Administration addresses problems with electronic transcripts

Juliana Moraes-Liu, Author

The Palo Alto High School administration is offering a series of help tools for the website students use to send official transcripts after several students came to the guidance office with questions about the process.

A letter was sent home to seniors and their parents with step-by-step instructions on using Parchment, the website used for transcript services, to register and send transcripts, according to Assistant Principal Kimberly Diorio.

“We are going to put some support materials together to help kids,” Diorio said. 

In addition to the letter, seniors with questions are advised to meet with academic technology specialist Mona Siegel if any questions arise. 

“Students can always come in and contact Ms. Siegel,” Diorio said. “If you have an electronic transcript question, you go to Ms. Siegel. She is dealing directly with the company and can help figure anything out that comes up.”

The administration will also be sending out a supporting document to seniors and their parents with screenshots of the steps required to send transcripts, Diorio explained. This document will also be uploaded to the Paly website.

Although the previous process is now more elaborate than before, the electronic transcript service still works fine.

“It’s just more steps,” Diorio said. “We are having no issues in sending the transcripts. There has been some discrepancy in pricing. So if students were to go in, they would see that depending where their application is being sent, they may be charged as little as $8 instead of the $10. We are trying to get them to fix that, so it’s a ten dollar flat fee, which is what it’s always been.”

Paly seniors must use Parchment to send their official transcripts to colleges. There is no paper option for students, according to Diorio.

“[Students] can come down any time and get an unofficial copy, we are happy to print that out,” Diorio said. “You are either all electronic, or all paper. And we made the decision to go all electronic this year, so we are kind of stuck.”

Paly has been using Parchment, previously called  Docufied, since the second semester of last year.

“Our seniors that used it last year when they did their end-of-the-year transcripts had no issues,” Diorio said. “It was a piece of cake. Last spring they rebranded themselves, they are no longer called Docufied, they are called Parchment, and they decided to not only do electronic transcripts, but to do all sorts of college-search-related things.”

The administration decided to switch from paper transcipts to electronic transcripts because the electronic process is simpler.

“They [electronic transcript services] are much more efficient,” Diorio said. “Quicker, easier for students to use. In the past, they would have to go to the auditor to pay for it, then go to Ms. Brown. It was just a lot of steps.”

In addition, electronic services provide other benefits, including notification when transcripts are sent and received, according to Diorio.

“We also want to be able to do the electronic transcript in a step to someday going all electronic with the entire application process,” Diorio said.