As we wind down football season and move into basketball and wrestling, this may be the time to review your activity fund policies. Most districts have either gone through an audit or will be going through their annual one very soon. If a district is going to see financial issues, this is normally where it will first occur. It can even manifest itself into a larger and more pervasive issue due to a lack of policy understanding and why procedures must even exist.
One of the most consistent issues we are asked about is fundraisers. An understanding that all fundraisers must be board approved is central to building procedures. The receipting of money, not using cash to pay bills, maintaining an inventory of materials and proper paperwork completion for paying bills are all essential to the fundraising process. If you have new sponsors, athletic directors, teachers or administrators, reviewing these procedures would definitely be a good idea.
Because we have had several different requests for activity fund trainings, we've prepared an online training module for school personnel, and we are using the same training for one hour of virtual board training. Our goal is to help both staff and the board understand the activity fund process. This brings our total online board training catalog to 14 available hours.
On a side note, we are currently processing our first round of virtual board training points. Our process is that we will send the point certificates to the district superintendent and the board member, and then we will submit the points to the SDE. We will add another five to six hours of training over the next six months.
We have worked with several schools to check our learning management program, and we greatly appreciate their help in working through this process. We realize the importance of accurate documentation of the trainings, and we are auditing our systems to ensure that all the board members who have participated in our trainings receive the appropriate points. It is important to note that the organization that does the training submits the points to the SDE, the points are shared between organizations and the only single depository of training points is the SDE. If your board members take trainings from OPSRC, we do have paper records and virtual records of the certificates and the date of the training.
We realize that boards do like to have whole board trainings, and we will come to you for these. We enjoy traveling to our schools and providing services. If you want to schedule in-person training for your staff or your board, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the OPSRC director who is over the services you need.
As I write this today, we are exactly three hours and twenty eight minutes from the official deadline for the legislature to gavel session closed.
As we move into the end of the new fiscal year's first quarter, there are signs that the state’s economy is continuing to improve. We'll have a good idea after the next collection cycle if the trend toward improving collections will be sustained.
Two questions: Did you realize that customer service within your schools is everyone's responsibility, not just those sitting in the front office? And did you know that DonorsChoose.org is not the only site you can use to raise money for your classrooms?
As more and more schools’ budgets are being further reduced, reductions in force (RIF) continue to be explored by many districts. A couple more questions frequently asked are worth reviewing once again this year.