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“You continue to make our lives easier and jobs more efficient."– Josh Hardin, Athletics Manager, Cincinnati Public School District

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  • FinalForms Keeps Pace with OHSAA’s Evolutionary Mindset

    Ohio-based business, FinalForms, keeps its eye on the OHSAA and its ear open to athletic departments to keep pace with advancements in high school athletics.

    High school sports in the United States are rapidly evolving with new standards for safety, liability and data. Progressive state athletic associations are keeping pace by frequently updating rules and regulations.

    While this wave of change is a huge positive for the student-athlete, the workload for athletic departments increases dramatically. FinalForms assists athletic departments by creating one-click tools to manage data as well as liability, financial and medical issues.

    “The OHSAA is a dynamic organization including leaders who possess the foresight to adapt and integrate rules and regulations within an evolving athletics and education landscape,” says FinalForms president Clay Burnett. “As OHSAA raises the bar, we keep pace by adding features benefiting athletic departments.”

    FinalForms is an online, mobile application that collects registrations from parents and students via online forms. FinalForms develops custom online forms ranging from ‘Consent to Receive Text Messages’ to ‘Emergency Medical Authorization’ and many more. Data is easily sorted, filtered, searched, printed and exported making FinalForms a must-have for every efficiency-minded administration. FinalForms currently serves more than 55,000 students and OHSAA athletes in more than 75 high schools.

    Creating Competitive Balance

    FinalForms also tackles competitive balance. The OHSAA leadership will soon act upon a push from member schools to create a equitable playing field by requiring a Divisional Placement Report. The report includes data that will determine the placement of respective team sports into the appropriate division for competition. FinalForms is leading the charge in making this simple for athletic departments. “FinalForms collects all the required data for the Divisional Placement Report. We allow an Athletic Director to create a report with one click, rather than hours of unnecessary meetings, calls, mapping and mathematics,” says Burnett. “As a coach, I understand the importance of competitive balance. FinalForms will do everything possible to assist the OHSAA in this endeavor.”

    Pushing the Pace

    Burnett and FinalForms co-founder, Macklin Chaffee know all about pace in business as well as athletics. The duo has recently run 4:09 (Burnett) and 3:56 (Chaffee) for the mile. “Pace is a part of our daily routine. Whether it’s running or developing FinalForms, we know winners set the pace,” claims Burnett. “We frequently receive positive feedback and great ideas, so the pace of development is grueling. It is fulfilling when we see athletes, coaches and schools achieving goals with FinalForms as a foundation facilitating athletics.”

    Announcing OHSAA related updates for the 2015-16 school year

    INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE STUDENTS, AGE 20, ENROLLMENT & ATTENDANCE
    - FinalForms updated the online OHSAA Eligibility Checklist Form to include the OHSAA Student Eligibility Guide. The parent must complete the 10 OHSAA standard questions. If any question is answered opposite the default answer, the Athletic Director will receive an email notification to follow up with that family.
    - - - OHSAA Bylaw 4-8-1 (Exchange), OHSAA Bylaw 4-2-1 (Age), OHSAA Bylaw 4-3-1 (Enrollment & Attendance), OHSAA Bylaw 4-3-1 (Credits), OHSAA Bylaw 4-4-1 (Credits), OHSAA Bylaw 4-6-1 (Residence), OHSAA Bylaws (Section 7. Transfers), OHSAA Bylaw 1-1-2, 4-3-2, 4-3-3 (Semesters), OHSAA Bylaw 4-10-2 (Prize Money), OHSAA Bylaw 4-1-2 (True name), OHSAA Bylaws (Section 9. Recruiting), 2015-2016 General Sports Regulations

    TRANSFERS
    - FinalForms updated the Register a New Student Form to collect data regarding transfer students. If the parent indicates that their student has attended any other school since starting 9th grade, the Athletic Director will receive an email notification to follow up with that family.
    - - - OHSAA Bylaw 4-7-2

    PRE SEASON MEETINGS

    - FinalForms updated the OHSAA Preseason Meeting Information Form to include the new PowerPoint PDF.
    - FinalForms allows 2 parties, Athletic Directors and Coaches, to input information regarding Mandatory Preseason Meetings. If the athletic department holds one meeting, encompassing all sports, then the Athletic Director can input that date into FinalForms. If the Athletic Director delegates the meeting to coaches, then the coach may input their meeting date into FinalForms. In either case, attendance may be documented using FinalForms.
    - - - OHSAA Bylaw 3-1-4 (Preseason Meetings)

    COMPETITIVE BALANCE & DIVISIONAL PLACEMENT REPORTS
    - FinalForms developed a method for simply calculating a Divisional Placement Report for ALL schools in Ohio whether or not they are FinalForms customers. FinalForms recently updated this equation with a comprehensive list of Middle Schools in Ohio.
    - - - For FinalForms customers, competitive balance relevant information (address, school attended in 7th grade, school attended in 8th grade) is collected during the parent form completion process can generate a Divisional Placement Report.
    - - For non-customers, FinalForms has created a standard spreadsheet with can be completed and uploaded in order to generate a Divisional Placement Report. Divisional Placement Reports must be verified by the Athletic Director before submitting to the OHSAA area of FinalForms.
    - - - OHSAA Competitive Balance Committee

    COACHING PERMITS
    - FinalForms now allows for the tracking of all coaching certifications and permits including, but not limited to: NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching, CPR, Pupil Activity Program, NFHS Concussion in Sports, BCI and FBI background check.
    - - - 2015-2016 General Sports Regulations

    PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
    - FinalForms complies with OHSAA Bylaws Section 4. Student Participation and Physical Examination Form by providing an online electronic Pre-Participation Physical approved by school districts and health systems.
    - - - OHSAA Bylaws (Section 4. Student Participation and Physical Examination Forms)

    OHSAA FIELD REPRESENTATIVES CHECKLIST

    - FinalForms includes functions to manage: 1) Preseason Meetings, 2) Pupil Activity Permits, 3) Eligibility Certificates, 5) Policy for Dealing with Transfer Students, 6) Process for Student Dropping Classes, 9) Rostering for Competitive Balance, 10) PrivIT link, 13) Review After School Safety Procedures, 16) Concussion Certification
    - - - OHSAA Field Representatives Checklist

     

  • Performance Optimization: A Need for Speed

    An important distinction between FinalForms and other software is its speed.

    Snappy response times are critical for an application looking to be a heavy duty host to the everyday tasks of an administrator. Why do so many administrators download data from most web applications into an Excel file? The two biggest reasons are:

    1. They cannot manipulate the data in the way they would like with whatever data collection service they are using.
    2. The length of time it takes to do simple tasks like sort and filter a table on most web applications is prohibitive to heavy in-app use.

    The end game for FinalForms is to be a complete solution for athletic departments. We want ADs, Coaches, and Athletic Trainers to be able to access their data anytime, anywhere in the world, and on any device. However, even if we provide solutions for all of their daily needs, if FinalForms is not snappy with its response time, we will fail to be a successful alternative to desktop spreadsheet applications, which constantly require all data to be downloaded and stored.

    With this realization in mind, hundreds of hours went into optimizations at every level of the app, most notably into the development of our proprietary ZOOM library which optimizes HTTP requests between the client (web browser) and the server.

    Many developers implement common database and server optimization, as these are fairly easy, well known, and well documented. Some developers also execute request optimizations, keeping the size of their code down, making images and assets as small as possible, and arranging code in a browser friendly way. However, with ​ZOOM​, we took it a step further and targeted optimization of the client (the web browser) as well!

    Our library works by not only stripping asset requests (most browsers cache assets but still query to make sure they are unchanged) but also returning most requests WITHOUT a full browser page load, something that can save serious time and computing power on a less powerful (mobile) devices. The end result is page load times that are over twice as fast! With this technology in hand, on top of careful implementation of other modern web optimizations, we are confident our application's response time cannot be beat.

    Without ZOOM

     

    Request without asset caching or ZOOM enabled.


    With ZOOM 

    With ZOOM. 

     

    The most important number is 970ms vs 2200ms. You will also notice the solid part of the first bar is smaller with zoom. This represents the amount of time the browser spends interpreting and rendering the request, 15ms vs 120ms on a desktop computer. This effect will be even more noticeable on a mobile device.

    In conclusion, not only are we constantly releasing new features for athletic departments that no one else has, but the ones that others do, we do faster and better.

     

     

  • FinalForms Security FAQs



    Here is a list of 5 popular questions from school district tech directors:

    1. Because your platform stores and transmits personally-identifiable information on minors, can you provide in detail, the controls that are in place for network security and privacy?

    FinalForms web servers are hosted on Amazon Web Service (AWS) and the databases on Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) allowing us to utilize many of their available security features.We chose AWS specifically because of its prolific scale, redundancy, and emphasis on data privacy & security.Remote password authentication is disabled on our servers.Access is only allowed by public/private key authentication and only available to FinalForms developers. Inbound connections are restricted to public services using amazon's built in firewalls. Database access is limited to only internal authorized hosts and connections require credentials.

    2. Is the software and data hosting outsourced or provided FinalForms?

    Physical servers hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and database software on Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). The software was written and is maintained by FinalForms.

    3. Is data encrypted in transmission and at rest?

    Web site connections require HTTPS encryption and remote server connections are fully encrypted. Disk encryption is not an option currently offered by Amazon because they do not expose the attached disks it uses for data storage. Sensitive pieces of information (such as passwords) are encrypted within the database itself.

    4.What network & physical security elements are in place?

    We host the entirety of our infrastructure on Amazon Web Services. Among its long list of physical security benefits available online are:

    Amazon has unmatched experience in designing, constructing, and operating large-scale data centers. AWS data centers are housed in nondescript facilities, and critical facilities have extensive setback and military grade perimeter control berms as well as other natural boundary protection. Physical access is strictly controlled both at the perimeter and at building ingress points by professional security staff utilizing video surveillance, state of the art intrusion detection systems, and other electronic means. Authorized staff must pass two-factor authentication no fewer than three times to access data center floors. All visitors and contractors are required to present identification and are signed in and continually escorted by authorized staff. Worldwide facilities have been audited and granted many certifications. AWS has a publicly available SOC 3 Report.

    We have several privacy policies of our own in place that ensure the highest level of security is taken when handling client information outside of our web application.

    Client information is never stored physically without consent from a client administrator.

    5. Do you have formal information security and data privacy programs in place?

    We have policies on how client data is to be handled securely and enforce these policies using software configurations wherever possible.

    - - - - -

    More information on AWS Compliance can be found here
    http://aws.amazon.com/compliance/

    - - - - -

    More information about our specific programs and FinalForms Security can be found here
    http://www.finalforms.com/finalforms-security-data-privacy-and-compliance


     

  • FinalForms OIAAA Press Release

    CLEVELAND, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- FinalForms, a revolutionary online forms system for athletic departments, announced today that it is now serving over 16,000 Ohio student-athletes at more than 30 schools statewide. By turning paper forms into online forms, FinalForms is streamlining communication between school administrators, coaches, athletic trainers, parents and students.

    "We are pleased that FinalForms is helping so many school districts better manage their student-athlete data," said FinalForms president and co-founder Clay Burnett. "As a high school cross country coach, I know firsthand the value of an easy-to-use system for coaches, parents and student-athletes."

    Burnett will demonstrate the program at the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA) Conference in Columbus on November 16-18. By managing form data online, FinalForms does everything from generating state data reports to emailing reminder notifications to archiving injury reports.

    FinalForms saves schools hundreds of hours each year by allowing them to easily track eligibility, retrieve emergency medical information and manage rosters for their student-athletes. The user-friendly software also helps parents by saving data from season-to-season, year-to-year, and sharing data within families. Parent Mary Donley says, "In less than 15 minutes, I completed all the paperwork for both boys for the entire year. The process used to take hours – handwritten, every child, every sport, every year!"

    Key benefits include:

    • One-click Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Eligibility Certificates and Divisional Placement Reports.
    • Mobile access to emergency medical information, team rosters and injury reports.
    • Certification reminder notifications for coaches and physical exam reminders for students and parents.
    • Responsive technical support, training and updates for athletic departments.

    The program is also helping administrators fulfill requirements of the Competitive Balance Formula required by OHSAA. FinalForms provides a simple, intuitive means for schools to track and submit their data to meet the new standards.

    Created in 2012, FinalForms is an online application that streamlines communication and data between administrators, coaches, athletic trainers, parents and students.Company co-founders Clay Burnett and Macklin Chaffee are former All-Ohio high school athletes. FinalForms is currently serving over 16,000 student-athletes at more than 30 Ohio public and private high schools and middle schools. For more information, visit www.finalforms.com or follow on Twitter @finalforms.

    Contact:
    Clay Burnett
    Co-Founder and President
    440.225.9689

    clay@finalforms.com

    SOURCE FinalForms


    Read More...

     

  • Support Audit: Really, How Easy is FinalForms for Parents?

    We analyze the support ticket submissions for a big district's first year. 

    On Monday, July 20th, our biggest multi-high-school district to date began collecting registrations. It is now Friday evening, July 25th, and here we present a quick review and categorization of all the support requests we have received from parents & students in the first week.

    • 1123 -- Total students registered
    • 1261 -- Total parent accounts
    • 24 -- # of support requests
    • 0 -- # of unresolved support requests

    24 requests for 2384 individual users means that 1.007% of users in this district thus far have submitted a ticket (our highest support request rate for any of our 20 installations to date is 1.465%). But what did these 24 tickets consist of?

    • 8 were having email issues. 5 of those were because they didn't wait long enough for their email to arrive and 3 were misspellings.
    • 2 didn't have email accounts for their students are needed an explanation as to why that is necessary.
    • 4 wanted to register their middle schoolers as well as high schoolers
    • 3 were parents miscommunicating between themselves and both registering, leading to duplicate students or general confusion.
    • 2 didn't have javascript enabled.
    • 3 had general questions about the process
    • 1 was trying to login without first registering
    • 1 experienced a bug (error screen) due to a brief developer error.

    Additionally, 4 of these users wrote grateful responses to our support with varying numbers of exclamation points.

    But are parents looking for support in other places?

    We asked. The IT department in this district reported no support requests related to FinalForms and all athletic departments reported a combined total of 2 questions. This shows that not only is this article reporting accurate numbers but also that FinalForms succeeds in ushering the few struggling users into a support request to the site rather than to another entity, truly leaving the athletic department free of hassle.

     

    Other Metrics of Success

    What else can we measure to understand the extent of the success of this district's installation?

    • 1130 -- Students
    • 951 -- Completed form sets
    • 710 -- Completed and student-signed form sets

    So 84% of registered students already have all required forms for athletic eligibility complete. What about the other 16%? Why do some parents not follow through to completion?

    • 79% of students with incomplete forms are also not signed up for a sport. This likely means the parent exited when they realized they didn't know what sports their student-athlete would be playing this year.
    • Another possibility is the parent could have run out of time (it takes parents an average of 6:23 to complete all 10 forms).
    • It's also possible the parent did not have their medical/insurance information on hand to complete some forms.

    Finally, of those completed formsets, 74% of students successfully logged in and signed off on the information their parents presented in their forms. The remaining 26% have likely not checked their email yet or clicked the link within the delivered FinalForms confirmation email.

     

    Conclusions

    It is hard to know how FinalForms performs in comparison to the old paper form system. Ultimately, it is not completely successful until 100% of student-athlete "paperwork" has been completed and signed. But to help ADs and Coaches get to that point, is a beautiful and responsive interface equipped with all the tools they need to easily assess the progress of their student body and prompt whatever actions are required.

    One thing is definitive though. A support rate of ~1% has surpassed our development team's wildest expectations when you consider the full cross-section of American citizens that high-school parents represent.

  • FinalForms Security, Data Privacy, and Compliance

    All data is strictly held as confidential.

    Military Grade Physical Controls + Enterprise Grade Security = Piece of Mind

    FinalForms is hosted in entirety on our infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 and S3 instances. We chose AWS specifically because of its prolific scale, redundancy, and emphasis on data privacy & security.

    The Amazon Web Services infrastructure is designed and managed according to the highest standards for security and data protection, including SOC 1, 2, 3, PCI DSS Level 1, ISO 27001, FIPS 140-2, and more, as well as military-grade physical controls. Enterprise-grade security ensures data stays secure with SSL encryption. To provide continuous availability, FinalForms is deployed on multiple data centers. Every piece of data is automatically copied to multiple locations for redundancy – ensuring data is always available.

    Our technology partnership with Amazon Web Services enables us to meet our commitment to securing customer data.


    SecurityFrequently, FinalForms is used to store sensitive student health & demographic information on behalf of various school systems. Knowing this from the outset, we have thoroughly researched and then crafted a rock-solid solution from the ground up, rigorously vetting at every layer, that meets national educational industry standards.

    In this document we give a detailed account of the steps we've taken at each layer to meet, not just the medical information standards, but a multitude of other regulation programs.

     

    Physical Security

    We host the entirety of our infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2 and S3 instances. We chose AWS specifically because of its prolific scale, redundancy, and emphasis on data privacy & security. Among its long list of physical security benefits the highlights are:

    • Amazon has unmatched experience in designing, constructing, and operating large-scale data centers.
    • AWS data centers are housed in nondescript facilities, and critical facilities have extensive setback and military grade perimeter control berms as well as other natural boundary protection.
    • Physical access is strictly controlled both at the perimeter and at building ingress points by professional security staff utilizing video surveillance, state of the art intrusion detection systems, and other electronic means.
    • Authorized staff must pass two-factor authentication no fewer than three times to access data center floors.
    • All visitors and contractors are required to present identification and are signed in and continually escorted by authorized staff.
    • Worldwide facilities have been audited and granted many certiciations.
    • Linked is the AWS SOC 3 Report.

    We have several policies of our own in place that ensure the highest level of security is taken when handling client information outside of our web application.

    • Developer machines do not store sensitive information locally.
    • Client information is never stored physically without consent from a client administrator.

     

    Technical Security

    As mentioned before, we host our infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon is widely considered to be the leader for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers. They are compliant with a wide range of regulations and provide granular control over your network. Here are just a few of the many security benefits they provide:

    • Host Operating System Security:
      • AWS employees with a business need are required to use their individual cryptographically b SSH keys to gain access to the host.
      • All access is logged and routinely audited.
      • When an AWS employee no longer has a business need to administer EC2 hosts, their privileges on and access to the hosts are revoked.
    • Guest Operating System Security:
      • We have complete control over our virtual instances.
      • AWS administrators do not have access to our instances, and cannot log into the guest OS.
    • Firewall
      • Amazon provides a complete firewall solution.
      • This mandatory inbound firewall is configured in a default deny mode and the we must explicitly open any ports to allow inbound traffic.
    • Denial Of Service (DoS) Security:
      • Standard DDoS mitigation techniques such as SYN floods and connection limiting are in use.
      • Amazon maintains internal bandwidth which exceeds its provider-supplied Internet bandwidth.
    • Man In the Middle (MITM) Security:
      • All of the AWS APIs are available via SSL-protected endpoints which provides server authentication.
    • Spoofing Security:
      • The Amazon-controlled, host-based firewall infrastructure will not permit an instance to send traffic with a source IP or MAC address other than its own.
    • Port Scanning Security:
      • Port scans of Amazon EC2 instances are generally ineffective because, by default, all inbound ports on Amazon EC2 instances are closed.

     

    Outside of the AWS provided features, we implemented and ensure:

    • All administrative activity involving our servers is performed over an encrypted connection.
    • Client information is not stored digitally outside of the secure AWS infrastructure.
    • Verbose logging is enabled wherever possible, leaving clear audit trails.
    • Backups are run periodically and regularly tested for success in recovery situations.
    • Intrusion detection systems alert administrators of suspicious activity.

     

    Administrative Privacy

    The FinalForms workforce, itself, has been structured to minimize contact with student data. Specifically, no more than 4 trained individuals will ever have access to that data. Data is only ever accessed without school staff present in secure development settings via SSH or through the FinalForms administrative interface, both encrypted connections.

    Linked is our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

     

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