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.
Today, half of all bill payments are digital—and that number is expected to reach 75% by 2022. Consumers both want and expect digital payment options, parents and families included. Technology is empowering an increasing number of school districts to go cashless by offering digital payment options for fee collection.
Continuing Our Tradition of Support as Official Partner of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Edmonton Chapter
Choosing between fee management solutions can be a difficult and time-consuming process—especially on top of one’s primary responsibilities as a school administrator. ActivityRight is a student form and activity management solution with fee collection capabilities, approval workflows, and many other attributes not commonly found in fee management software. This article highlights key features and differentiators that are unique to ActivityRight to aid administrators in the vendor selection process.
Effective, two-way communication is essential in school districts for many reasons, from keeping parents and families updated on the latest information to complying with federal laws. Schools experience a number of benefits from having a strategic communication plan in place, and improving community relations within the district is one of the most significant. This article highlights how a detailed school communication plan (and the right vendor partner) can help improve community relations within districts.