Best Practices for Scanning Student Records in K-12 Schools

3 min read
March 17, 2023

Table of contents

As K-12 schools increasingly move towards digitizing student records, document scanning has become an essential tool in the management of student records. Scanning student records aids schools in transitioning from paper-based system to electronic-based system, and it enhances accessibility, security, and efficiency. In this article, we will discuss some best practices for scanning student records in K-12 schools.

Partnering With A Document Scanning Company

If your school needs to digitize student records, it's important to partner with a document scanning company that offers a full suite of document services. The document scanning and indexing provider should have experience in scanning, indexing, and managing student records, as well as the technical capability to handle the work.

Assess Document Types And Volumes

Except for the control group, which is required by law, routinely thin out unneeded and unnecessary documents from the student record, including a daily bulletin, disciplinary referrals, and duplicates. Assessing document types and volumes aids in identifying the best approaches for digitizing records. This exercise will help the scanning company to identify the scope of work, the turnaround time, and the team needed to complete the project, as well as the equipment and software to be used.

Adhere To Legal And Regulatory Requirements

When scanning student records, it's crucial to comply with the various legal and regulatory requirements set forth in federal laws like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). These laws provide guidance on what information can be scanned, stored or shared, and who is authorized to access, manage, or dispose of student records. Therefore, ensure the company you select is conversant with all applicable rules and regulations.

Verify Data Accuracy

During the scanning process, it's important to verify the accuracy of the documents, ensuring images are legible, each page is scannable, and the scanned documents are readable on an optical lens reader (OCR) scanning system. Conducting regular image quality tests checks for readability and ensures the accuracy of the system at all times, reducing the potential for data loss, discrepancies, and errors.

Choose A Cloud-Based Storage Solution

Once scanned, it's important to ensure that the digitized student records are stored securely in a cloud-based storage solution, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive, which provides security and access control over sensitive data. When selecting a cloud storage vendor, it's important to assess security protocols and ensure they proactively manage data privacy and security, having secure encryption and access control features.

Implement a File Naming System

Implementing a consistent file naming system ensures files are easy to locate and manage. The file naming system should be intuitive and logical, such as the student’s last name and date of birth to avoid confusion when searching for a student record. This naming convention enables easy retrieval, thereby simplifying management tasks and reducing errors in the management of student records.

Conduct A Full Cycle Review

After scanning student records, conduct a full cycle review of the electronic documents, ensuring that all documents were captured, and the system is working correctly, reviewing the image quality, indexing quality and ensuring filing conventions are accurate. It's important to test the OCR scanning system, ensuring it correctly identifies text in the scanned documents.


What are the best practices for preparing the student records before scanning them?

The records should be organized and sorted in a logical way, with all papers facing the same direction. Remove any staples, paper clips, or binders that may interfere with the scanning process.

What is the best way to store the scanned records?

Scanned records should be stored in a secure digital format, such as PDF or TIFF, in a file management system that is accessible only to authorized personnel. The files should be backed up regularly to ensure that they are protected from loss or damage.

How can schools ensure the privacy and security of student records when scanning them?

Schools should establish policies and procedures for handling and safeguarding student records, including restricting access to those records, monitoring system activity, and training staff on best security practices. They should also comply with applicable privacy laws and regulations.

What are the benefits of scanning student records?

Scanning student records makes them easily accessible and searchable, which can save time and improve efficiency. It also reduces the need for physical storage space and enhances security by eliminating the risk of lost or damaged records. Finally, it allows schools to streamline workflows and improve communication among staff, students, and parents.

How to find a document scanning company that specializes in scanning student records?

DocCapture can help! We’ll connect you with local, prevetted, document scanning providers who can help digitize your student records quickly and securely.


Scanning student records in K-12 schools is an essential part of the transition toward digitized records. A document scanning company can help you streamline the process by providing expertise in scanning, indexing, and managing student records. Best practices for scanning student records include adhering to legal and regulatory requirements, verifying data accuracy, implementing a file naming system, using a cloud-based storage solution, and conducting a full cycle review. By following these guidelines, K-12 schools can digitize student records efficiently, accurately, and securely.

So what are you waiting for? Get a quote to scan your student records