Student records are essential for any educational institution, but they can also pose many challenges in terms of storage, access, and management.
Traditional paper-based records are costly, inefficient, and prone to errors and damage. That's why many schools and districts are turning to digital solutions that benefit everyone involved in the education process.
Let’s explore how digitizing student records improves the experience of district leaders and their staff, teachers, families, students, and more!
Why do we need digital records management?
Student records historically require a lot of supplies, space, and manpower to manage and store.
Conventional record storage means printing records on paper and then storing them in filing cabinets or document boxes. Wherever there is enough storage space determines where these documents are placed, and that isn't always in the most convenient location for district employees to access.
Thus, retrieving them for various reasons is laborious and time-consuming. Digital records management for schools removes burdens by making access and management much easier. It's not just district leaders who benefit from this change. Moving student records online positively affects the following stakeholders in a myriad of ways.
District leaders and their staff
Managing student records is a primary responsibility of district leaders and their staff. When records are physical, the work can be burdensome. The storage of paper documents is costly for districts—both money and time.
Since records requests must be handled in a number of days, district staff must rush to disparate storage locations and sift through loose papers to meet this deadline in lieu of finishing other projects. Once records are digitized, they can be accessed without travel. All district staff needs to retrieve records is a computer. It simplifies a process with increasing demand.
School districts underwent an increase in enrollment and transfers after the pandemic. District leaders credit digitizing with helping them respond to the surge in applications efficiently and effectively.
Another benefit of digitization is the ability to track student traffic in and out of the district. This cumulative data allows districts to make more informed decisions about how to better serve their community of teachers and learners.
Principals, school administration, and teachers
The jobs of school administrators revolve around supporting students on their educational journeys. Convenient access to student records is an essential part of providing this support.
Records summarize the experiences of students in schools, and they provide useful information to school staff when trying to figure out the best next step to ensure progress. For example, having a student's record on hand when meeting with their family can provide context for understanding academic history, current performance, and future potential.
Using a paper-based system, requests can take weeks to process. Going paperless enables school staff to access files with ease from any computer. Digitization prevents student record access work from getting bottlenecked at the district level and enables principals, school administration, and teachers to make informed decisions.
Parents, families, and students
Students and families should feel empowered in their education journey. Having limited access to academic records has the opposite effect; it is frustrating and disempowering.
Digitizing student records allows students a more convenient path to accessing their data. They may need records for future educational plans, and they want to feel like their schools and districts support them in these goals. Digital records management helps districts accomplish FERPA-compliance—the federal privacy law security and privacy for families and their educational data. In addition, ensuring school files are private and protected builds trust with families.
Taxpayers benefit from the digitization of student records in various ways. By eliminating the need for physical storage, districts save money on space, supplies, and maintenance of filing cabinets and document boxes. Additionally, the cost of paper and printing materials can be significantly reduced.
Digitization also increases efficiency and productivity, which saves costs for taxpayers. District staff spends less time searching for and retrieving student records and more time on other tasks that improve the quality of education. This also reduces the need for additional workers and resources, ultimately saving taxpayers money.
Moreover, digitization enhances transparency and accountability, which is crucial for maintaining trust between taxpayers and their educational institutions. Digital records are easily accessed and shared with stakeholders, providing more visibility into the performance of schools and districts. This ultimately helps taxpayers make informed decisions about how their dollars are used.
The benefits of digitizing student records
Digitizing student records is a crucial step for educational institutions.
It benefits district leaders and their staff by simplifying the process of managing and accessing records. School administration and teachers can provide better support for students by having easy and convenient access to their records. Students and their families are empowered by being able to access their academic records conveniently and trust that their information is secure. Taxpayers also benefit as the cost of physical record storage is reduced
Scribbles Software helps districts go paperless with student enrollment and records management.
If your district is looking to acquire records management software, download our technology guide by filling out the form below