Schools at the K-12 level serve as development platforms for the next generation of people. While the chief factors in that developmental work are the dissemination of information, discussion of ideas, instruction on skills, and teacher-student interaction, so much happens behind the scenes to create and maintain the platform where this can happen—namely, activities that happen in the Main Office or Business Office. This is where student records are kept, HR activity happens, and interaction occurs between the school and the outside world, including parents, the community, vendors, and state officials—the business of running a school. And just like any other business, the Main Office has business processes.
Now, we here at Imaging Office Systems are quite aware of what we are and what we are not. And one thing we’re not is an expert in e-learning platforms and all the various software ecosystems that comprise that world. However, for all the supporting business activities happening in the main office? You know…those business processes that may have been caught in a technology time-warp (trust me, you’re not alone) and now require more time than they should to handle? We are experts at helping schools leverage technology to streamline those business processes.
Here’s a look at a few projects we’ve worked on that have helped streamline the work of school office workers.
Goddard Public Schools: Eliminating Paper from HR Workflows
Goddard Public Schools (USD 265) in Kansas employs about 1,000 people district-wide and wanted to eliminate paper from HR workflows.
Previously, the district had been handling requests for personnel files by retrieving the paper files from storage and making photocopies, which required a significant amount of time to complete.
School officials wanted to be able to simply click a button and pull up the information, whether in the office or working from home, provide a digital method for entering information into employee records and responding to information requests, and eliminate paper-based personnel records and box storage.
Imaging Office Systems worked to gain a full understanding of the district’s needs and develop the most appropriate technical solution, which turned out to be a cloud-hosted Filebound database along with integrated online HR forms to facilitate data entry.
Imaging Office Systems collaborated with the solution provider of the district’s student information system in order to integrate the two databases in ways that would bring additional efficiency benefits to the school system.
In the end, Goddard Public Schools got exactly what they requested—a much more efficient information management solution for storing HR data and responding to information requests from outside parties. Following the successful digitization of current employee records, Goddard Public Schools re-engaged Imaging Office Systems to digitize their records of past employees.
“The ability to go into this system, instead of having to walk out of my office or ask my secretary to pull individual files—especially in the last 10 weeks as she’s been working from home (during the coronavirus pandemic)—has been really beneficial. Being able to make this switch has really paid off in time for us.”
“We don’t have funds to add staff, so how do you utilize and maximize the time of the staff that you have? Now, it’s so easy to go into our system and pull up a personnel file. It’s all at our fingertips. It’s very user-friendly.”
“The knowledge that Imaging Office Systems brought to the table…I didn’t have to worry about the technology side of it at all. All I had to do was tell them what I wanted to do, and they figured out how to make it happen. And that’s all I really care about—I don’t need to know how it works, I just want it to work. And that’s what has happened. We’ve had no problems.”
–Jeff Hersh, Asst. Superintendent of Human Resources and Student Services, Goddard Public Schools, USD 265
Pendleton Heights High School: Digitizing and Indexing Graduate and Withdrawal Records
Pendleton Heights High School had been storing all its student graduate and withdrawal records—dating back to when the school opened in 1969—as paper files in an onsite vault. In order to respond to requests for student information by colleges and employers, school officials were manually searching and pulling these records almost daily. With nearly 4,400 graduate records (representing about 132,000 pages) and 1,400 withdrawal records (about 42,000 pages), this proved to be a very inefficient, time-consuming workload.
Consequently, the school was running out of storage space in its onsite vault. In addition, every time a class graduated, school officials had to manually incorporate all their new graduate files alphabetically into the massive collection of more than 4,000 graduates—a cumbersome and time–consuming process.
Imaging Office Systems scanned and converted approximately 175,000 pages information into a pair of cloud-based Filebound databases. We also indexed data to be searchable by name and date-of-birth. Throughout the digital conversion process, we enabled the school to maintain 100% access to paper records—a very important requirement.
The solution leveraged FileBound’s robust workflow capabilities to declare records and send notifications of record destruction. In addition, it delivered reports on legal holds, record destruction, record declaration and disposition approval, as well as standard FileBound reports that track actions involving records, presents system-wide information about content, users, projects and activities in a convenient dashboard view.
By replacing a vault full of nearly 175,000 pieces of paper with cloud-based databases, Pendleton Heights High School gained the ability to respond to daily records requests in just a few minutes, compared to hours with the old system.
“Now, I don’t have to run into the office to fulfill records requests over the summer. It’s very useful. I can just do everything from home. FileBound software is very user-friendly. They would alert me on what files had been scanned, then I’d look through them and give them the final approval to go ahead and discard the paper record. It all went very smoothly. If I ever had a question, someone was just a phone call away.”
Counseling Secretary, Pendleton Heights High School
Wichita Public Schools: Capitalizing on Extended Data Management Capabilities
USD 259 had an existing ImageNow document management system that was no longer meeting their needs, and they needed a partner with the products, capabilities, services and support to meet all of their requirements, which included:
- Integrating PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Synergy student information systems
- Converting approximately 800 – 100’ rolls of 16MM Microfilm (estimated 1,915,200 images) to digital file format and importing into the DMS
- Converting approximately 1,000 sheets of jacketed fiche with 60 images per sheet (estimated 60,000 images) to digital file format and importing into the DMS
- Importing approximately 199,000 electronic PDF files of student transcripts into the DMS – estimated at 570,000 pages to parse and upload
- Converting approximately 748,000 existing files currently stored in Image Now
Imaging Office Systems delivered the comprehensive data management solution USD 259 envisioned. More importantly, IOS provided USD 259 with flexibility and potential for growth by pairing powerful software with expert professional services. USD 259 also expanded use of the system to handle the growth. From an end-user resource perspective, while it used to take an entire day to process a stack of files that needed to be imaged and archived, USD 259 could now process the same batch in 30 minutes. End users could also use the built-in email capability and the print/upload function, which saves a lot of time and eliminated the need to print and scan hard copies.
“We had a lot of requirements and this project had a fairly large scope that included not only migrating to the new software, but also professional services, integration services, and several different conversion services. Imaging Office Systems was able to offer a complete turnkey solution where everything was done in-house and not sub-contracted out to a 3rd party. The Imaging Office Team brings a tremendous amount of expertise and because of this we’ve been able to overcome every challenge and meet all of our goals. The IOS team is very professional, cooperative and responsive and has been a pleasure to work with.”
Project Manager, Information Services & Technology