Adams School District 50 Saves Jobs, Wins Awards With Data Storage Solution

Adams County District 50, one of Colorado's largest school districts, has used a variety of methods to track school records including electronic files, paper and microfilm in its multiple administrative departments.

In 2000, the District implemented Digitech Systems' Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and District 50 has since consolidated all of those different files into a single system for financial, human resources (HR) and student records available. The District has also improved employee productivity by 20%.

Adams County District 50 ( is home to 10,049 students and 1,048 employees and is a large and busy school district in the Denver, CO metropolitan area. It oversees 19 locations and manages a total budget of $133 million. The finance and HR departments generate more than 2,500 documents each month, and the District turns out 10,000 student records each year.

Before implementing ImageSilo, the District's records system made documents difficult to manage, and files consumed valuable real estate. Employees typically spent as much as 30 minutes per request to find paper files. The paper processes were time consuming involved hiring a temporary employee for six weeks each year and required transferring information to microfilm. Older papers and microfilm were stored in a separate building, forcing employees to drive several miles in order to search for information. Storage presented another inefficiency. As the sheer volume of data grew, they were forced to expand and use hallways and common areas for storage. Filing cabinets soon occupied a 2,000-square-foot space.

With some schools already shifting to electronic records, Sandra McClure, Director of Finance, began looking for a document management system that would help the District convert its existing files into electronic records which would improve employee productivity and records security district wide. Plagued by looming budget cuts and an overloaded IT department, McClure was looking for a system that would not require extensive capital costs and IT resources.

The Solution
In 2000, Rocky Mountain Microfilm and Imaging (RMMI) implemented ImageSilo cloud ECM in the areas of workman's compensation and HR. As an outsourced solution, ImageSilo was installed within just a few hours without using the District's IT resources. Because of their success with the first phase of implementation, the District then added accounts payable and finance records in 2002. With the process now going so well, the student records department followed suit and expanded to ImageSilo in 2007. Upon completion, it is estimated that RMMI will scan approximately 1.1 million images from 185,000 student records, some of which date back to the 1930s. Today, nearly 30 employees have immediate access to electronic documents.

"I don't do any training for ImageSilo. I simply send them an email with their login information and ask them to let me know if they have any questions. New employees are productive their first day on the job," said McClure.

It used to take seven staff members an entire week to prepare documents for student funding audits, but not anymore. Because auditors can access all the necessary information themselves through ImageSilo, the District saves $3,500 annually. "This year, we didn't have to pull any staff for audit work, so they didn't fall behind in their regular work," said McClure. ImageSilo allowed them to save on new construction costs too. The new Westminster High School was designed to house filing cabinets, but with electronic files they reduced the size of the new building size by 2,000 square feet to save roughly $40,000 in construction costs.

Before implementing ImageSilo, paper records and microfiche were stored in a locked room that was at risk for security breaches, but now information is protected by multiple levels of both physical and electronic security. Disaster recovery was also a concern, but today ImageSilo provides redundancy and automated backup capabilities that help administrators sleep at night. McClure said, "I don't have to worry about a disaster, because I know our information is safe."

Over the past three years, the District faced 10% budget cuts that forced McClure to carefully review costs. ImageSilo allowed the finance department to eliminate the cost of a temporary employee, which in turn enabled them to keep their full-time employees. "We are leveraging our ImageSilo productivity gains to save people's jobs," she said. "It enables us to do more with our current staff. If we had to keep paying for paper and temporary employees, we would have had to make cuts to our full-time staff."

The ability to improve productivity, increase security and implement sophisticated document management without burdening IT has made District 50 a model in the region. "There's no IT resources needed with ImageSilo. That's why we did this," said McClure. "It was so easy to roll out the system to other departments, because we didn't have to pull IT in at all."

Thanks in part to the ImageSilo changes, the District received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report—the highest recognition for school finance and accounting. The Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International also recognized the District's efforts by awarding Adams County the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award.