Top 5 Signs Your Department Is Inefficient

Posted 2 months ago by Justin Smith

All schools and all departments aim for efficiency, however this is often not the case.  No one seeks to be inefficient, but we see it happening constantly. We’re not talking about cramming more students into a classroom to spread teachers wider or asking faculty to cover more content – we’re referring to departmental and administrative efficiency.

Missplaced paperwork, missing laptops, outdated parent contact information and student health files are just some of the problems that inefficiency in schools can cause. Do these issues sound familiar? Here are some of the top signs that your department is running inefficiently as well as some ways to increase productivity:

1) You’re Still Collecting Paper Attendance

If your school is still sending students to the office with paper attendance every period, there is a huge problem.  Stop living in the dark ages and urge your school to adopt new technology. There are multitudes of types of software to automate this process for you, like SchoolTool and PowerSchool.  Easily take attendance every period, mark tardies, and view absences digitally.  Plus, this doesn’t require a student from every class to be wandering the halls or missing vital instruction time.

2) Your Gradebook is Literally a Book

Again, even the most technologically desolate schools seem to have adopted an online gradebook.  The same software companies previously stated in #1 also include automated gradebooks. This is great for saving time when inputting grades, creating assignments, calculating averages, and seeing who owes what.  Most also allow parent access, so you will be rid of parent emails and phone calls asking what assignments Johnny hasn’t completed. Also, by digitizing student report cards and progress reports, your school ensures they will actually be seen by the parent and not “lost” in the mail.

3) Your Correspondence with Parents Usually Ends up Crumpled on the Hallway Floor

If you are still sending home notices to parents/guardians via handouts to students, do you really believe that any parent is getting that information? I don’t know about you, but those are usually the pieces of paper that our janitors clean out of lockers at the end of the year.  Using a software such as Script allows you to be in contact with parents whenever you need to relay information.  Upcoming field trip? Want to schedule a Parent- Teacher Conference? Need to let them know about a school day cancellation?  All can be done by a number of different apps, like Script, in a no time at all.  Plus, your cutting down on paper waste.  Win- win.

4) Student Files are in an Actual Filing Cabinet

By digitizing student records, we eliminate a ton of potential problems.  Stolen records, missing paperwork, faded and ripped documents, copies that are never returned; the list goes on and on.  By uploading student records to an automated system, you eliminate your bulky, space taking paper files and are guaranteed that they will be password protected, therefore much safer. Having the files saved to a cloud database is also easier and quicker to access for all involved. Staff can easily and immediately send needed documents as an email attachment rather than wasting several days through the mail.

5) You Still Use Paper Receipts and Have To Track People Down For Signatures

This one’s for my office workers.  Imagine automatic payments and documentation with no more tedious paperwork. By conducting all of your transactions electronically, you can immediately email the recipient their receipt while also having a copy saved to your cloud database where you can access at any time. Your spreadsheets can be easily accessed and altered if needed, and in case of an audit, you won’t have to spend hours filing through paperwork and receipts.  This is also super helpful when trying to communicate and confirm spending of school clubs and organizations. Sharing a digital form or spreadsheet with the advisors and allowing them to fill in and upload their information can save you the hassle of tracking them down.  This is also helpful when handling time-off requests and employee paperwork.

Electronic signatures are actually safer than your typical pen to paper type because of encrypted technology that assures you will have traceable evidence of who signed it, where, and when. Paper signatures can be copied and forged, but electronic signatures are extremely valid.  Plus, it’s quick, and anyone who can click a button or use an app can do it.