4 benefits automated data sharing can have for your schools

Schools are mandated by law to frequently share student information with parents for a myriad of different reasons, from permission slips to vaccination records. Regardless of the reason, schools should have a cost-efficient and reliable system in place to ensure files are delivered securely and on time. As managing paper records and using traditional mailing methods to send these important documents can be expensive and risky, districts will benefit from implementing an electronic data sharing solution. Here are four of the benefits most schools see after digitizing their data sharing strategies.

1. Comply with FERPA
Schools must adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which requires that schools provide access to documents no longer than 45 days after parents or students have requested them. When administrators rely on traditional mailing and have to gather the appropriate student data from a sea of paperwork, they’re at risk of failing to deliver the files within this time frame. This is especially true if administrators haven’t been efficient with updating the student records with new data. If they aren’t able to provide the information within the set time period, they may also be at risk of losing government and state funding.

Systems such as ParentShare Gateway and Central Records Gateway are able to automate access and/or electronically deliver student reports and documents. Schools don’t have to worry about forms taking too long in the mail. It’s also easy to add new information and reports to existing records. After all, timely delivery is only half the battle when it comes to adhering to FERPA, as student data must be entirely accurate. Online student solutions ensure this is possible before and after the requested information is shared with parents.

Sharing digital files eliminates many of the risks associated with mailing paper documents to parents.Sharing digital files eliminates many of the risks associated with mailing paper documents to parents.

“Paper records have traditionally been considered accurate, although not necessarily complete or accessible,” explained the National Center for Education Statistics. “Maintaining data quality as information is shared, analyzed and reported is a characteristic of a well-designed [online] system.”

2. Engage parents
According to research conducted by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, when parents are involved in their children’s academic performance, students do better in school and are even healthier overall. However, mailing key information, such as progress reports, puts this data at risk of being lost or not being shared with parents. When these files are delivered electronically to parents’ email addresses, these risks are eliminated. This ultimately enhances communication between parents, their children and the school.

Research has shown that parent engagement doesn’t only benefit students. It’s also found that teachers and principals are more likely to have higher morale and an increase in job satisfaction, according to 2010 research article  “Home-School Relations: Working Successfully with Parents and Families” by Dr. Glen Olsen and Dr. Mary Lou Fuller. The research also pointed to the fact that schools that strive for good parent-teacher relationships also establish better reputations among the community and have higher-quality school programs compared to schools without engaged parents.

“Printing and mailing can end up costing your schools thousands of dollars.”

3. Save on costs
There are a number of ways in which schools save when they implement an automated student data sharing system. Santa Rose City Schools in California, for example, recently reported that it costs them about $2,500 to mail one round of report cards to parents, according to The Press Democrat. Printing and mailing can end up costing your schools thousands of dollars that could be spent on student programs and other important investments.

Online data sharing solutions also free up staff members who would be organizing and mailing paperwork, allowing them to take on other tasks. Electronic file sharing also mitigates the risk of losing funding as a result of failure to comply with FERPA.

4. Secure transfers
When sensitive student data is sent through the mail, it’s always at risk of getting lost or winding up in the wrong hands. ParentShare Gateway features password protection so only authorized school personnel, students and parents can gain access. This is essential as schools work to comply to privacy regulations like FERPA and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Central Records Gateway expands on the secure collection of student documents by making all information pertaining to each child individually and constantly accessible to their guardian through an online password-protected portal.

SRC Solutions Announces PowerSchool User Group Gold Sponsorship for 2016

SRC Solutions’ Gateway Suite is a Gold Sponsor of the PowerSchool User Groups for 2016 providing school districts with cohesive integrated solutions for PowerSchool.

PowerSchool User Group Conference starting July 18th as well as every PowerSchool User Group Conference thus far in 2016. SRC Solutions has been providing integrated solutions for PowerSchool districts since 2010 and will be showcasing two additions to the SRC Solutions Gateway Suite.
Many PowerSchool districts have come to know SRC Solutions for the Registration Gateway platform which provides seamless data integration to PowerSchool customers for online student registration as well as integrated direct scan document capture technology.
At this years’ National PowerSchool User Group Conference, SRC Solutions will be presenting the following complementary solutions to Registration Gateway.

Safe Kids Gateway

Safe Kids Gateway is a solution born from the need for a uniform solution to capture volunteer and employee safety clearances in schools, towns, camps and sports. Safe Kids Gateway provides your company, school or organization a simple and effective way to clear employees and volunteers through what is today a cumbersome, ineffective and unsecured paper process. Safe Kids Gateway manages the information intake, approvals, notification and record tracking.

Central Records Gateway

Central Records Gateway Student Records Management is a multi-faceted platform where districts can accomplish many tasks with the click of a button. Instead of storing documents in warehouses and filing cabinets, school administrators can access them via Central Records through email, text, phone, tablet or computer. Central Records Gateway can even be expanded beyond the student record to incorporate Human Resources and Business Office records.

“SRC Solutions is excited once again to be a Gold Sponsor for the National PowerSchool User Group Conference. Our philosophy all along has been one of redefining school district workflows for efficiency and cost savings. PowerSchool users are some of the most instrumental K-12 educators at positively affecting change in efficiency for their school districts and we are excited to continue partnering with these districts now and in the future.” said Patrick Maher, CEO, SRC Solutions, Inc.

About SRC Solutions, Inc.
SRC Solutions’ flagship product Registration Gateway has had a long and successful partnership with K12 school districts. Being a technology leader is nothing new to SRC Solutions. Going all the way back to 2008, Registration Gateway was one of the first Online Enrollment solutions to offer real-time data integration to Student Information Systems and integrated document scanning and management.

About PowerSchool User Group.
PowerSchool User Group is a collection of users of PowerSchool software across the world and not affiliated with PowerSchool Group LLC. PowerSchool users provide informational sessions to allow other users to learn from their experiences in their every day use of the application.

Phishing scams 101: Tips for protecting student data

Phishing scams 101: Tips for protecting student data


In the digital age, technology is continuing to change and enhance almost every aspect of our lives. Schools in particular have benefited considerably from the introduction of digital platforms, which are increasingly replacing outdated paperless solutions. Platforms, such as school admissions software, can streamline the complex and detailed process of registration and store valuable patient data in a convenient and accessible way.

As with any data storage platform, however, sensitive information is vulnerable to theft from cybercriminals. According to Digital Guardian, cyber attacks have grown in frequency in recent years, and particularly phishing attacks, which your school district could be at risk from.

“Cyber attacks have grown in frequency in recent years.”

What is a phishing scam?
Phishing scams involve the theft of protected data which can enable the criminal to steal an individual’s identity. As Microsoft explained, phishing scams are highly sophisticated attacks that target individuals. They work like this: a school administrator may receive a faux email from an ostensibly reputable source, such as the principle or superintendent. The email will contain a URL link or attachment, which the recipient will be instructed to open or download. If the victim complies with the directions, the attachment or link will install malicious software on his or her computer, allowing the criminal to steal the protected student data.

Student information is particularly valuable to a cyber criminal because it may contain parental information such as home addresses and social security numbers. Sometimes a criminal will access the protected data in the same way, but instead of stealing the information will instead hold it hostage. This is known as a ransomware attack.

While phishing scams are somewhat rare, given the uptick in incidences in recent times, it’s important to be prepared. Here are a list of tips.

The number of nationwide phishing scams is increasing. The number of nationwide phishing scams is increasing.

How to avoid phishing scams

  • Educate all of your staff about how to recognize a potential phishing scam. There are usually a number of telltale signs that an email is inauthentic, Microsoft argued. Firstly, the email may contain a high number of grammatical errors. This is a big red flag that the message is from a malicious source, as most professional or official emails are checked for spelling errors. The second sign is to feel out what may seem unusual. Phishing emails will typical ask the victim to surrender important data, Norton reported. This may seem odd, especially if the supposed sender – such as the superintendent for example – hasn’t made such a request before. Staff should be instructed to always double check that an email is authentic before complying with instructions.
  • Hold routine training seminars to ensure that everyone is educated on your school district’s cyber security protocols.
  • Ensure that each school has an up-to-date and comprehensive cyber security infrastructure in place. This includes platforms such as anti-virus software and firewalls, Panda Security explained.
  • Have experts come in and routinely inspect the IT system for any problems or potential security threats.
  • Stay calm and exercise common sense. Most scams are easily recognizable. Use a level head and best judgment.
Registration Gateway