School records: History on a disk?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2002

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It will now be more convenient for city high school alumni to obtain a transcript, even if the graduation date was as far back as the 1940s.

The Troy City Board of Education accepted a bid at Monday’s board meeting for a new Electronic Document Management System, which will transform 44 filing cabinets of records into computer data.

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The bid was awarded to Casto Information Management out of Huntsville for the amount of $43,865.75, and two city representatives will also be sent to Ohio for training.

CIM will also give central office a head start by putting all records to date on CD.

"We’re probably behind in this. We’ve been talking about this for years," said Marie VonFeldt, secretary to the superintendent.

"Mr. Jones (superintendent) just knew it needed to be done. In this day, it’s a poor way to keep records, especially on paper because paper burns," VonFeldt said.

School records have been previously copied on a copying machine. However, that is after someone wades through the formidable sea of records that have been collected for more than 60 years.

There is a file for every student who ever entered high school, even if he or she did not graduate. There is still a record that at least says he did not finish.

People who are interested in getting Social Security benefits have to prove their age and school records are often used for that purpose, according to VonFeldt.

If anybody knows about dealing with transcripts, Rick Stetson, a counselor at CHHS for 20 years, knows. He has seen many generations of transcripts pass through his office.

"Transcripts are already computerized. All we have to do is hit the print button and we have a copy," Stetson said.

For students currently enrolled at CHHS, a transcript has been a button away for at least ten years.

However, for students who have already graduated, the defining sheet of paper is buried with the tomb of 44 filing cabinets of storage.

"What this will do is help with storage, because after a certain amount of time space becomes limited. This will stream line things and make the operation much more efficient. Not to mention, it will take up less space. There’s not enough space in the room to keep adding filing cabinets. This is a good solution to the problem," Stetson said.

After each senior class has graduated, the computer is prepared for a new senior class by clearing out all the old information about the former.

"Once the students have graduated they are bumped out of the computer system and the records are then kept on paper. Right now, everybody who has graduated is limited to strictly hard copy.

We don’t have a computer program for a student from say five years ago. We have to dig that information out of a folder,"Stetson said.

The records that are saved deal with information such as old report cards, immunization records and attendance.