If you have forms, such as an enrollment contract, that require a signature from a parent, you can take advantage of the Signature Fields in SchoolAdmin to capture an electronic signature. This article will go over what is captured with a signature in SchoolAdmin and provide some best practices.
To learn about how the Dual Signature functionality works for Contracts, click here.
How-To: Use Electronic Signatures
Signature Fields in SchoolAdmin can be set up to capture the following information, which will be typed in by the person filling out the form:
Any of these items can be hidden by configuring the additional options when setting up a signature field on an online form. For example, if you do not want the person filling out the form to enter their email address, you can hide the email field. By default, Signature Fields will have the name and email address fields displayed.
Signature Fields also have customizable agree text with a required checkbox for the person filling out the form to click. The default agree text is: "I agree to the terms and conditions specified herein."
The rest of the electronic signature information is captured automatically by the system when the signature field is filled in and the form is submitted. This includes:
Email address for the currently logged in portal account for the person filling out the form.
Timestamp (including date) for the electronic signature.
IP Address for the person filling out the form.
When using Signature Fields on your online forms in SchoolAdmin, be sure to leave them all as 'Unmapped', so that the information does not auto-populate on future forms with electronic signatures. Click here for more information.
We store an audit log of the actions taken by the user when interacting with the Contract. This includes IP address, browser information, and each action taken by the user. When paired with an online payment action, such as a deposit paid by credit card, the process together with the steps above follows the ESIGNS requirements and intends to show that the signer (parent/guardian) demonstrated clear intent (e.g. paying a deposit upon submitting the contract).
FAQs & Best Practices
Below are some frequently asked questions and use cases that we hear from schools, and how they can be addressed through SchoolAdmin functionality.
If you need to...
Require contract signers to create a unique username and password in order to log in and complete the agreement: This is accomplished through the creation of a Parent Portal Account.
Provide a place for signatories to explicitly indicate agreement to be bound by electronic signature: This language should be added by the school as part of their contract text (in a comment field). Additionally, an additional verification step can be included where the parent agrees to be bound by the electronic signature as desired.
Incorporate two modes of identifying the signatories of the agreement, such as typing the name and then clicking "I accept": This is a standard component of Signature Fields in SchoolAdmin. See the how-to section above for more details.
Provide an opportunity to cancel the signature before completion: A parent/guardian can always cancel the signature or not submit the form.
Provide a confirmation screen with an opportunity for the signer to download/print the entire signed form: Upon submission of an online form in SchoolAdmin, the parent can view or download a PDF copy of the completed form from the student checklist. As long as the student remains in the same term, the parent/guardian can always return to the checklist later to view or download the submitted form.
Send an email confirming the signer's execution of the agreement: For the Contract, there is an automatic thank you email that can be sent to the parent/guardian upon submission of the contract. This template can be customized to include any additional information you need to provide. Click here for information on how to enable this automatic email. For other Online Forms, you can set up an Automated Communication Plan.
Ensure that the agreement cannot be altered or edited once executed: Once a contract has been submitted, the parent/guardian cannot modify the contract in any way, nor can the school. If a contract needs to be modified post-signing, the system allows for regeneration of the contract, but at that time the previous contract becomes void. However, Online Forms other than the Contract can be unchecked on the checklist by an admin, thus allowing the parent/guardian to make changes to the form before submitting it again.