I have just completed migrating a parent account self-registration script from my old school to the new. It took a bit of work to complete the migration, as I wanted to allow parents to create unique usernames instead of using email addresses, and I wanted the store the accounts within Moodle (on our Linux server) instead of DAF (on a Windows server).
Parent self-registration is one key to fully including parents in a school intranet. With individual logins, parents can access protected resources such as course web sites, information, and forms. Next week, I hope to build consensus for making our internal employee and student photo directories available to the entire parent body. Parents are also immediately identified when using interactive features such as the volunteer registration tool. This makes it possible to have parents to update their personal information online, an enormous time-saver compared to sending out paper forms that parents must complete and return.
This is all possible without much tech support effort. The system registers parents through email verification, and it presents the ubiquitous “forgot password” function when that inevitably happens. If a parent does not have his/her email on file, then they update the appropriate academic office with that information. Flawless.