As a leader in educational excellence, Katy Independent School District provides unparalleled learning experiences to 96,000 students across 74 campuses. Before Softdocs, the district faced challenges with outdated paper-based filing systems and process inefficiencies. The need for a secure, efficient, and digital document management solution led them to search for a platform that would reduce reliance on paper-based methods, improve workflow efficiency, and serve as a one-stop shop for documents across departments.

Katy ISD’s Professional Registrar, Mary Frances Schmidt, shared that one of their core requirements was security.

“We were finding that a lot of our paper was going missing. We had filing cabinets in hallways with sensitive information. It just wasn’t as secure as it should be. The paper process was just not efficient.”

Moving Beyond Paper

Along with enhancing security measures, Katy ISD was eager to consolidate documents across 74 campuses.

Sensitive documents were stored in paper folders, often kept in unsecured locations like hallways, leading to frequent loss and potential breaches of confidential information. Managing and accessing documents required significant manual effort, resulting in additional use of time and resources.

“Individuals would check things out and not return them. Documents in folders were going missing and we weren’t able to track where that document might be,” shared Donna Minix, Coordinator for School Leadership and Support.

Staff had to search numerous folders and filing cabinets, making the process cumbersome and error-prone.

Increasing Staff Productivity

In collaboration with the Softdocs team, Katy ISD conducted detailed training sessions, ensuring staff across various departments were well-prepared to use the new system. Softdocs’ intuitive interface facilitated easy adoption by staff, even those less comfortable with technology.

“When the registrars realized how simple the new processes would be, they could see in their day-to-day how it saves them time and gives them opportunities to do other things that they don’t feel like they have time to get to.”

The professional services team from Softdocs worked closely with the district to customize the platform according to their specific needs, ensuring a smooth transition.

“I have only good things to say about the Softdocs support team,” shared Mary Frances Schmidt. “They have been super patient, are helpful, and are excellent trainers. The presentation was quality, the information was clear and concise, and they walked us through everything step-by-step.”

“The support team has been very attentive to our use case. We have 74 campuses, 96,000 students, and growing, so I appreciate them thinking outside the box and really looking at what our needs are to help us establish and grow appropriately.”

The district began implementation with the Registrar and Records departments, strategically addressing unique challenges and optimizing the solution to meet their needs.

“The professional services team came down to visit for a couple of days, which was really helpful. We met with the different departments that were going to be utilizing the system. The Softdocs team was really good about being clear and making sure that they understood each department’s needs and how to manage them, and making sure that they had the information and the understanding to make quality decisions.”

“They held our hand through the process and made sure that we felt comfortable enough to do it on our own. I can’t say enough good things about the team because they’ve really supported us through this.”


Measurable Results: Cost Savings and Better Collaboration

The implementation of Softdocs led to significant improvements for Katy ISD. The initial implementation of just two digital forms resulted in significant workflow improvements, with staff reporting the system as a “game changer” for its simplicity and effectiveness. “All of our high school campuses are using the forms and everything I have heard has been positive, it’s a game changer for them,” shared Mary Frances Schmidt.

Sensitive information is now stored securely, eliminating the risk of data loss and unauthorized access associated with paper documents. Staff can quickly and easily access documents, reducing the time spent browsing through folders and manually searching for information.

The district also saw savings from reduced printing and folder purchases.

“We’re no longer ordering folders or printing to the capacity that we were, so that is an immediate cost savings right there. Registrars can pause what they’re doing to answer the phone or talk to a parent, and then easily come right back to where they were and not lose their work. It’s a time saver. It’s way more efficient and effective.”

The platform fostered better communication and teamwork among registrars and other staff, who began sharing insights and best practices for using the system effectively. “Softdocs brings our registrars together as a team. It has provided an opportunity for them to collaborate and come up with solutions that help each other. It’s providing betterment for my people on campus while supporting our mission of keeping students safe.”

Staff can now easily retrieve documents with a simple click, eliminating the need for manual searches.

“We can easily find documents that we need in other departments. If we need to go back to previous school years, those documents are accessible with the click of a button. That’s the ease of the product.”

Automated reminders, form tracking, and process monitoring also helped streamline the district’s workflows, allowing staff to respond more quickly and efficiently to various tasks.


Embracing Digital Efficiency

As the fifth largest district in Texas, Katy Independent School District successfully transitioned from an outdated, paper-based system to a secure, efficient, and collaborative digital environment with Softdocs. This transformation not only improved operational efficiency but also ensured the security of sensitive information.


The district also saw the vision and the potential with Softdocs, like the ability to expand into other departments such as Finance, HR, and Health Services.

“Softdocs provides a one-stop shop for every form and document. It’s a need-to-have for efficiency and security because it houses information securely and can pull data from any department. Our student information systems, enrollment, transcripts… all of it is already online. Why not digitize the piece that holds secure private information about children and their families? Why would you not want it in the safest format that you could possibly have it in?” said Mary Frances Schmidt.

For school districts facing similar challenges, a process automation and document management solution like Softdocs can lead to substantial improvements in efficiency, security, resource-saving, and much more. 


Interested in automating paper-based processes across your campuses? Learn more about how Softdocs can help your district achieve similar success.