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PaySchools Central up and running for school district

July 19, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor (cjeilers@traerstarclipper.com) , Traer Star-Clipper

North Tama CSD will move to a new school payments system, PaySchools Central, in order to make school registration, checking on lunch accounts and other school finances easier for parents in the district.

PaySchools Central will be where parents whose children attend North Tama will pay for all school fees, book fees, band fees, miscellaneous fees and also gives parents a way to monitor their kids school lunch accounts.

"This system is going to give parents a lot more flexibility and control over their kids' lunch account and check balances within a couple of hours of when their kids ate," Suzanne Earley, Superintendent Secretary said. "If the account gets to a low balance, they can set up auto-replenish and automatically put money in their accounts."

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Using PaySchools will allow the district to take credit and debit card payments at the school, which Earley stated they have never been able to do before. Earley is confident the system will be more convenient for not only parents, but the staff as well.

"We are always looking for efficient ways to do things and save time for the office staff," Earley said. "There are aspects that are very manual. Sandy [Dengler] was sending a lot of emails by hand, specifically emailing parents about their child's balance and that takes a lot of time. We also were getting questions from parents asking 'why is my kid eating so much' or "where does all this money go?' This new system gives back control to the parents to see all of that themselves and talk with their kids.

This payment system will cost the district $1,912 this year plus $400 for setup. The opportunity to pay a lower interest rate on merchant fees with the new PaySchools system prompted the district to look in to and eventually purchase the system.. Technology glitches occured as PaySchools first came into use, yet have been resolved.

"With technology, everything takes twice as long as you feel it should," Earley said. "Each parent has to have a unique ID for their student to claim them in the PaySchools Central and those were sent by email. We're finding that parents got IDs for some of their kids or some not at all. If there's an issue, or tech support has been very responsive and helping us work through issues."

The district is offering $10 off book fees in the month of July and $5 off in August until walk-in registration day on August 5. Parents without access to a computer are encouraged to come to the district office to use an available desktop. Computers will also be available on registration day. North Tama will also be using a new software called QuickLunch, which will use a passcode rather than a lunch card. For younger students in the elementary, the lunch staff will keep a list of their codes instead.

Parents with questions or are having issues with the PaySchools Central are encouraged to call the District Office at 319-478-2265 or email Earley at srearley@n-tama.k12.ia.us.

 
 

 

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