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Streamlining Education with Document Management Systems for Schools

4 min read


Updated March 11, 2024


The amount of administrative information that follows students, teachers, and administrators throughout and even beyond their time at school can be expansive and complex. Educators and students rely on documents daily to conduct activities and maintain operations in educational institutions. Besides the traditional challenges with filing, tracking, and storing these reports and records, COVID-19 and virtual learning accelerated a need for better access, workflows, and security. Document management systems provide the necessary solutions for schools to streamline their workflows and make the best use of limited resources.


What is a document management system?


Document management for schools refers to a digital system that helps in organizing, storing, and retrieving documents efficiently. It eliminates the need for physical storage spaces and reduces the time spent on searching for specific files or documents. Document management systems provide educators with the technology to control the creation and access to all types of documents by creating securely stored and centrally located electronic files. In a document management system, a digital file can be viewed or edited by an individual only if they have the proper authorization. By implementing a document management system, schools can store, retrieve, and track the use of all electronic documents.


The need for document management in schools


Schools handle a vast amount of paperwork daily. From student admission forms to staff employment records, academic transcripts to financial statements - managing these manually can be a daunting and inefficient task. The traditional methods of document management are not only time-consuming but also prone to errors and misplacement.

Implementing document management for schools can revolutionize how educational institutions handle their paperwork. It offers an efficient way to store, retrieve, and manage documents digitally while ensuring data security and compliance with regulatory standards.


Five benefits of document management for schools


The electronic storage of documents can benefit educational institutions in many ways. Here are five things to keep in mind.


1. Improve efficiency and streamline operational workflows


With electronic document access, finding the item needed is greatly simplified. There is no more digging through binders, file cabinets, or even a local hard drive. Electronic document management for schools provides powerful search capabilities that make accessing information easier. A system that includes workflow capability lets you streamline your processes for consistency and automate them to follow your protocols. For example, a letter that needs to be signed by a teacher, guidance counselor, and principal can be pre-set in a document management system to request the letter and move it forward for signature with a deadline. Digital signatures can be incorporated into the workflow, and an alert can be sent as a reminder. Users have visibility to where a process is at any given time, allowing inquiries to be answered promptly without the paper chase.


2. Provide greater document security


The storage of student information today involves many aspects of that child or young adult, including academic records, physical and mental health data, and disciplinary procedures. Papers on desks or in filing cabinets can result in unwanted access to personal student data. In a document management system, all electronic documents are stored in a secure, encrypted form that controls who can create, view, update, or delete documents. This type of system ensures only authorized people can access the information along with providing a thorough record of file access and denials, making it easier to demonstrate compliance.


3. Reduce costs and gain space


Digital storage and management of electronic documents allows people to find what they need easily while dramatically reducing paper, printing, courier fees, and shipping costs. A document management system allows authorized users access to the information they need from any of the school district buildings or university campuses, remote offices, or desktops at home. Paper-based systems also consume valuable real estate in schools with large cumbersome file cabinets. A digital system maintains proper record retention while allowing floor space previously allocated for files to be used for additional office space, cubicles, meeting spaces, classrooms, equipment storage, or whatever the school needs most.


4. Access information remotely

The changes toward remote staff and distance learning call for a new way to manage documents from creation to distribution, storage, sharing, and security. Schools that adopt a document management system have immediate and secure access to files from anywhere at any time. Educators can route assignments, coordinate group correspondence, and access any other documents securely while supporting distance learning or working remotely.


5. Mitigate risk and maintain compliance


The increasing number of regulations and the severe penalties that can result from noncompliance are a motivator for schools to store documents electronically and automate their records retention schedules. FERPA regulations that govern the privacy rights of students and parents, HIPAA laws that regulate access to private health information, and other rules, regulations, and policies can be monitored and audited effortlessly in detail with document management for schools. Letters providing prior written consent for disclosure, records of consent exception, and other critical information can all be stored and associated with pertinent files. Having files stored digitally could also protect your school records in case of a disaster.


Implementing document management for schools


The implementation of a document management system in a school involves several steps. The first step is identifying the types of documents the school handles and their respective workflows. This is followed by electronic scanning of the paper records to digitize them and move them into a secure document management system.

Once the system is in place, staff members should be trained in how to use it effectively. This includes understanding how to upload documents, retrieve them, and maintain their security. It's also essential to establish a regular schedule for backing up data to prevent loss.


Get started with document management for schools


Schools create a plethora of paper records – from registration records to permission slips to student health forms. Now is the time to put your school on the path to electronic efficiency with a document management system. The Digital Transformation Team at EO Johnson Business Technologies have years of expertise in bulk document scanning and document management for schools.

If you still have pandemic recovery funds available from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding program, now is the time to invest in digitizing and document management before those funds run out in September of 2024.


We can help you kick off the discussion, assess your school’s needs, and analyze the scope of a digital transformation project. Free up your educators and staff from the burden of traditional file keeping for the betterment of your school.



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