At key points throughout the school year, activity organizers require a parent’s consent or to have someone signify they have read a notice. In the past, a form or notice was sent home with the expectation that a parent reads it and sends it back with a signature.
ActivityRight’s Spring 2021 development release reduces the amount of manual work that parents, school staff, and district administrators conduct related to payments, permissions deadlines, and reporting.
About 3 in 10 Americans make zero cash purchases each week. The wallets of those who do carry cash usually contain less than $50. Parents are no exception. Paying fees in cash may delay payments and waste everyone’s time. Yet, many schools continue to accept checks and other forms of payment, despite security risks associated with these payment methods. Seventy-one percent of companies that accept checks have experienced fraud or attempted fraud, and returned checks are a common challenge. Some schools have no option for online payments, delaying payments and potentially affecting enrollment. Switching to digital payments can swiftly lower costs, improve the parents’ experience when paying school activity fees, and reduce or eliminate the costs of check processing.
ActivityRight streamlines field trips, events, and other school initiatives by solving all the problems with paper forms and cash collection. Allow parents to pay school fees and access receipts from any device. Simple software connections allocate school-generated funds into easy-to-read account codes so districts can avoid the risk of misappropriation. All payments – cash, check, or mobile – are fully auditable and able to integrate with your accounting software.
TransACT Communications (transact.com) has acquired App-Garden (app-garden.com), a leader in K-12 transportation and operations administrative software. The App-Garden team has over 27 years of experience in developing easy-to-use administrative software to support school bus routing, field trip management, event scheduling and facilities management, volunteer operations, virtual substitute teacher training, and more. Working together, TransACT and The App-Garden are proud to offer K12 administrators cost effective software and outstanding customer service to help improve operations and service delivery in school district operations.
Online Payment Basics
Schools that switch to digital payments should embrace a centralized digital payment system so that all funds route through the same place, regardless of how or when someone pays. A quality digital payment system can still track cash payments, so there’s no need for a piecemeal approach that cobbles together several different apps. With a single system, schools reduce the risk of security issues and lost data.
As COVID-19 wreaks havoc globally, school districts face a new challenge: negotiating and issuing mass refunds for canceled field trips. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued an enforcement notice to airlines that, even during the pandemic, must offer cash refunds for canceled or rescheduled flights within or from the United States. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in Canada has promised students and families that reimbursement for funds they raised for school trips and other canceled events due to COVID-19 will come as well.
Congress passed the staggering $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that includes waiver authority for the Secretary of Education to waive federally required testing and a host of other requirements. It also includes about $38 billion in funding for higher education and K-12 education.