Better Records and Better Results for a K-12 District With Scribbles Software
Enrollment: 15,000+ students
35 schools make up Kansas City Public Schools
KCPS has more than 2,300 employees
Monthly revenue generated through Scribbles: ~$2,300
Scribbles Solutions used: ScribOrder, ScribTransfer, ScribOnline
Kansas City Public Schools was a K-12 district coming out of a rough spell. After losing accreditation some years ago, the district was in need of serious reform of its administrative and campus procedures. Part of that effort was to keep better records and find new ways to share them across the district's campuses efficiently. Shortly after adopting ScribTransfer, which gave staff the data to prove that students were transferring to other districts instead of dropping out, KCPS got its accreditation back and is again a district in good standing.
We sat down with registrar Shyla Lewis to learn about the district's journey and ask her how ScribTransfer helped the recovery.
Can you tell us a little bit about Kansas City Public Schools?
Shyla Lewis: Kansas City Public Schools is an urban school district with approximately 15,000 students. We have six high schools and three middle schools, and the rest are elementary. We also have two Head Start centers. We lost our accreditation a couple of years ago, but we got it back, and now we're fully accredited.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do at Kansas City Public Schools? What's your role?
SL: I am currently the District Registrar/Records Lead, so I work with the registrars. I do the student records processing, as well as admissions and enrollment for the district. I help with enrolling students, and I process student records on a daily basis. Not to jump ahead, but we use [ScribOrder and] ScribTransfer to process the records requests, and I manage the whole records database for Kansas City alumni.
What was it like before ScribTransfer?
SL: When I started ten years ago, we were using Parchment. The student records requests were done at the school site. So the schools would provide the records, or they could come into our office downtown. We were noticing a delay since the schools were very busy. It was hard for the schools to keep track of records requests coming in and keep track of the flow for parents coming in person. It was hard for the schools to manage that. We just didn't really have a solid system for student records requests.
Why did your district start using ScribTransfer?
SL: Sales reps from Scribbles started sending me emails from about my fourth year on the job. It was just like, "Hey, if we get time, this is what we have." And because, at the time, I just felt like Parchment wasn't working, I brought the emails to my new supervisor, and I said, "Hey, I got this company that I think might help us out with the records." And he said, "okay, we'll try it."After a while, I started our registrars on the system for keeping records. I thought a full rollout all at once would be a lot, so I gave our registrars access to ScribTransfer to process all the records requests for, say, the high schools. And I was still doing it for the elementary schools. The feedback I got from the secretaries was fantastic. They all loved it.
What did implementation look like for you? Was it overwhelming? Did you find it easy?
SL: I thought it was pretty easy. We set up the training with the reps, and it was so easy. The whole process for the program is easy to use. And so then I went and trained the registrars on how to do it, and they caught on fast. Even when we have a new registrar today, I walk them through the training, and they do it, and it's easy. So the implementation process was very smooth. Anytime I had any issues or questions, I would just reach out to Scribbles, and they would respond right away.
Can you attribute any increased retention from ScribTransfer?
SL: We found that ScribTransfer has helped us with locating our students, including our dropouts. One of the issues that we had was that a lot of students were transferring, but we didn't know where they were at. There was no tracking of individual students, whether they had dropped out or just transferred, or even who was asking for records about them. So with ScribTransfer, I was able to work closely with our dropout team and have them send us a list of students that we have coded as DL.
ScribTransfer is just as good with students who haven't dropped out. With accurate records, we can see that this student transferred to Kansas. And so we can go in and maintain accurate dropout and graduation rates, which are really big deals with our accreditation. I would like to say that ScribTransfer has helped us with our accreditation status because of how easy it has been to track so many of our students that would otherwise have been listed as dropped out.
Do you have a team of people that are looking at this report?
SL: Right now, it's just me. I created this whole exit survey because there was information we needed that there was no easy way to get. I knew I could pull it off because I would have the data I needed to run the reports each week from ScribTransfer to see where the students were leaving. I just have to send the information and find out, and hopefully, we'll get the response back.
How long does it take to receive student records and put them into your system?
SL: We try to follow the state guidelines: you have two days to send a records request, and you have five days to send it back. So we try to process all those record requests within five days. Sometimes we have schools that will process the same day.
What would you say is the best part of ScribTransfer?
SL: I would say the best part is being able to just run reports and to be able to see where people are going. It's important to be able to run reports like that because if you don't know where a student's going, eventually that's going to affect a lot of other stuff. It affects your graduation rate and your dropout rate, and it also helps with costs. Before ScribTransfer, we were going through so much money just printing out paper to upload to Parchment to send records requests that it was getting hard to deal with. So with ScribTransfer, being able to just do a simple click, it's a lot easier.
What would you say to districts that are considering ScribTransfer?
SL: I would definitely say try it. Depending on the size of the district, I would always say start small. I'm not saying that I'll never add our elementary secretaries to ScribTransfer, but I think it's just a lot easier to manage if you start out with just a small group of people doing it. One thing I really like about ScribTransfer is that the registrar can only see her stuff. The way I have it set up in my system is that only the designated user can see their school. So you don't have to worry about trying to do other people's work or accidentally messing up somebody else's order.
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