Why Schools Aren’t Just Teaching: Learning Why It’s Important to use a Document Management System

Why Schools Aren’t Just Teaching: Learning Why It’s Important to use a Document Management System

I remember when report cards used to be distributed in a manner which we aptly called, “they got sent home.”  Mind you, while most of us did not go to the second grade to become couriers, that is what we became: deliverers of paper report cards filled out in blue or black ink (pencil if we were lucky) stuffed into yellow envelopes with just a peep of the reporting metrics protruding from the half-circle cutout.

 Thankfully, we are not the only ones to have graduated.


Document management software for schools is more common, or even an absolute requirement.  Given the K-12 landscape, particularly in today’s greater competitive and security-conscious climate, managing all aspects of content within a school district is essential. 

But where should you start?  Some of the standard internal areas that have received immediate benefit from implementing an enterprise school document management system include:

  • Student Records
  • Human Resources
  • Accounting and Payroll


Student Records

Typically, a school system document management system originates where the largest number of files exist.  Depending on size, districts will either house student records within Guidance Departments at the individual school locations, or within a Central Records (Admin) location. And lest we not forget the occasional boiler room, closet, or other holiday decoration room(s) that also find themselves a shelter for forgotten files.

With the implementation of a school district document management system, it no longer matters where the pre-Student Information System (SIS) files once resided.  Now, graduates or others requesting student transcripts can simply make the request through the school website, or one simple phone call – to any office within the district.  From there, users with access to the document management software can simply search on a Student Name, Grad Year, or other known information and quickly and securely receive what they are after. 

Many times, our USD clients have stated that they have been able to fulfill requests for student records much more quickly and efficiently, not only adding to the customer service experience, but also reducing the internal headaches of inefficiently searching for records.  Everyone is happier when their files can be found instantaneously.


Human Resources

One of our largest K-12 customers using a school district document management system employs 4,200 people who serve 51,000+ kids.  That is a hopping HR department.  Upon conducting an initial business process discovery meeting, the HR Director informed us that they had previously paid a third-party consultant to analyze their process.  Those findings indicated that they “Were appropriately staffed in terms of number of (HR) departmental people, but the way in which they were doing things rendered them totally understaffed.” 

From FMLA requests to vacation requests, to grievances and corrective action, paper forms were being filled out and routed around the department – and even to disparate buildings!  Final decisions were delayed by unacceptable time lines.  Further, when Certified and Classified employees had continual reviews, requests for continuing education classes, certifications and other updates to be added to their existing files, the HR Department simply could not do it.  “We do not walk through our doors every morning to be file clerks,” they lamented.

With the implementation of a school district document management system, e-Forms now take the place of pen to paper forms.  Once internal or external e-Forms forms are filled out, Applicant Tracking & OnBoarding, workflows are automatically kicked off, allowing for HR personnel to do what they do best, i.e. NOT filing physical pieces of paper into bulging manila folders that have nowhere to be stored.


Accounting and Payroll

Prior to implementing a district wide enterprise content management system, each of the 24 buildings was responsible for couriering their physical payroll information to the Central Admin Building.  The problem with this was that tight payroll time lines were unable to be met.  Manually entering the number of hours for each teacher (including substitutes) was virtually impossible with current staff.  Temps were hired on occasion, but a better way was necessary.

Not only is payroll easily able to be accommodated, but courier expenses have also been eliminated.  Document management systems also provide the ability to integrated with any line of business system – SIS, HRIS, Payroll – thereby allowing the process to be single-step instead of repeated unnecessarily.

As is the case with any vertical market, once an enterprise content management system is deployed, organizations can get back to the business they are in business to do…


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