Keller Independent School District Builds a Culture Focused on Students
4 min read
Everything that Keller Independent School District (ISD) employees do is focused on providing an exceptional educational experience for students, whether it be teaching in the classroom, maintaining the facilities, or offering support and guidance for students and staff alike. This commitment to student success is evident in all of the school district’s business processes, many of which have been automated and streamlined using Laserfiche enterprise content management (ECM). The school district now uses Laserfiche in almost all of its departments, increasing efficiency. This has resulted in staff time being redirected to address students’ needs, while also building stronger interpersonal relationships among staff members.
Keller ISD serves more than 35,000 students across Tarrant County, Texas, and employs more than 4,000 staff members. During a recent period of rapid growth, it became clear that there was a lack of uniformity across major business processes. Each department was leveraging a different ECM solution, and each team had their own way of managing core business processes and procedures. This created information silos, which delayed processes and built a culture of mistrust due to a lack of accountability.
New employee onboarding was one process in particular that lacked consistency. “Before Laserfiche the process was essentially a bunch of phone calls and hand-waves,” said Clinton Mehta, systems integration architect at Keller ISD. “It could take weeks, even months, before the process was complete because the process was different depending on the person or department involved.”
Previously, the onboarding process included more than 30 pages of paperwork that needed to be filled out manually. Once new employees completed the paperwork, they would have to physically mail in the documents or deliver them on-site. From there, the process varied from case to case.
Today, the process is completely automated using Laserfiche. The district implemented electronic forms in order to enable new employees to submit their required information online instead of being handed a pile of paperwork to fill out and return. After submission, an automated workflow shepherds the documents through the necessary reviews and approvals. Onboarding can now be completed in a matter of days rather than months, and all parties involved are kept up to date on the progress.
“The HR onboarding process was a quick win that we could use as a selling point to promote adoption in other departments,” said Joe Griffin, chief technology officer at Keller ISD. “There was an initial resistance to adoption because the trust and understanding was not there. This successful implementation in HR was the catalyst for a district-wide adoption.”
Reimagining Student Records
With the success of automating HR onboarding, the Keller ISD team wanted to use Laserfiche to completely reimagine how the district manages student records.
“There is one story that comes to mind when I think about how student records were managed before Laserfiche,” said Mehta. “We had an employee who was transferring student files to another location, and she had placed the folders in her Gucci bag. She had made a pit stop along the way, left the designer bag in her car, and someone broke into the car and stole the bag! Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
Today, the district leverages Laserfiche to manage enrollment documents, test scores, sensitive personal information, legal documents, special education records and more. Laserfiche has enabled the team to centralize student information, manage the lifecycle of documents and automate routine tasks related to records. Authorized employees have easy access to accurate and up-to-date student information, and can seamlessly process student transfers. The electronic records management system has also helped the school district to standardize filing and better enforce records management policies, supporting regulatory compliance.
“Keller ISD is considered a pioneer in student records management, with other districts looking to them as the marquee example,” said Cody Bettis, CEO of DocuNav Solutions, the Laserfiche Solution Provider that supports Keller ISD’s implementation. “It’s exciting to see the district lead the way for tech innovation within the K-12 space.”
“It’s quite an accomplishment to have other districts mimicking our solution for student records,” said Griffin. “We have set up our system in such a way that if we were to ever change our registration system or process, we can easily migrate our workflows so nothing is lost and there isn’t a gap in performance. This has a major impact on student success, and it’s exciting to support our district’s mission through IT support.”
Looking Ahead with Laserfiche
Keller ISD has received a significant return on investment with Laserfiche. In addition to streamlining business processes and creating transparency throughout the district, the district has:
- Replaced five different software systems with a single solution, initially saving the district $100,000, as well as an estimated savings of $70,000 annually.
- Saved more than $11,000 as a result of reducing paper use in core business processes.
- Met the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, which imposes procedural requirements on agencies that wish to collect information from the public.
- Created a culture of collaboration that has enhanced trust among district employees.
“Once we realized the full potential of Laserfiche, we were excited to expand the solution beyond the storage of digital documents,” said Griffin. “An added bonus was that the software doesn’t just streamline processes, but it also builds relationships by creating transparency and providing accountability. That was a major selling point for us.”
Today, Keller ISD uses Laserfiche in almost 100% of the district in departments such as human resources, finance, IT and student services. Looking ahead, Keller ISD has big plans for its use of Laserfiche in the future: With a successful district-wide implementation, the Keller ISD team is exploring how they can use the technology beyond administrative operations, and to improve processes for students and their families. Some of the student- and family-facing processes that the Keller ISD team plans to enhance with Laserfiche include student enrollment and registration, field trip permissions, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) practicum applications and processes.