PENNSYLVANIA — Notarization is one of the best ways to ensure a signature is genuine — and because of that, a local school district plans to require notarized permission slips for overnight student trips, making it harder to fake parents’ signatures. Local band and choir groups in the Shaler Area School District already use notarized permission forms on a voluntary basis. School board member James Fisher said notarization helps confirm that parents have actually given permission. It also helps protect the school district from liability. “It’s not a power of attorney, but lends credence to the document if any situations arise,” Fisher said. Since some groups were already using notarized forms, the board proposed making it consistent for all overnight activities. The proposal was submitted for final approval last month. Because student organizations usually plan overnight trips several months in advance, Fisher estimated that parents are usually given between 30 and 90 days to get permission forms notarized. The school district has offered the services of staff Notaries to help notarize forms for parents, he added.