We're building a large site for a school district, to be used by both
students and parents. When a student logs in, they gain some access to the
site, and when a parent logs in, they gain access to other sections on the
site. That's all fine and dandy, it's the actual registration process that
I'm having a hard time with.

How to determine if a registration is a student or a parent.  Do I simply
give them a check box (or other method) to pick from (student or parent) and
hope they're being honest?  Has anyone here have to deal with that in the
past, and would you be willing to give me some ideas of what you did?

It sounds like it really doesn't matter how you do it. Nothing bad happens if a student registers as a parent or vice-versa and the only person inconvenienced is the end-user. I would just take some simple steps to ask the person if they want to view as a student or as a parent. Have you considered the option of just letting people register, and then allowing them to select a radio-button labelled "Show me information important to parents" or "Show me information relevant to students" or "Show me information relevant to both".

Some users might quite legitimately want to see both sets of content.

That will be 2 cents, please.

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