To alleviate the myriad challenges and impacts of maintaining physical records, 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 record storage, processing, and transfers should be simple and fast.
The very best solutions deliver on the following objectives consistently:
Easy adherence to FERPA, SOC 2, or CJIS regulations are baked right in. With an online solution, schools can securely transfer records rather than risk a violation because of emailing, faxing, or mailing. Further, digital records 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 better serve students.
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).
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
Reporting, data, and insights
With accurate data, there is less redundant work, insight into student movement, and transparent staff productivity.
For instance, transfer reports allow administrators to find out where students are transferring, sort records with ease, and maintain accurate graduation rates.
There are many costs associated with maintaining physical records, from printing to postage. Going digital eliminates all of that, allowing school systems to save significant budget which can be allocated to initiatives central to their mission. According to Tony Freeman, Supervisor of Central Enrollment and Div. of the Registrar, Columbus City Schools, "the switch saved us over $16,000 just in postage, plus maybe $12,000 in printing and copying fees."
More space, more positive outcomes
When districts have streamlined processes, they can (sometimes literally) create more space for important mission-based work for students, families, and the community. Steffanie Richmond, IT Analyst at Fresno USD reported that the district "[runs] out of space regularly as we continue to grow to meet student and community needs. Our Department of Prevention and Intervention (DPI) was lacking space, and [by using the space formerly inhabited by so many filing cabinets] they were able to [create a space to] assist our student foster and homeless population in addition to having a space for parents to come in and receive services that they may have needed."
Curious to learn more about how districts across the country are solving challenges associated with paper- and PDF-based records management processes? Download The Ultimate Guide to Records Management and Processing to learn more.
Download The Ultimate Guide to Records Management and Transcript Processing