Schools have long been notorious for their paper consumption. There are notices sent home that often never make it out of the backpack and student records that take up space and need to be kept secure. This is just the tip of the iceberg of how much paper is used by schools. However, with today’s technology, more schools are choosing to go paperless with not only textbooks, but also with how they communicate with parents and maintain student records. Here are just three of the reasons why schools are choosing to go paperless.
Cuts Money Spent on Paper and More
One of the biggest reasons schools choose to go paperless is to save money. There are startup costs when making the switch, but the return on investment is quickly realized from the savings that going paperless provides. The amount of paper that is normally purchased in bulk is greatly reduced, but other major expenses are reduced also, including:
- Purchases of printer ink and toner for copy machines
- Repair and replacement of printers and copy machines
- Purchases of file cabinets for safekeeping of student files
- Costs for disposing of paper waste, which can account for up to 40 percent of a school’s waste
Increases Communication, Efficiency and Productivity
Instead of sending a flyer home with a student, notifications can be sent digitally to parents along with reminders with links for making various payments, as needed. For example, a reminder to replenish a lunch money account can be automated instead of sending a paper notice that might never be seen by a parent.
Going paperless allows school staff to become more efficient and productive as less time is spent dealing with piles of paperwork. Digitizing processes cuts down tedious tasks such as processing, filing and managing numerous pages of documents. And it lessens the possibility of important documents from being lost or destroyed.
Provides Enhanced Security for Student Information
Theft of personal information is a serious threat for everyone, including children. Confidential paperwork that contains social security numbers and other private information needs to be protected. Keeping track of who can access paper documents and preventing unauthorized access can be a challenge. Switching to a paperless system allows schools to store all their data in a centralized location where it can be protected and quickly updated as needed. The system allows its administrator the ability to see who accesses information and when changes are made to it through audit trails.