Student Activities are sponsored by the school, under the guidance and supervision of the staff of the Worcester Public Schools. The goal of these activities is to provide students with experiences that offer motivation, enjoyment, and improvement of skills.
The Superintendent shall approve student organizations. An annual list of student activities shall be maintained in the district´s Business Office. The composition of these organization include a student body, student president, student treasurer, and faculty advisor. New student activity groups may be added with the approval of the Superintendent of Schools.
Student activity funds are moneys raised by an approved student organization by student efforts through approved fundraising activities. Student activity funds are raised by students, spent by those students, for their benefit. No staff member shall benefit from student activity funds.
The purpose of student activity funds are to provide financial support for approved extra-curricular activities.
The Superintendent of Schools, or his designee shall have the responsibility and authority to implement all policies and rules pertaining to the supervision and administration of student activity funds in accordance with the statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and policies of the Worcester School Committee and procedures developed by the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The school principal is designated as the trustee of the student activity fund, and shall give bond to the City in the maximum amount authorized to be maintained in the school´s checking account and the principal shall be responsible for the operation of the student financial activities in his/her building. The maximum balance of the Student Activity Checking Account shall be $25,000.00 but the Superintendent may approve temporary requests from schools to exceed this maximum amount during the year when necessary based on the level of student activity payments needed during that time of year.
The City Auditor will establish a Student Activity Agency Account for each school´s student activity funds in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 66 of the Acts of 1996 (M.G. L. Chapter 71, Section 47).
The City Treasurer shall deposit Student Activity Funds revenue into an interest-bearing account as required by Ch. 66.
The School Principal will appoint a member of the school staff, designated to maintain the required financial records for the school´s student activity funds.
Student activity records and financial procedures shall be subject to audit by staff of the Worcester Public Schools as well as outside independent auditors as the School Committee may prescribe following the recommendations of the City Auditors, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and/or the Department of Revenue. Audit reports shall be referred to the Principal and the Central Administration for informative purposes and possible improvement of procedures. Annual reports shall be prepared by the Principal and forwarded to the Chief Financial and Operations Officer. These reports shall reflect the status of the student activity checking account and proof of reconciliation of the account. Each account must be accounted for so that the identity of its resources, obligations, revenues, and expenditures are continuously maintained.
The Principal of each school shall designate one person, in addition to himself or herself, who shall be authorized to receive and deposit funds into the Student Activity Agency Account following procedures established by the City Treasurer and providing detailed documentation to the Treasurer for each deposit. Two signatures, the Principal and the Student Activity Treasurer, shall be required for all checks drawn on the Student Activity Checking Account. Supporting evidence shall be required prior to signing the check. Blank checks shall never be signed.
Interest earned of the Student Activity Agency Accounts and the Student Activity Checking Accounts shall be accounted for separately from the individual student activity fund accounts and may be used to pay for bonding costs, bank account fees, bookkeeping costs, the costs of checks, or any audit costs that may be required. Interest earned not for these purposes may be distributed to the individual subsidiary accounts if documented methodology is maintained by the Student Activity Treasurer.
Fundraising activities such as commissions on sale of yearbooks, rings, pictures must be conducted in connection with approved student activities and the proceeds shall be handled as other student activity revenue and deposited and expended by the students involved in those activities. Other earnings, if based on student use, must be distributed to student activity accounts in a manner that may be determined and documented by the principal.
Collection and Deposit of Cash
All moneys collected from any source must be substantiated by duplicate-copy receipt. A receipt will be issued immediately upon receipt of funds of student activity account bookkeeper or advisor. A copy of the receipt is to be given to the person from whom the money is received. The second copy is to be retained by the Principal or designee as permanent record of money received. A third copy shall be provided to the City Treasurer as part of the documentation of deposits made into the Student Activity Checking Account. (No deposits shall be made directly into the Student Activity Checking Account). All moneys collected shall be placed in the school safe, or other secure location, for security. Said moneys shall remain in the school safe, or other secure location, only until such time as deposit can be reasonably completed. All checks to be deposited in the student activity agency account shall be endorsed immediately upon receipt, showing a restrictive endorsement, making it payable for deposit only to the City of Worcester, and showing the School´s student activity agency account number.
Disbursements from the Student Activity Checking Account shall be made on pre-numbered checks which serve as the basis for making an entry recording the disbursement. Disbursements shall be supported by an invoice or documentation bearing signatures certifying to receipt of merchandise or delivery of services. When a check is written, the invoice, and supporting documents, shall be marked "Paid by check Number XXXX" and "Date of Payment" XX/XX/XX" and shall be filed for auditing purposes.
A check register, copy of invoices, and copy of checks shall be considered documentation supporting a warrant to receive funds from the Student Activity Agency Account for deposit into the Student Activity Checking Account returning the checking account to the maximum balance.
Record of Transactions
The Principal or designee shall maintain a complete set of books recording all moneys deposited and disbursed. A Cash Receipts Journal (Record of Receipts) and a Cash Disbursement Journal (Record of Expenditures) shall serve as a control whereby the total amount of money deposited and expended for all funds is maintained continuously. All transactions shall be entered and categorized to permit appropriate analysis.
Reconciliation of Bank Statements
The balance shown by the bank statements will rarely agree with the balance reflected by the books of the fund because of outstanding checks, deposits in transit, bank charges and possible errors. The bank statement will be reconciled with the activity fund books as soon as possible after it has been received. A copy of the reconciliation shall be retained for the annual audit. Should a balanced reconciliation not be made, the school administration and City Auditor shall be informed immediately.
Monthly Financial Reports
At the end of each month, a financial statement shall be prepared by the Principal or designee. The information contained in the statement shall include the financial status of each activity comprising the activity fund. Copies of the statement shall be forwarded monthly to the school administration and City Auditor for the purpose of reporting the overall financial status of the fund as well as to provide an internal audit.
Fund raisers must keep accurate records of inventory received and inventory distributed.
When receiving money for trips, an accurate record of student deposits and destination costs must be kept.
Under no circumstances are advisors to open student accounts using their own signatures or names of parents.
When obtaining service such as transportation, for example, it is important that providers have satisfactory liability insurance to protect students and the public schools in the event of accidental losses due to property damage or injury. Guidance should be sought from the central administration if there are questions regarding this matter prior to committing to a provider.
Source: M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 47
Worcester School Committee gb #6-197.1 (1996)