CLARKSBURG — The Harrison County school system is the first in West Virginia to completely implement a new program that will keep school payments online and out of the classroom.
SchoolCashOnline is a program that allows schools to communicate with parents whenever student-related payments are due, said Sharon Hinkle, chief business officer for Harrison County Schools.
“Once a parent registers, they will get notifications for anything pertaining to their children when school payments are required or due,” Hinkle said. “It is a one-time registration that follows the student throughout their time in Harrison County Schools. After registering, parents can then make payments online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from the convenience of their home or work.”
Following a conference in May 2018, discussions regarding an online payment source developed. And after a merger of software companies, SchoolCashOnline became available for integration in school systems, Hinkle said.
While many school systems in the state have the software available, Hinkle said she’s excited to be a part of the one that’s the first to implement it countywide.
“The software is seamless, does all of the posting and accounting, transfers money overnight, and it’s an overall great product,” she said.
Hinkle said the main priorities in implementing the program were to reduce the amount of cash in schools, thus making students, teachers and secretaries safer; to utilize a new form of electronic communication to notify parents of events, required dues and payments; and to make it convenient to use a credit card from home rather than taking cash to school.
Schools around the county are utilizing SchoolCashOnline for some ticket sales, class dues, fundraisers, class trips and sales of spirit wear, yearbooks and more, Hinkle said. The program can be tailored to individual classes, students, programs, sports, activities or items, she said.
Additionally, after a payment is received, the online bill disappears, which is helpful if several people are registered for one student, Hinkle said. This ensures that people aren’t paying for the same item or activity multiple times.
Harrison Superintendent Dr. Mark Manchin said he’s happy to see implementation of a program that will make it easier on students and parents in the county.
Overall, the program is a more convenient and seamless option, he said.
“Our parents have a difficult job raising our children, so anything that we can offer to make life easier on them, the better,” he said. “This is the digital age, and this new payment program streamlines simple transactions from the privacy of their own home.”
Hinkle said she spent Monday afternoon training school bookkeepers so they can utilize the online payment program.
SchoolCashOnline kicked off at parent-teacher conferences Monday evening, she said.
Hinkle said her goal is to see 80 percent participation throughout the county’s schools, even if parents aren’t utilizing the program to make payments but instead just receiving notifications.
The link to SchoolCashOnline can be found on the main page of the Harrison County Schools website at www.harcoboe.net.