Using Electronic Signatures for Innovation in K-12 Education

Pencils and paper have been a classroom staple since the days of one-room schoolhouses–but outside the classroom, educational leaders are doing away with such novelties. It’s because they’re recognizing the role electronic signatures and other digital processes play in revolutionizing the student and staff experience. If your school district hasn’t yet made the e-signature transition, here are some tips on how to get started and how to choose the platform that best suits your staff and student needs.

Transform paper-based processes in K-12 classrooms

The average school uses 2,000 sheets of paper. A portion of those documents are used by administrative staff who are tasked with completing, sorting and filing the documents. This isn’t the ideal solution for stressed and time-strapped administrators. When you’re ready to make the switch to digital processes, your first step is finding the right electronic solution to transform paper-based processes. This includes enrollment forms, permission slips, as well as general student forms and special education forms.

  • Here are some tips on what to look for when shopping for an e-signature provider. Find a partner that: Promotes an easy, convenient signing experience for parents, teachers and staff
  • Eliminates manual tasks in sending and signing
  • Offers simple integration with existing systems
  • Mitigates risks with advanced security controls
  • Provides ongoing e-signature support and training

Benefits of going digital

By implementing digital agreement processes, K-12 school districts allow teachers more time teaching, and less on paperwork. Administrators are also more efficient in their work, can better meet the needs of students, and be more responsive to parents. Key benefits include:

  • Working faster: Prevent staff from having to correct and redo manual data-entry work due to errors in paper-based forms and contracts, and allow them to know where their document is throughout the process.
  • Doing more with what you have: Free your staff to focus on students and your mission by replacing mountains of paperwork with a connected, automated, contract management workflow.
  • Hiring and onboarding: Docusign can help make the hiring and onboarding a faster and better experience for schools to quickly bring on new talent. eSignature includes prebuilt templates for common HR forms to make processing employee information faster and easier.
  • Procurement and purchase orders: Finalizing procurement contracts and purchase orders can be a hassle for district employees tasked with chasing down payments and signatures. Digitalizing such paperwork can help schools stay organized with electronic, easy-to-trace files while saving the time and money associated with paper-intensive procurement systems.
  • Streamline agreement processes: For documents like IEPs, teacher contracts, student packets, and procurement forms, consider finding the right solution that can fully streamline the entire agreement process–from document creation to signing to analysis and management.

Success stories

K-12 leaders from Evergreen School District, Paramount Unified School District and Simi Valley Unified School District in California rapidly adopted the use of Docusign in response to the pandemic. The positive outcomes that have been achieved included streamlining all documents for IEPs, 504 plans, human resources and other business process forms, and much more.

“One of the great things about Docusign is that instead of the staff needing to print, sign and mail IEP forms to the district office, we can now download these forms and upload them into Docusign,” said Sean Goldman, assistant superintendent of student support services at Simi Valley Unified School District. “Now, there’s no need to send anything to the district office. Everything is accessible through Docusign, which saves us a tremendous amount of time.”

Meantime, the Docusign Agreement Cloud helped the Spring Branch Independent School District save $4 million, complete 80 percent of contracts in two days or less and shorten vendor agreement turnarounds by weeks.

To learn more about how Docusign can benefit your school, sign up for a free Docusign trial..