Davidson County Schools has adopted a new pilot program for 16 of its schools to allow parents and guardians to pay student fees and other charges online.
The SchoolCash Online payment program is an app that parents can download and register their child’s account at their school and then pay for various fees, fines and dues.
Tyler Beck, finance officer for Davidson County Schools, said the new online payment pilot program is a way to simplify and streamline payments to individual schools for different fees.
“We have embarked on this pilot program to see if this is something that schools and parents would like,” Beck said. “It allows for different options for parents to manage school fees as well as to purchase school apparel and different things; it is just an option to a check or cash.”
The schools that are included are Davis-Townsend, Denton, Friendship, Hasty, Northwest, Southmont, Southwood and Wallburg elementary schools; Central Davidson, North Davidson, Oak Grove South Davidson Middle schools and Central Davidson, North Davidson, Ledford and South Davidson High schools.
Beck said not only would it reduce the amount of cash and checks coming into the individual schools, it would also make it easier for parents to keep track of upcoming or outstanding fees.
Some of the different fees that can be paid online include school field trip fees, parking permits, lost or damaged books, lock rentals, transcripts, yearbooks, prom tickets and graduation fees.
The SchoolCash online payment program does not include payment for meals. There is a separate program specifically for meal payments and parents will need to continue to use that system separately for breakfast and lunch payments.
The online payment option also reduces the risk of messages or money being lost in transition between home and school. Beck said it also reduces the amount cash on hand at the schools, which requires a nightly deposit in a bank.
Tammy Bush, principal of Central Davidson Middle School, said the new online payment method will be a huge benefit for schools and families.
“Families will be offered the opportunity to pay for school fees, field trips, and other school required fees online rather than sending money with their student to school,” Bush said. “Parents will be afforded a simpler method of payment and communication which allows them to be aware at all times of expenses students owe or have paid. As a principal, I am excited to offer this system as means of making payments easier for our families.”
Beck said the school system will still be accepting cash or check payment, but the online payment option allows parents real time tracking of expenses, to make payments and be alerted to upcoming events.
“The program integrates with our current PowerSchool program that allows parents access to the students’ grades, schedules and etc.,” Beck said. “They would be able to manage all of it through the same place and allow us to better serve the community as we move into the future.”
Beck said the district hopes this benefits parents, teachers and administrators alike. He said hopefully it can be expanded to all schools in Davidson County Schools in the future.
“We decided to start with just 16 schools, but the goal is to expand to all schools in the future,” Beck said. “We want to make sure it will benefit the district before we go all in; we want to make sure that parents are comfortable with it.”
Sharon Myers can be reached at (336) 249-3981, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org