K12 Records Resources

December 27, 2022

What to Look for in an Online Enrollment Platform


To alleviate the myriad challenges and impacts of paper or PDF-based enrollment, the modern school district should seek a secure online platform with mobile-friendly options for students and families – one that works with the pace of the digital world we live in rather than against it. Ultimately, student enrollment, application processing, and lottery management should be simple and fast.

The very best solutions deliver on the following objectives consistently:


Data security

Adherence to FERPA and SOC 2 regulations should be baked right in. With an online solution, schools can securely process applications rather than risk a violation because of emailing, faxing, or mailing. Further, digital systems provide audit trails for tracking who accessed data, when, why, and where records were sent – and authorized users can securely access the necessary data to serve students and parents better.

Plus, online records management solutions provide easy access to students, families, and third parties; they also simplify payments for requests. This is a major benefit considering that 85% of Americans own a smartphone, making online requests more accessible than stopping by an office, mailing in a request, or faxing one in (Pew Research).


"[When considering Scribbles], the biggest thing for us was the security of the student information — we can’t compromise our data. Also, it had the robust capabilities to handle the volume that we had...it gave the ability to oversee what was happening at each school for compliance...It’s user-friendly so that our coordinators can access things pretty easily and is very clear to families."

- Karima Wesselhoft, Supervisor of Advanced Academics and Specialty Programs, Prince William County Public Schools


Reduced tediousness and increased focus among district staff

When staff no longer need to constantly answer verification calls or emails, they can focus on increasing capacity and helping students.

  • Better performance capacity
  • Reallocated staff to pressing priorities
  • Increased productivity overall


"Now, because we were able to put in a process that was so easy for [our coordinators] to use, they’re asking to learn about things more on the professional development side. Because of Scribbles, we can learn about these other things that we were supposed to be focusing on but never had time for because we spent so much time approving our applications. Like now that I know how to approve and pull transcripts and do all those things really fast, can we start talking about some of the in-depth reports that I can use to improve this program in my building?"

- Karima Wesselhoft, Supervisor of Advanced Academics and Specialty Programs, Prince William County Public Schools


Reporting, data, and insights

With accurate data, there is less redundant work, knowledge of application status, insight into student enrollment and lottery data, and transparent staff productivity.


Cost reduction

There are many costs associated with maintaining paper-based processes, from printing to postage to translation services. Going digital eliminates all of that, allowing school systems to save significant budgets, which can be allocated to initiatives central to their mission.



Fair access for all families

Enrolling students using a 24/7 mobile-friendly platform with easily accessible translations means more families in the community have easier access to your district programs and services. Automated text and email updates ensure that they are being met where they are if an important document is missing from an application, or if they need to be aware of a deadline.


"The Scribbles team created a program specific to our needs, provided access for our families to apply for regular enrollment and new Choice opportunities, and then built the lotteries for each program. The program itself has allowed my department to have electronic enrollment and applications. We are then able to send things digitally directly to schools. It also affords us the ability to communicate with families directly through email and phone. Our families have been able to create their dashboard and apply for programs for each of their children - all in the same dashboard - and from the comfort of their home."

- Terry Surbeck, Director of Student Assignment, Gaston County Schools



Curious to learn more about how districts across the country are solving challenges associated with paper- and PDF-based choice and enrollment processes? Download the PreK-12 Technology Guide to Enrollment, Choice, and Lottery Management to learn more.


Download The Ultimate Guide to Records Management and Transcript Processing