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JJF-R, Student Activity Account Procedures

File: JJF-R








There are certain principles and procedures that should be followed in establishing an adequate accounting system for student activity funds.  The following basic devices are essential to the proper management of such funds:


Basic Principles


A.          Two separate and independent sets of records of receipts and expenditures shall be maintained.


B.          The authority to spend monies shall be distinct and separate from the custody of these monies.


C.          At least two individuals shall take part in each act of disbursing money.


D.          The building principal and the Business Administrator shall both report to the school committee at regular intervals.


E.           An internal audit of each account will be conducted annually by the Business Administrator.  In addition to this annual audit, the Business Administrator shall conduct on-going internal reviews of the accounts.  These internal reviews should involve reviewing the monthly reports prepared by the individuals having daily oversight of the accounts.


F.           The accounting system shall be such that it will yield the largest possible educational return to students without sacrificing the safety of funds or exposing students to undue responsibility or unnecessary routine.


Organizational Procedure


Students desiring to form an extracurricular activity shall petition their principal in writing.  The petition shall state the purpose of and describe the activities of the proposed extracurricular activity, and shall be signed by at least seven students before it is presented to the principal for action.  If the purpose of the proposed activity falls within the scope of educational or school service purposes and if the necessary space and equipment is available, the principal, in conjunction with the petitioning students, shall seek a suitable faculty advisor.  When these procedures have been accomplished, the building principal shall recommend to the School Superintendent that the school committee approve the extracurricular activity.


Approved Student Activities


The school committee shall approve all extracurricular student activities.  The School Superintendent shall maintain an up-to-date register of all extracurricular activities that are approved or discontinued.


Faculty Advisor


A.          Each extracurricular activity shall have a faculty advisor recommended by the building principal and appointed by the School Superintendent.


B.          The faculty advisor shall attend all meetings of the extracurricular student activity.

C.          It shall be the duty of these officers to guide and advise the pupil officers in planning activities and the planning of financial budgets.


D.          The advisors shall assist the activity treasurer in the preparation of statements of income.


E.           He/she shall audit these statements and sign them as acknowledgement of verification of the income statement to deposit slips.


F.           The advisor shall guide the student treasurer in posting his/her account ledger and from time to time shall check the balancing of the student treasurer’s accounts and the completeness of their supporting evidence.


G.          The faculty advisor shall supervise expenditures by insuring that funds are available before approving each proposed purchase and by signing all withdrawal slips.


H.          The faculty advisor shall constantly work toward the goal of insuring the largest educational return from the activities participated in by the pupils.


I.             Each faculty advisor shall receive a copy of the school committee’s policy and procedures regarding student activity accounts and, prior to appointment, shall sign a declaration that they have received, read, and understand said policy and declare that the activities of the student organization shall be conducted in accordance with said school committee policy.


J.            Failure to adhere to school committee policy may result in termination.




All extracurricular student activities shall meet at least monthly while school is in session.  These meetings shall be held on school property.  Extracurricular student activities shall not meet outside school property unless they have received the consent of their building principal.




Each extracurricular student activity shall have a president, secretary, and treasurer, at a minimum.  These officers shall be elected annually from among the membership by secret ballot.


Financial Procedures


All extracurricular student activity funds shall be handled in accordance with the regulation for the safeguarding, accounting and auditing of these funds.


Leftover Funds/Graduating Class Funds


Leftover funds of discontinued extracurricular activities shall automatically revert to the account of the general student organization or student council.


Funds held on behalf of the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes at Gardner High School are to be held within the student activity fund of the high school.  Such funds shall be designated by the class’s year of graduation (class of 2008, etc).


Once a class has graduated from Gardner High School, their funds should be removed from the high school student activity fund no later than two years from the date of graduation.  It is the responsibility of the class officers to arrange for these funds to be removed from the student activity fund.  When requested, and once all outstanding financial obligations of the graduating class have been met, the remaining balance should be removed from the fund by check transfer payable to the class of XXXX.  Checks payable to individual members of the class are not permitted.


Should the class officers not request to have their funds removed from the student activity fund within two years of the date of their graduation, the funds will be forfeited by the class and transferred into the general sub-fund portion of the student activity fund.  Such funds will be presented to the School Committee for acceptance as a donation.  These funds may then be allocated to appropriate student activities by the principal at his/her discretion.

Class officers shall be given a copy of this policy during the course of their senior year to ensure their knowledge of their obligations under this policy.


Appointment of Officers


The School Superintendent shall appoint, on the recommendation of the building principal, members of the regular faculty and clerical staff to fill the following positions:


¨       Faculty Advisors

¨       Student Activity Accounts Clerk


Training Sessions


A.          The services and/or guidance of the Business Administrator’s Office shall be made available to the building principals and his/her office staff to review laws and the essentials of good bookkeeping procedures to ensure accurate and auditable books/accounts.


B.          The Business Administrator will conduct an annual meeting for faculty advisors and student officers/treasurers in early September to review these principles of the Student Activity Accounts system.  Training shall be made available on the necessary procedures, forms, authorizations needed, and the books and records to be kept to accurately systemize an audit trail and prepare proper records.


Tax Exempt Status


A.          All Student Activity Checking Accounts purchases will be under the city tax exempt number through the City Treasurer’s Office.


B.          Monies not under the control of the school system (i.e., PTO, Booster Clubs, staff monies, etc.) are not considered student activity monies and are not eligible to use the tax-exempt number.  Any monies belonging to staff (i.e. Sunshine funds, staff vending machines, etc.) can not be maintained in the Student Activity Accounts.  Should staff wish to maintain such an account, they must establish a bank account in their own name, and can not use the city tax-exempt number for such accounts.




A.          Gifts to recognized student activities must be deposited into the student activity agency account and expended in accordance with the school committee’s policies for expenditures from such student activity account.


B.          Gifts with a value of less than $500 must be accepted by the School Superintendent.  Any gift valued over $500 must be accepted by the School Committee.


C.          Gifts to other than student organizations are governed by Section 53A of Chapter 44 of the General Laws of Massachusetts, and shall be processed in accordance with such, including deposit of monetary gifts with the City Treasurer.


D.          If no specific purpose was indicated, the monetary gift shall be expended in accordance with the overall intent of the gift.


Scholarship Funds


Under provisions of Section 53A of Chapter 44 and Section 37A of Chapter 71 of the General Laws of Massachusetts, all grants and gifts for educational purposes shall be deposited with the City Treasurer and held in a separate account.  All scholarship monies will be under the jurisdiction of the school committee, in accordance with the guidelines under which the scholarship was established.


Accounting Systems, Forms and Record Keeping


A critical point to keep in mind with all record keeping is that each person involved should protect themselves from charges of wrongdoing by keeping detailed records with appropriate backup documents.  A clear audit trail should be left at all times.  This would include the following:


¨       Pre-numbered tickets should be used with an inventory system for monitoring use of such;


¨       Standardized forms (for deposits, disbursements, etc.) should be used whenever possible;


¨       All disbursements should require a bill, an invoice, or some type of receipt.  If it is a receipt, “Paid in full” or “Amount Paid” should be clearly indicated upon the face of the receipt with the signature of the vendor (if hand-written receipt);


¨       All deposits shall be made with a school deposit slip stating the source of the monies, total amount being deposited, and the signature of the person making the deposit;


¨       Bank reconciliations and account reconciliations shall be done monthly with a copy of each to the Business Administrator.  Copies of the account reconciliation shall also be sent to the student officer/treasurer or faculty advisor of each organization and to the School Committee.


¨       Periodic financial reports shall be made quarterly.


¨       Other reports shall be prepared as required by the Business Administrator, the School Superintendent and/or the School Committee.


Subsidiary Accounts


The principal shall maintain subsidiary accounts within the student activity control account, in order to match receipts and expenditures to the appropriate recognized student activity organization.  Subsidiary accounts should be balanced each month to the control account.




A.           The area most susceptible to abuse is the receipt process, since many individuals (often students) collect cash.


B.          Any student organizations receiving monies from any source should turn over such money to the principal or the principal’s designee within twenty-four (24) hours for subsequent deposit to the student activity agency account.

C.          If money is received on a weekend, it shall be turned in on the first business day to the principal’s office.  No student shall take money home at any time; money received over the weekend shall be deposited to a night depository, secured in a locked vault, or safeguarded by other means.


D.          The principal or principal’s designee shall deposit into the student activity agency account all monies received from student activity organizations no later than forty-eight (48) hours from receipt by the principal’s office.


E.           Any money not deposited on the same day it was received shall be kept overnight in a safe or other secure locked area.


F.           All money turned over to the principal’s office by a student organization (student officer/treasurer or faculty advisor) shall be accompanied by a school deposit slip.  The deposit slip shall state the source of the monies, the amount of money being deposited, and shall be signed by the person turning over the money to the principal’s office.


G.          All monies turned into the office by students must be co-signed by the faculty advisor.


H.          The faculty advisor and/or the student officer/treasurer shall keep a duplicate of the school deposit slip submitted to the principal’s office with the money.


I.             The principal will complete a building wide deposit slip in duplicate.  This deposit slip will show the source of funds by activity.  The receipts plus the deposit slip will be given to the Accounts Receivable Clerk in the Central Office within the next business day of the receipt of the funds.


J.            The Accounts Receivable Clerk will prepare a turnover sheet with the appropriate back up documentation for the City Auditor and a turnover sheet for the City Treasurer.




Any monies paid to the school or to a student activity organization as commissions belong to the students (i.e., school pictures, yearbooks, class rings, candy sales, etc.) shall be deposited into the student activity agency account.  Such monies shall be expended in accordance with school committee policy for the benefit of students.  At no time shall such commissions be used to benefit staff.




A.          No purchases will be made without the prior written approval of the principal.


B.          In all instances, the student officers and the faculty advisors are urged to follow sound business practices when purchasing goods and services.  While it is unclear at this time as to the application of Chapter 30B of the General Laws of Massachusetts, the student organizations are urged to follow the spirit and intent of the laws. Obtain written quotes whenever possible.  If the value of the goods or services is expected to exceed $1,000, written quotes are required.  If the value of the goods or services is expected to exceed $5,000, the organization should advertise and obtain sealed bids.  This should ensure that competition prevails and the student organization receives the best value for their dollar.


C.          The up fronting of personal monies shall be avoided whenever possible.  If it is anticipated that up fronting of monies may be necessary, prior written approval shall be obtained from the principal.


D.          Equipment and supplies purchased with student activity account monies are the property of the organization, not of any individual student, advisor, or other interested party.


E.           Faculty advisors, or others involved in purchasing through the student activity account, shall not in any way benefit personally from the purchase.


F.           Student activity monies shall not be used for any purpose unrelated to student activities of for the benefit of any staff person.




A.           All expenditures/disbursements from student activity accounts shall be made by check.


B.           No check shall be made payable to “CASH”.


C.          Checks shall be signed only after they are completely prepared. 


D.          Check signature authority shall be in accordance with school committee policy.  Checks to be written for an amount over $500.00 will require two signatures (Principal, Business Administrator and/or School Superintendent).


E.           No checks shall be issued without bills, invoices or receipts to document the disbursement.  Vendor statements alone (i.e., without supporting documents) should NOT be used for the issuance of checks.  Invoices are generally not valid when not accompanied by a signed packing slip indicating receipt of the goods or services.


F.           The principal or his designee will maintain a record of all checks issued.


G.          All checks shall be accounted for, including voided checks (which should be mutilated to avoid reuse but not destroyed).


H.          Checkbook reconciliations to bank statements and account reconciliations shall be done monthly.  The principal should review and approve the reconciliations.


I.             A standardized form should accompany all requests for check issuance.  This form shall accompany the invoice and/or receipt and/or all supporting documents and must state to whom the check shall be made payable, the reason for the payment, the amount of the check, the account to be charged, and the approval signature of the student officer and/or faculty advisor.


Replenishing the Checking Accounts


A.          The Building Principal will replenish the student activity checking account at least monthly, if not sooner if the activity in the account is greater than anticipated.


B.          The Building Principal will compile copies of checks written during the month, or cancelled checks, if available, plus copies of the invoices that support the issuance of the checks.


C.          The Business Administrator will review the request for complete documentation, approve the request, and forward to the City Treasurer and the City Auditor.  If the necessary documentation is not there, the Business Administrator will return the request to the Building Principal.


D.           The City Auditor is to receive a copy of all documentation that accompany the requests for replenishment




A.          Fund-raising projects shall be held in accordance with school committee policy.


B.          Results of fund-raisers shall be reported to the principal within one week of the close of the fund-raising activity on the approved form.


C.          All monies received through fund-raisers shall be deposited in accordance with the preceding section on “Receipts”.


D.          Expenditures related to fund-raisers must be handled in accordance with the guidelines and policies for all other student activity account expenditures (see “Purchases” and “Expenditures/Disbursements/Checks”).


Inactive Accounts


Any student activity organization inactive for a period of three (3) years or more, and for which there has been no receipts or disbursements recorded on their behalf, shall require the following actions to be closed:


¨       Written notification by the faculty advisor or student officer/treasurer to the principal or other authorized administrator that the particular activity will cease to be a viable account.  If a faculty advisor or student officer/treasurer is not available, such discontinuance shall be by vote of the school committee.


¨       All assets of the recognized student activity organization shall be determined and stated in writing.


¨       Any disposition of assets of an inactive recognized student activity organization shall be determined by the school committee, but in no case shall the disposition benefit specific individuals.  (The primary goal in disposition should be to benefit the student body.)




[Adopted: 10/26/98]

[Reviewed: October 2002]

[Revised: November 2007]]


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