If you are a school administrator or a teacher, a mountain of paperwork probably passes through your fingers — or your office — every year. Each student generates a ton of files throughout their school year, including assignments, report cards, field trip approvals, standardized tests, health records, and more. Other documents you may need or use include meeting minutes from parent-teacher conferences or PTA and other meetings; attendance sheets; and bus schedules among a plethora of others.
Keeping this information organized and easy to access is cumbersome when these documents are in paper form — and paper documentation also makes it much more difficult to be compliant with data privacy regulations such as FERPA and HIPAA. With so much on your plate during the school year, how can schools both organize and protect all of the documentation they generate? The answer is simple — adopt a document management system.
Document Management and Schools — A Perfect Partnership
A document management system (DMS) offers schools a smart, cost-effective way to organize, protect, and store critical documents. In general, such a system provides greater ease and efficiency, minimizes file loss and errors, stores documents efficiently, and keeps data protected. But landmark benefits include things such as:
- Reducing the Time and Errors Inherent in Manual Work
When teachers or administrators must process many paper documents, there is a lot of room for papers to get lost, mis-transcribed, or even stolen. Handling paper data is time-inhibitive and sharing the data typically requires several steps. The document must be found, changed if there are changes to be made, a copy must be provided to an authorized individual, the original and copy must both be securely filed and stored after they are used. Much time is often lost searching for misfiled documents and money spent copying — and recopying — files for distribution. Digitizing files increased interaction speed among authorized users, reduces the need for costly storage space, and makes handling information more securely simple.
- Reducing Costs
As we mentioned, digital documents can be easily shared without the expense of creating multiple paper copies. Not only does this reduce reliance upon paper, but it also reduces wear and tear on printers and copiers and lowers the cost of ink, toner, and other printer supplies. Labor costs decline and teachers can focus on mission-critical tasks such as lesson planning and mentoring once the onus of collating, copying, printing, and filing are removed.
- Reducing Risk
Ransomware and other hacker tricks are now making their way into the public and private school systems, particularly since many schools have embraced online learning in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, a total of 57% of total cybersecurity incidents recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were aimed at K-12 school organizations. Deploying document management technology can assist schools in closing security gaps through built-in protocols such as access controls, routine auditing, and continual software updates and patches.
The ability to construct strict privacy settings, regularly change and monitor passwords, examine audit logs to determine if users are legitimate, and keep control of privileges as roles changes are invaluable ways to keep sensitive data protected — and minimize the risk of breaches and their associated damages.
Let Perry proTECH Design a Custom-Tailored DMS for Your School
School administrators and staff already have a lot on their plates as we head into our first post-pandemic year. Adapting to changing learning environments is still problematic for some districts as they struggle to cope with both in-person and distance learning situations.
The team of document management experts at Perry proTECH can help your school get control of your paper documentation and implement a DMS that is custom-tailored to the specific needs and goals of your organization. Using a DMS to archive, organize, retrieve, change, and share critical information can not only help your school stay organized, but it can also reduce staff frustration, streamline efficiency, cut down on unnecessary costs, and keep you compliant with applicable data privacy regulations. Plus, your DMS can help you more smoothly integrate both in-person and remote learners for fast, easy sharing of critical teaching aids, supplements, and other learning tools.
Stay organized and protected while keeping your budget under control. Contact a Perry proTECH consultant and learn how a document management solution from our team can assist your school in having your most successful year yet.