With the new school year right around the corner — and many students returning to an in-person learning environment, at least at a part-time capacity — it’s time to place your focus directly on student success. Managing student records shouldn’t be holding you back from paying attention to present-day student needs. Finding a more efficient way to organize and maintain information will make it easier for students to pursue opportunities, and should be your top priority for fall 2021.
A history of disjointed student records management
Student records are held and managed at the school level and have been for a very long time. It’s convenient because this is the housing center for all information — from grades to immunization records. Administrative staff have always served as the stewards of current student data because it made sense.
On the other hand, district staff has historically stored and managed alumni records. Many states require these legacy records to be kept on hand, and we’ve heard from many of our member districts that they still get record requests for alumni from 10, 20, 30 years ago and more.
Rooms filled with aging student records in the form of paper, microfilm, CD and microfiche must be accessed and organized by clerical staff so that alumni can request records for university enrollment, as well as career opportunities. They may also be requested by third parties for background checks.
Many schools and districts use manual processes or disjointed software systems to support student records management. This can often feel inefficient and cumbersome to the students, as well as the school and district staff that must interact with these systems.
School-level software program challenges
Managing student record requests and fulfillment shouldn’t put your students at risk. School-level software platforms can often make district-level supervision feel difficult to navigate and control in an orderly fashion. Some of the main challenges of managing one-off school level software from an IT perspective include:
- Training requirements. Training and supporting school-level staff about the nuances related to software that isn’t centrally managed by your IT team can be disruptive and frustrating for both sides. It can also be difficult to maintain if staff turnover rates are high.
- Lack of best practice sharing opportunities. If one school is doing something really great but is operating in a total silo, you lose out on learning opportunities and growth for all.
- Proper support and oversight Limited software support or lack of supervision can create system vulnerabilities. According to a study by IBM, human error contributed to 95% of cybersecurity breaches. Without the opportunity for proper support by your central district IT team, student information may be more vulnerable.
Finding a trusted partner to help you establish smooth processes and support you with top-notch training for every level can take the stress out of district-wide records management.
Consider Unified District Records Management
School and district-level records management can be a tool for student success. District Records Management can offer a simple solution that benefits everyone.
From better security to greater efficiency, a unified solution can offer great benefits to a school district that chooses to take a holistic approach to records management.
By connecting both school-level and district-level records management, school districts can then support the admissions and employment journey of their current students and alumni with a comprehensive, secure and modern experience. But this doesn’t only benefit past and present students — districts are given the opportunity to save money and discover new revenue streams to support key initiatives when they centralize records fulfillment with modern tools.
Interested in learning more? Discover Parchment’s District Records Services today.