Some date back to the 1800s. Now all permanent records at Pittsburgh Public Schools enter the digital age

May 5, 2019 by

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Tucked away in the school district’s storage facility on the South Side, there are boxes and boxes and files and files of paper student records that Pittsburgh Public Schools has accumulated since the late 1800s.

Transcripts. Diplomas. Employment records. Microfiche film that needs to be protected from decay.

The school district has spent several years sorting and digitizing permanent records, which state law requires it keep for 100 years. The former “records rooms” at 62 schools — part of an old building plan dating to the 1960s — have been organized and at least partially cleared, freeing up new classroom and office space in some buildings as boxes of old files are moved to the district’s South Annex on South 10th Street. But new records continue to pile up, and the district is working to develop a formal procedure for storing and preserving them.

“As our district has gotten smaller in terms of physical buildings we support, the necessity to document these materials has absolutely intensified,” said Scott Gutowski, the district’s chief technology officer.

Coordinator for data analytics Solanda Peek has been leading the charge to sort, scan and move the records. She started in 2013, and by 2016 cleared and digitized records dated through 2012.

Photo credit: Senator John Heinz History Center

Source: Some date back to the 1800s. Now all permanent records at Pittsburgh Public Schools enter the digital age | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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