St. Lucie County Public Schools Goes Paperless with the Help of API

St. Lucie County expedites student record processing with an Electronic Document Management solution from Advanced Processing & Imaging.

Deerfield Beach, FL, March 12, 2010 --( Advanced Processing & Imaging (API), software developers of innovative electronic document and content management solutions, including OptiView ECM, announced today that the solution they implemented in the District Student Records Center at St. Lucie County Public Schools is a success.

“The school district’s mission is to produce productive citizens. As our students move ahead, they need their school records to qualify for advanced training and education. With OptiView, we can provide records quickly and efficiently, helping these young people succeed,” said David Jasa, ITS Program Manager at St. Lucie County Public Schools.

Florida law requires that school districts permanently retain the records of students who have graduated, transferred or withdrawn. At St. Lucie County Public Schools, this complex task is handled by the District Student Records Center. A staff of three receives paper records – ranging from a few pages to hundreds – for filing. In the past, to save space and extend lifespan, paper was converted to microfilm after five years, and then to microfiche for ease of reproduction. Records dating back to 1906 were maintained; however, the bulk of the center’s work involved search and retrieval.

“We receive an average of 100 requests per day for copies of records,” said Jasa. “These come from colleges, the courts, government agencies and students themselves. Previously, when a request came in, we had to locate the right microfiche, search for the correct record, and then make a copy and mail it.” If a filing error occurred, the staff member was forced to pull microfilm reels and search through hundreds of records.

This painstaking, manual process – for which the center charges only a nominal fee – became even more demanding as enrollment in the district increased by 10 percent annually. Jasa said, “We had been discussing an electronic document management system for awhile, but when our microfilm camera broke, we decided it was time to make the move.”

The center issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a complete storage, management, retrieval and archiving solution. Requirements included integration with the TERMS mainframe-based student management solution and other IT systems, including a SQL Server database. Other mandates were competitive pricing and an easy-to-use interface.

After narrowing the submissions and conducting an evaluation, Jasa and his team selected a document imaging solution from Advanced Processing & Imaging (API). The API solution included OptiView ECM, scanners, implementation and training. The decision was based in part on positive feedback from other school districts regarding OptiView’s excellent performance and proven integration with student management software like TERMS and Skyward. Also, the API solution was more cost-effective than the others.

API provided extensive assistance throughout the implementation process. “We can’t say enough about how impressive API’s customer service is,” said Lisa Huff, District Record Specialist.

Further, in 2009 when the district upgraded to Skyward, a Web-based student management suite, API took only days to confirm integration of this mission-critical application with OptiView.

“We can now multi-task from our desks,” said Allison Romero-Michel, a District Records Clerk.

“Everything we need to do, including scanning, is available at the click of a button. Our hats are off to OptiView, because we really enjoy coming to work. It provides seamless retrieval of information on a daily basis.” Increased efficiency means existing staff can handle future growth in enrollment, helping the district conserve budget.

Even more important, OptiView has cut the time required to answer record requests. Compared to up to 10 days’ turnaround in the past, most records are sent out within three days. Also, with OptiView the center is better prepared to respond immediately to emergency requests.

OptiView ECM is an electronic document management software that enables users to capture, manage, retrieve and distribute incoming information (scanned paper documents, electronic documents, e-mail, and audio and video files) as well as reports from Windows systems in document format. With OptiView ECM, users can incorporate new information into the system and access archived materials anywhere Internet access is available. This solution offers a long list of features, including drag and drop importation of materials, an “electronic file cabinet,” flexible search functionality, annotation and redaction of records, full records management, and the ability to email, fax and export documents.

To read the complete case study about the success St. Lucie County Public Schools has had with their electronic document management solution from API, visit

Advanced Processing & Imaging
Christopher Warner