The Verona Recreation Department is opening registration for its Winter programs tonight, which means another opportunity to test the department’s online sign-up system.
The department has been easing its way into the system, known as Community Pass. It will hold in-person registration first this evening from 6 to 8 p.m., because there is limited space in its most popular classes, including T-Ball,Tennis Tots and Creative Movement. “If you really want to get into a class, you have to show up in person,” says Jim Cunningham, Verona’s director of recreation and community services. Beginning tomorrow at noon, you can use the online system for all the classes that didn’t close out Tuesday night.
Many Verona parents are not yet familiar with the Community Pass system, designed by Ridgewood, N.J.-based Capturepoint, which can be found on the town’s home page if you scroll down the screen. Cunningham says that, of Verona’s 5,000 families, 500 are now Community Pass users. Unlike conventional Web shopping cart systems, you must first set up an account for your family that includes the names and birthdates of your children, as well as their current grade level, before registering for any program. Then to use it, you must sign in to your account and select which child you are registering. The system will display only those programs open to children of that age and grade. If you have several children, you must complete registration for one before registering the others. The system also does not include all of the Rec department’s programs, so older residents will still need to show up in person for the Senior Exercise Class; ditto kids’ bowling, a program offered through the Eagle Rock Lanes in West Orange.
Many of the non-Recreation Department sports teams have incorporated the Internet into their registration processes. The Verona Lacrosse League is fully digital, even down to taking credit cards over the Web in payment. The Verona Baseball Softball League makes it possible to download registration forms, which can then be dropped off at its lock-box in the Community Center. Verona Junior Wrestling put its form online, and the Verona Eagles have a registration account system similar to the Rec system.
Cunningham says the two-track registration process is the only way to transition his department from paper registration to the digital age. “When the community is 90% on board,” he says, “we’ll have more online registration.”