Administration, General, Technology

E-signatures and K12: What You Need To Know

Did you know the idea of e-signatures predates even the U.S. Civil War? Morse code communications in the early 1860s were the first form of a signature with their use intended to be understood as contracts. Amazing to think about electronic agreements being that old, but think of all the time and resources saved! Messages were otherwise limited to human (or horse) speed, and there wasn’t just the going but also the return trip. Think of those poor British soldiers defeated only a generation beforehand by Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, two weeks after a peace treaty was already signed in Europe!

Ok, enough of the history lessons, let’s address some of the common questions about e-signatures and schools:

What is an e-signature?

A “e-signature” is an electronic or digital method of signing or expressing approval or consent on electronic documents or forms. In reality this can be associated with nearly any type of filetype, even images, but it’s most commonly encountered on PDFs and similar file types used for documentation. E-signatures can replace what was once a handwritten signature in virtually any process. Since the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) of 2000, e-signatures carry the same legal weight as traditional, paper-based ones. E-signatures are thus considered legally binding in all states as this comes from the federal level. That’s 20 years now of paperless and streamlined collaboration possibilities!

How can schools use e-signatures?

Schools run on paperwork. Records, enrollment, inventories, Individualized Education Programs, 504 plans, applications, incidents — it’s safe to say the list goes on and on. Many of these require signatures and can be slowed down because of time constraints associated with physical paper. Many by nature have to leave school, some never to return (especially in the earliest and latest grades, we chalk it up to distraction potential for the former and apathy for the latter). It’s a bottleneck, it’s wasteful, and it’s costly. E-signatures just make sense — the process is accessible from anywhere and immediately. It streamlines the handling of paperwork and puts all the parties involved within the same time frame.

What do schools need for e-signatures?

Chances are your school already has the basics for taking advantage of digital forms and e-signatures. As long as there is an internet connection and computers or devices connected then it’s simple to access specialized software that can handle e-signatures. Here at Script we offer solutions for digital forms and e-signatures specifically built for the needs and structure of K-12 schools. We maximize the usefulness of e-signatures while taking out the guesswork and fine-tuning. Our digital form builder allows schools to easily transition from what they’ve been using all along.

If you are interested or want to know more, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are available to answer questions or schedule a demo. We are also offering a discount until the end of the year, take advantage now and stay safe during the holiday season!