Moving your student records to a digital management system is a long but rewarding process.
Management of the system doesn't stop once you've implemented software. You need to do a "product relaunch" every year to kick off and update application processes for the next school year.
Your product relaunch will change from year to year. That may seem daunting, but updating your system year after year is great for your staff, families, and students and could mean that your district is adding new programs or curriculum options... #growth. And with the right strategies, your staff can sail through the relaunch process.
Insights for efficient record management from Field Day '23
Scribbles Software staff recently walked through successful product relaunches using Scribbles Software during their 2023 virtual Field Day event.
A proper product relaunch starts with effective records management. We recommend taking a strategic step-by-step approach to student records management. Consider following these steps for more efficient processes:
1. Establish policies and procedures
Include how and when records should be created, organized, stored, disposed of, and who handles each step of the process.
2. Ensure easy accessibility of records
Paper-based processes make retrieving student records tedious. But when they're digitized, your staff will be able to find documents in a matter of minutes.
3. Create policies for retaining and archiving records
Create procedures that flag which records should be retained and which need to be archived. That way, nothing slips through the cracks.
4. Establish an audit trail
With an audit trail, your records manager will see who accessed, sent, and received documents. Keep track of this data and use it to identify gaps in your policies.
5. Use software for efficiency
Records management software streamlines your outdated processes. It captures student records, tracks digital signatures, and sends verified records to colleges.
6. Encourage ongoing learning and education
Bring in experts for support and offer workshops to ensure your team understands best practices.
K-12 product relaunch details
Your application software currently holds a history of past policies, procedures, document upload requirements, and more. However, as you prepare for the upcoming school year, it's essential to start fresh. This entails essentially resetting your software.
This reset involves archiving data from the previous school year to create a clean slate for the next one. It also requires confirming new application timelines, updating language and content, and preparing your team for the influx of data expected for the current school year.
A successful product relaunch is a collaborative effort that hinges on well-defined internal processes. These processes enable your software vendor to implement the necessary changes effectively. Ultimately, a product relaunch ensures your district has access to the most current and relevant data, enabling informed decision-making.
Key components of a K-12 product relaunch
In preparation for a successful product relaunch in the K-12 education sector, consider the following key components:
Flipping the academic year
Ensure that the relaunch accommodates the transition from one academic year to the next seamlessly. This may involve updating the system to handle year-to-year data transitions, course scheduling for the new year, and other academic-specific considerations.
Confirming application timelines
Incorporate features or communication mechanisms that clearly communicate application timelines to parents and students. Consider automated reminders and notifications to keep applicants informed about deadlines.
Verbiage and content updates
Revise and update the content, including text, instructions, and user guides, to ensure clarity, accuracy, and alignment with any new features or changes introduced in the relaunch.
Archiving old school year data
Implement a robust data archiving system that safely stores previous academic year data while keeping the current year's data accessible. Ensure that historical data can be easily retrieved for reporting and auditing purposes.
Important considerations for a successful relaunch
To ensure a successful product relaunch, it's crucial to consider the following key steps and factors.
Timing and planning
Allowing your team enough time to execute the relaunch is the first step in getting things right. We recommend districts start gathering details 6 to 8 weeks ahead of the tentative launch date. This gives your vendor time to provide solutions and updates before the school year.
Clear communication and expectations
Simultaneously, your team should be setting clear expectations. Define who is the point person for the relaunch on the product side and who handles modifications on the vendor side.
Delineate who will be doing the testing on the district side and who will give final approval to launch. All this will lead to clear communication about managing expectations
Leveraging stakeholder feedback
Continuously engage with your user base, including school administrators and families, to gather feedback on their experience with the relaunched product. Use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and to guide future updates and enhancements.
What is a K-12 product relaunch?
A product relaunch in school administration involves the strategic revitalization or rebranding of a digital solution or platform.
It’s aimed at improving administrative processes and enhancing record-keeping through digital means to streamline the enrollment process and offer effective school choice options within an educational institution.
A relaunch may encompass software systems, web applications, or integrated platforms designed to facilitate paperless workflows, maintain electronic student records, simplify enrollment procedures, and provide students and parents with choices in educational programs or schools.
Here's the list of product relaunch examples in the K-12 education sector:
- Student Information Systems (SIS) Updates
- Communication and Notification Systems
- Data Analytics and Reporting Tools
- Document Management Platforms
- Digital Credentialing Services
- Educational Data Integration
- Online Enrollment Systems
- School Choice Platforms
Transitioning from paper to electronic processes
If your district is still operating on any paper-based processes, take this planning period to switch to an electronic system.
Tracking down physical documents is tedious and leaves a lot of room for human error. Digital processes will eliminate the risk of lost or inaccurate student records. That can impact student learning experiences and district operations.
Scanning documents into a centralized platform provides a source of truth that makes your relaunch easier. Your team will start to see the efficiency and cost savings associated with using digital processes.
The role of technology and technical support
Technology and the teams that support it are crucial to the product relaunch process. After your district and the relaunch team are satisfied with the live product, the technical support team will step in.
From this point on, they are your point of contact with the software vendor. If there's a change needed or a bug that should be taken care of, they'll step in.
Technology doesn't always operate smoothly. Your technical support team will be available any day to ensure that you don't need to handle those problems alone.
Success stories and lessons learned
Our patented prelaunch methods have worked for K-12 schools across the country. Scribbles helps district employees become less overwhelmed and more productive.
One of those districts is Brevard Public Schools. This school district serves more than 73,000 students. Their staff had an overwhelming amount of document requirements to keep up with.
They were buried in paperwork and were so overwhelmed they began making mistakes. Since Brevard Public Schools implemented ScribChoice, those stressors and errors are gone.
Now, the Brevard district can archive records and view what changes were made to documents in real-time. With the right software, large districts that need help keeping up with paperwork can see the same results as Brevard Public Schools.
Transform your product relaunch with Scribbles
Transitioning to digital student records management is just the beginning. Each year requires a product relaunch to adapt to changing academic years and enrollment processes.
This involves resetting and updating the software, establishing clear policies, improving record accessibility, and engaging stakeholders. Key components include aligning with the academic calendar, clarifying application timelines, and ensuring content accuracy.
Success hinges on effective planning, clear communication, and leveraging user feedback. A product relaunch streamlines administrative processes, enhances record-keeping, simplifies enrollment, and offers school choice options, contributing to informed decision-making and improved efficiency.
Clean, accurate, and organized student data sets you up for a successful school year.
Discover how Scribbles makes product relaunches a walk in the park in a demo today.