document management Archives - Registration Gateway

What does your school look like when the dust settles?

Let’s face it – going back to school is a drag for everyone involved. Kids whine, parents have to replace all the outgrown school clothes and fill out all the paperwork, but the school staff have it worst of all – they’re left with the kids still sluggishly getting back into their school routine AND the mass amounts of documentation that comes with them. Registration packets may seem easy from the parents’ point of view, but registrars must tap into their inner cryptologists to decipher thousands of different handwritings, make calls to summon parents who left blanks in their paperwork, and then delegate all the paperwork to the proper person or file without losing a single sheet of paper. And that’s not even the half of it.

For most school districts, school choice is decided by a complicated set of factors, not just the potential students’ residential addresses. Economic status, special or gifted education needs, older siblings already assigned to a specific building – all these reasons and more can be used to assign students to the proper building within a district. This can be a slow, tedious, error-riddled process during registration time, because secretaries and registrars must work as fast as possible to make sure every student has a seat in their school on the quickly approaching first day. Throw in all the parents who register their kids on the last acceptable day and you’ve got utter chaos.

Once the registration information has been given and the students have been delegated to their proper buildings, those enrollment documents still have a long way to go before they can rest in their folders back in the main office. Copies of medical information must be made for the nurse, who must then relay health information to cafeteria staff, athletic staff, and to specific teachers. Address information must be given to transportation, and bus routes must be made quickly and with the utmost efficiency. Teachers and aides must be given student information pertaining to any specific needs of the children under their supervision.

After the chaos of registration is over, and all the students have a seat on their bus, in their classroom, and away from any allergens in the lunchroom, the documents must be sorted into their proper homes, usually within large file cabinets near the secretary (who may be looking a little too weary for just the first day of school).

Intervention Time.

Schools using a paper-based system have become very used to the whirlwind of tasks that comes right before the onset of a new school year, but there will always be mistakes. Parents will always leave blanks on forms, secretaries will always make typos when translating parent handwriting, and paper will always tear or go missing.

So it’s time for an intervention. It’s 2016 – it’s time to go digital. There are now highly sophisticated software solutions that allow technology to handle all student data from registration information, to automation of school choice decisions, to storage of student information in an easily accessible yet intensely secure digital warehouse.

It’s too accessible and secure not to switch to digital document storing, just ask the East Baton Rouge School Parish System, who just last year had a case of confidential student files stolenby an employee and hidden for over a year – some files are still missing. It’s too inconvenient for staff not to allow parents to register their children for school online (and the parents won’t complain, either), just ask the registration staff from Millburn Township Public Schools, who have eliminated months of staff effort and manual data entry in preparing for student registration by implementing Registration Gateway. It’s too simple and honest not to ensure the fairness and equality of a school lottery process using technology, just ask the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and Public Advocates, who just this month have flagged 253 charter schools for using discriminatory admissions processes.

How can software solutions help with these processes?

Online portals can allow parents to enter registration information, including school choice preferences, which immediately becomes available for review by the secretary at the office. With thorough digital processes, parents cannot move on to the next phase of registration without filling in all information deemed necessary by the school. Handbooks can even be scanned and made available during this process, saving a few trees and ensuring that parents must go through every page and accept the school’s terms and conditions. This saves a ton of money in paper and printing costs for school districts and simultaneously gathers the signed contracts from the parents. This is just one example of the flexibility of new digital record technology. What sets certain solutions apart from cookie-cutter digital forms is whether or not this information can flow directly into the SIS.

As aforementioned, each school district has a unique way of setting the rules for their student lottery. This may be to ensure that bus routes are as efficient as possible, or to make sure that each building within a district has the same amount of students receiving free and reduced lunch. School choice automating software uses algorithms to take a district’s specific rules and apply them fairly to students entering the lottery. It assigns a “weight” to each student measured by the factors determined by the school, and this allows the system to decide in which building the student should be assigned. This prevents parents from crying foul play if their child doesn’t get their first choice. It also prevents school personnel from tampering with the fairness of the process.

Finally, record-keeping software can provide a digital warehouse where each student’s file lives – saving a lot of space in the office previously inhabited by filing cabinets. It stores every document within the system, from the photocopy of the guardian’s ID card to the photo waiver that needs signing in order to take pictures of the kids during school. In short, every piece of data that has been in paper form – report cards, detention slips, hearing and vision tests – can now be stored online. This means that piece of paper with Johnny’s allergies – the one that went from doctor to parent to secretary to school nurse to cafeteria staff to teacher and back to the file – has simply been online the whole time. No photocopying, no lost documents, no liability.

There are a thousand reasons to go digital, but only one solution to all these issues – and that would be the Gateway Suite.

a father helps his son with homework, which positively impacts student success

How does sharing academic progress with parents impact student success?

When districts digitize their student documents, many workflows and everyday tasks become easier with less room for error. One such process is keeping academic information accurate and updated. This must be done to ensure parents are aware of student progress and able to provide the right support at home. Why is this important? Research has shown that simply sharing progress reports and similar academic documents with parents can have a major impact on student success.

Sharing academic data leads to greater parent involvement
Parent involvement is key to ensuring that students are continuously making academic progress. One study by researchers at North Carolina State University, Brigham Young University and the University of California-Irvine found that the support parents provide for students has a larger influence on academic progress than any other factors at school, including teaching efforts put forth by educators. When you look at how long students are at home versus in school, this becomes less surprising, as they spend a mere 14 percent of their time in the classroom each year, according to “How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School.”

Sharing academic progress with parents enables them to be more helpful at home.Sharing academic progress with parents enables them to be more helpful at home.

How do schools make sure that parents are actively working with students to help them excel in their studies? It’s not only up to the school to have all of the relevant academic information ready to share with parents, but to make an effort to include them in discussions that revolve around student performance.

A 2012 survey by MetLife found that parent engagement has increased dramatically over the past 25 years or so, with 80 percent of parents reporting that their children’s school has helped them understand their academic progress and how to provide the right support at home. One of the reasons for this significant improvement is the ability for schools to digitize their student records.

“With student software, schools are able to maintain up-to-date academic data.”

How can online solutions help?
With online school solutions like SRC Solution’s Central Records Gateway, school administrators are better able to maintain student folders with clean and up-to-date academic data. This is challenging with paper documents, as there’s more room for error when completing millions of student forms with accurate information. Security breaches and misplaced files are also common problems that districts face when dealing with paper forms. When these obstacles are in the way, it’s difficult to keep parents in the loop and provide them with the academic data they need to stay involved in their children’s schooling and contribute to any decisions regarding their education.

“Data-driven decision-making can support schools and districts to facilitate more informed decision-making, enhance overall school performance, and improve student achievement,” explained the The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. “Furthermore, it can help to engage family and community in the process of addressing achievement gaps, improving teaching and learning, and motivating students. Data-driven decision making can also help districts maximize the use of limited funds for the greatest impact on student achievement.”

Online student software like Conference Gateway also streamlines processes required for conference scheduling. Instead of manually signing up for meetings, parents can log into the system at home and choose an open time. After parents book a conference, they can leave messages for the teacher explaining exactly what they want to discuss. This has proven to increase parent engagement at conferences. This is essential, as parent-teacher meetings are where important academic information is shared and teachers are able to suggest ways in which parents can most effectively support their children as they strive to succeed in school.

While parent engagement has increased over the years, districts using paper-based workflows can continue to make improvements by switching to digital student solutions. With software like the ParentShare Gateway from SRC Solutions, updated student data can be shared at the click of a button to keep parents in the know and increase engagement for student success.

Eagle County Schools (CO) and SRC Solutions partner  to make Online Enrollment and Document Scanning a reality

Eagle County Schools implemented a new Online Student Registration Solution called Registration Gateway to streamline the student registration process.

What was typically a paper based process has been transformed into a simplified and automated process of data collection, cleansing and distribution. Registration Gateway has provided Eagle County Schools the ability to take clean and accurate registration information online and feed that data real-time into its PowerSchool Student Information System.

Registration Gateway expertly led our transition from a paper-oriented registration system to a digital, online oriented system, saving our registrars and parents significant time and frustration. Implementation and launch was on-time and seamless. I highly recommend Registration Gateway to any school system thinking about modernizing their registration process.

–  Brian Brugger, Senior Systems Administrator Eagle County Schools.

In addition to the initial deployment of Registration Gateway, Eagle County Schools has chosen to expand the relationship with SRC Solutions by tackling the task of digitizing existing student records with the SRC Solutions Gateway Scan.

“We are looking forward to the additional functionality of the forthcoming Eagle County Schools ScanSite and how it will streamline our daily functions around electronic student records. We’re especially excited about the ability to upload documents in an organized and consistent manner,” said Brugger.

The benefits of the Registration Gateway Solution are two-fold. Registration Gateway saves the district money including the hard costs of paper and printing but also speeds up the registration process allowing district personnel additional time to take on other tasks.

From the parent’s perspective, Registration Gateway allows parents to complete their children’s registration anytime day or night from any internet enabled location of their choice. Registration Gateway also has an integrated scheduling application that allows parents to schedule appointments with Eagle County Registrars to complete the process.

“We are thrilled to have Eagle County Schools as our partner and are even more excited that Eagle has expanded their relationship with SRC Solutions” said Patrick Maher, CEO SRC Solutions, Inc.

About SRC Solutions, Inc.
SRC Solutions flagship product Registration Gateway has had a long and successful partnership with K12 school districts. Being a technology leader is nothing new to SRC Solutions. Whether it is our integration with PowerSchool dating back to 2008 which offered the first Online Enrollment solution to offer real-time data integration of both standard and custom fields into PowerSchool or our completely integrated document management solution Central Records Gateway delivering Electronic Cumulative Folders.

Registration Gateway