K-12 education is stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is nothing new. We want the best for our children, and many times, education is the top-funded program in a state’s budget. But—states are scrutinizing these budgets and expecting districts to maintain current budgets or do more with less. Pressure is on as belt-tightening has become the norm.
Most schools have some form of digital document filing system, but this may be as elementary as a Windows directory, or a difficult-to-use student information system (SIS) with a clunky document attachment mechanism. Some school systems still rely on paper-based forms and manual paper workflows, which require more time and paper management.
Let’s take a look at three ways digital transformation can help K-12 school districts, and why school districts are looking to document management systems to ease the burden, increase efficiency, and make the most of cost-effective labor.
Free up space and mitigate risk
Scanning long-retention-cycle records from stored boxes frees valuable space for more productive purposes, and it makes those records easy to retrieve when they’re needed. As student enrollment increases, office ‘real estate’ becomes a hot commodity. Cost-effective box storage, mixed with scanning of high-retrieval documents will complement the digital initiatives.
Paper has a way of clogging systems. Student information system integration with e-forms eliminates this bottleneck. Most schools have implemented online links for parents and children to be able to download, print, fill out, and finally, submit on paper. A better scenario is that the form is filled out digitally, submitted, and then printed by the district to process and then scan again for refiling.
A complete SIS integration will assist in:
- Creating the form
- Allowing for digital submission
- Extracting the data on the form
- Filing the form itself in the right place, or
- Routing the digital form for further processing
Workflow automation can then be incorporated to further streamline internal processes.
Core system integration
Most school districts are using some type of SIS for transcript generation, HR onboarding, class list delivery, and more. A good content management system can complement these systems through a tight integration with the core application (like Skyward, PowerSchool, or Synergy).
This sticky connectivity with the core application allows easy search and retrieval of supplemental documents that may not be handled by the digital record in the application.
External benefit documents, doctor visit information, W-2's, teacher licenses—>Administration wants the ability to work in the SIS and see what other information compliments a given record with the push of a button. Integration also means the sharing of data points among different departmental systems (think accounting, HR, student records or IT).
Finally, there is a push to create a positive experience not only for the students, but for the staff and parents as well. As schools compete for funding, a positive experience is a necessity. Enhance your data workflows to see measurable improvement in productivity for administration, teachers, parents and students.