Customer Appreciation Week 2020 – Daviess County Public Schools Uses Electronic Forms to Improve Communication with Parents and Students and Store Transcripts Digitally

DocuWare’s third annual Customer Appreciation Week is still going strong! July 16 is the next official Get to Know Your Customer Day but at DocuWare, we celebrate in June – and why leave it to just one day? Each day this week, we celebrate our customers. Visit our Modern Digital Business blog to read their DocuWare success stories.

Daviess logoDaviess County Public Schools (DCPS) in Owensboro, Kentucky, serves approximately 11,700 students in grades pre-K through 12 in 18 schools. The District has two administrative offices and about 2,000 employees.

District Software Specialist Jessica Roark championed the DocuWare Cloud initiative. Her goal was to make operations more efficient by implementing electronic forms, digitizing transcripts and other documentation, freeing up storage space, and automatically enforcing state-mandated retention schedules.

DCPS schools had traditionally collected and exchanged information with parents on paper documents - a process that was time-consuming, inefficient, and frustrating. “On the first day of school, students had to bring home a folder’s worth of paper forms. Parents with more than one child had to fill out the same information on multiple forms. That wasn’t convenient for anyone,” she explains. “I knew that developing digital forms would make this process so much easier for our parents as well as our staff. Our student information system had basic online registration capabilities. DocuWare enabled us to go to the next level and provide all other registration and permission forms electronically. This helped with our goal to become a paper-lite district.”

With DocuWare, parents receive an email with a link to web forms they can fill out on their home computers. DocuWare Forms uses conditional logic to ensure that parents only receive forms that apply to activities their child is involved in. For example, only the parents of children who participate in sports receive athletic permission forms. Because filling out an electronic form is faster, easier and more user-friendly than hand-writing information on a paper form, parents respond more quickly. When the digital forms are received by the District offices, they are automatically indexed and stored using secure digital technology.

Digital archiving improves searchability and compliance for transcripts

“We used an old program to archive transcripts and were looking for something more modern with better search capabilities,” Jessica says. “Now we can search by name, birthdate and other index data.” This makes their work lives much easier, especially when dealing with handwritten transcripts from the 1960s and ’70s.

Employees no longer keep track of retention schedules manually. Because different document types are purged on different schedules, keeping track of retention schedules on paper was a daunting task. For example, attendance data must be kept for 20 years while health information obtained by school nurses is kept for only five years. Now, DocuWare workflows automatically enforce retention schedules established by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to make compliance easier and more transparent. State auditors review retention practices, and it's much easier to provide them with requested documents.

Electronic forms increase the ability to deal with new challenges

Daviess laptopDuring the COVID-19 crisis, DocuWare facilitated device assignments, which were necessary when teachers took laptops and other equipment home so they could teach online classes. Each teacher signed a form to record the equipment they were taking home. Electronic forms were accessed on an iPad, so teachers could sign them out with minimal interaction with other staff.

“Some people think office automation is only for big companies, but it has tremendous benefits for school systems,” Jessica says. “DocuWare is used by seven departments in the DCPS district and its usage continues to expand. Each department has identified a challenge area. For example, automating W-2s was a huge help to our HR and Finance departments, and it was relatively simple to do. Other departments hear about the new project and it gives them ideas about what they want to do.”

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