How technology can transform taking attendance for your school

With school funding coming at a premium these days, every dollar counts. One of the primary means by which schools are funded is based on student attendance, but absence reporting can be fraught with errors when completed manually.

Teachers in many schools are still using a paper-and-pencil approach to taking attendance, and the roll sheet is often routed to the office by hand, a cumbersome process. Teachers should be keeping their students engaged instead of stopping to make attendance changes as they occur. Once the roll sheet is taken to the office, it is easy to forget to notify the attendance clerk of an update.

In high school, this becomes a bigger issue as attendance is taken whenever classes change. Roll sheets are collected up to six or seven times a day per classroom, and some high schools can have up to 200 classrooms. This process is time-consuming and a lot of manpower is used to collect the sheets from each classroom and route these back to the attendance clerk. Being able to track attendance in real time during the course of the day is especially important in a high school setting, but the paper-and-pencil approach to taking roll allows for students who are skipping class to be unaccounted for until all the roll sheets are processed. With an automated workflow system, truants can be quickly identified.

Using a paper tracking system can cause myriad problems for both teachers and administrators. Paper has to be hand-counted, or in some cases scanned. What’s more, the numbers are not necessarily accurate by the time they are counted because students come and go during the course of the school day. The process of finding a student on the appropriate roll sheet and changing the attendance mark by hand is a laborious and time-consuming process prone to frequent error that can ultimately cause an unintentional loss in funding. However, those errors can significantly be reduced by automating the attendance process using BPM or workflow software.

Let’s not forget the most important thing that automating your education form software processes can accomplish: Teachers will have more time for classroom instruction with their students instead of being engaged in administrative tasks. With an automated school attendance system and workflow tools, teachers are able to take attendance quickly and get to what matters most – student learning.


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