connected with necessary health services.

Ely said this new location is much easier to find than the old registration office at the Career Center at Steinmetz. It has a nice reception area complete with televisions.

“It’s a nicer environment for parents and families to be welcomed into the city and the school system,” he said.

Ely reached out to James W. Connolly of Ellis Medicine, who was very receptive to the idea.

“It’s also an opportunity for us to become a bigger member of the community and being part of a joint effort with Ellis Hospital,” Ely said. “We appreciate they’re willing to work with us.”

The school district is paying Ellis $17,000 a year for use of the space, staff support for the reception area and security.

The district is looking to turn the old offices into classrooms, according to Ely.

Hospital spokeswoman Donna Evans said this partnership fits in with the mission to turn the former St. Clare’s Hospital into a complex where people can access comprehensive health services such as family physicians, dentists, diabetes therapy and mammograms.

“It’s all about collaborating with community organizations and helping to link people with the services they need, whether they be health care services or services elsewhere in the community.”

Patti Hammond, vice president for operations, said Ely told hospital officials the school would love to have the welcome center there because they get somewhere between 400 and 500 new families coming to Schenectady every summer.

These new children need shots and the center is right there with its various labs. Hammond said staff can help people who do not have health insurance get enrolled. “I think all of those things lead to better health in the community,” she said.

For registration questions, contact 370-8101 ext. 28116 and for transportation questions, contact 370-8103.

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