Amanda Christ, Management Information Systems (MIS) assistant for West Chicago Community High School District #94, has several years of experience with DocStar. She is so familiar with the document management solution, in fact, that she tends to use it as a verb.
“I’ve been DocStar-ing since 2003 when I first worked here as a student scanning documents,” she said. “When you need something quick, DocStar lets you scan it and put it on a thumb drive or disk right away, or just view the document on-screen.”
Community High School has more than 2,100 students from the surrounding communities of West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Wheaton and Carol Stream. Within its walls, the District #94 “Wildcats” have developed a reputation for academic achievement, a robust band and choir curriculum, a strong sports program and an award-winning student newspaper.
Members of the school’s five-member MIS team also have developed a glowing reputation with the 150 teachers who make up their primary client group. As far as those educators are concerned, the speed and accuracy they have come to expect from the MIS department has made them rock stars of the data world.
“Whenever the teachers need something fast, we can always find it for them,” Christ said. “We retrieve the file, convert it to a PDF and e-mail it to them in a few minutes’ time.”
“I especially like the retrieval option,” she added. “When you look something up, it shows you the entire document, not just a title or only part of a page.”
The ease and convenience of DocStar has gained favor at the school as other users have discovered the power of document management and instant retrieval.
“It has really started to spread around,” Christ said. “The registrar uses it very frequently and the school board secretary uses it to look up dates and gather information for the everyday events.”
Community High School – which celebrated its 100th year of serving West Chicago and neighboring cities in 2008 – has been keeping all of its student health records and transcripts on file since 1920. Today, every one of those records is readily available thanks to DocStar – totaling more than 40,000 documents and nearly 800,000 pages.
As a result, the work-intensive and often frustrating process of pulling files, making copies and mailing documents to former students or their parents has been streamlined to the point where it takes hardly any time at all between receiving the request and providing the needed information.
“The registrar now looks it up on the computer instead of having to dig for the right information,” Christ explained. “In our case, we don’t have to get up and go to the storage room nearly as much as we used to – DocStar is our ‘electronic filing cabinet.’ And if an employee needs something like a health record immediately, we can PDF it and e-mail it to them right away,” she added.
Community High School may have hit the centennial mark, but its brightest days appear to be ahead. DocStar will continue to play a key role in writing those future chapters, as it is used to compile up-to-date board packets, keep teachers supplied with information and handle records requests – and all of it is solved in a matter of minutes instead of days.
“DocStar is excellent in a school situation because there’s so much data to retrieve,” Christ said. “When you need to find something, it gets you to the data you’re looking for – fast.