New Caney Independent School District, located in the Houston metropolitan area, manages over 15,000 students across 18 schools and facilities. With a growth rate of 7% per year, the district’s enrollment and hiring began rapidly expanding—along with its student records archives, and process and compliance challenges.

When Superintendent Kenn Franklin joined the district, his vision for paperless processes began a five-year plan to completely digitize the district’s records and operations. After receiving a Laserfiche demonstration, New Caney ISD was convinced it could realize this vision through the solution’s robust search, electronic forms and workflow automation.

“Laserfiche is one system with endless capabilities,” said Tammy Yarbrough, records management officer at New Caney Independent School District. “The solution’s user-friendly implementation enabled our small records team to create a searchable, secure database quickly—without investing significant time and resources into learning and training on the system.”

Creating More Efficient Employee Contracts

The district’s initial goal for using Laserfiche centered around updating its HR contract processes. Using Laserfiche Forms, Yarbrough’s team digitized the creation, review and approval of employee contracts, as well as other HR documents like incident reporting, performance evaluations and salary placements. The initiative was a quick win that solidified Laserfiche’s position as a core software system for the district’s administrative operations.

“The deputy superintendent was amazed at the system’s capabilities,” Yarbrough says. “At a meeting about a district issue, he looked at my boss and said, ‘I don’t know what you need to do, but you need to make this ‘Fiche-y.’ We then created a process to help analyze and review the data.”

Digitizing Student Folders Simplifies Compliance

Before Laserfiche, the district lacked a uniform approach to file management. To remedy this, the district digitized over 17,000 cumulative student folders and created electronic folders organized by campus, grade level and student document categories and types.

For both new and archived records, Laserfiche can automatically apply document security by document type and employee role, giving New Caney the ability to assign and track nuanced levels of record access across the district. Additionally, records retention schedules help enable administrators to ensure that student files are destroyed at the right time and help enforce proper compliance throughout the records’ lifecycle.

Yarbrough’s team now uses Laserfiche Forms to build solutions for every student and staff need. Administrators, teachers and staff can also quickly upload documents including new report cards, health forms, attendance notes, athletics physicals and more into the digital student folder. The result is a more accurate, holistic student file that can be accessed on-demand through a web portal.

“With Laserfiche, we will never have lost files,” Yarbrough emphasizes.

Expediting Student Enrollment and Record Transfer

By digitizing student files and forms, the district drastically improved the student enrollment process for both parents and staff. Parents now complete enrollment forms online in the district’s student information system, Skyward, and Laserfiche Workflow automatically files them in the relevant folders in the repository. For returning students, a database lookup populates the students’ information from the previous school year—reducing the number of forms that students and parents have to complete and lessening the document management burden on administrators.

Total enrollment processing time has been reduced by 75%. Additionally, all enrollment forms are available district-wide within 24 hours of submission. Beyond these benefits, the district’s student data is more accurate since Laserfiche eliminated much of the manual data entry and folder creation.

Because all student records are digital, file transfers with other school districts are also expedited. Instead of copying and mailing or scanning an entire paper folder, New Caney ISD created a Laserfiche Form that automatically exports student folders and uploads the files to the Texas Records Exchange, a state-run system for school registrars to electronically request and receive records for students attending Texas public schools. Thousands of pages are transferred seamlessly in just a few minutes.

Benefits

  • The district digitized more than 370,000 HR records, and over 2 million student records and enrollment processes without IT expertise.
  • The district saved over $330,000 by choosing to implement Laserfiche instead of outsourcing records scanning and storage.
  • Student enrollment processing, which formerly took two hours per student, now takes less than 30 minutes, and all forms are available for teachers, counselors and registrars district-wide within 24 hours.
  • Transferring student files from the district’s registrar to state education agencies and other school districts now takes just two minutes instead of 45.
  • Laserfiche has helped the district’s compliance with FERPA and HIPAA regulations, and enabled the district to control and track records access using granular records security.
  • Records retention schedules enable administrators to ensure that files are destroyed on time.
  • Teachers and administrators can now access records from anywhere with an internet connection, rather than being required to physically retrieve documents from a records warehouse.

The success of the initial Laserfiche implementation has led to rapid adoption across all the district’s administrative units. The records team is currently working through a three-month backlog of Laserfiche project requests.

“When others see what Laserfiche can do, they want more,” Yarbrough says. “We can provide administrators with immediate solutions to district issues, like employee onboarding, class coding, and enrollment and implement solutions in a matter of days by using forms and document management. When they ask for something, we can drop everything and can fix it quickly with Laserfiche.”

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