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JJF, Student Activity Accounts

File:  JJF





The school committee recognizes that the fundamental task of the schools is to prepare young people for life.  In order for this preparation to be done properly, the educational program of the schools must be as wide as life itself.  An integral part of such a program is extra-classroom student activities.  They represent an essential part of the educational experiences, which should be available to young people.  In order to promote the organization and maintenance of student activities and to provide for the proper handling and safeguarding of the student activity funds, the school committee hereby adopts this policy and the accompanying procedures for the guidance of students, teachers and principals.


Student activity organizations may only be formed for educational and school service purposes. 


Student Activity Funds are defined as “funds raised other than by taxation or through charges of the school committee, for, by or in the name of a school, student body or any subdivision thereof”.  Basically, student activity funds are those operated by and for students.  Monies are usually collected voluntarily by pupils and are spent by them as they see fit so long as they abide by established regulations.


Student funds may be raised to finance the activities of authorized student organizations.  Student activity funds are considered a part of the total fiscal operation of the school system and are subject to policies established by the school committee and the office of the superintendent.  The funds shall be managed in accordance with sound business practices, which include accepted budgetary and accounting practices.


In compliance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71, Section 47, the school committee:


1.       Authorizes the principal of each school building to accept money for recognized student activity organizations, which currently exist, or as from time-to-time may be revised.  Each principal shall follow the procedures as prescribed in Policy JJF-R to begin a new student activity. The procedures will describe the activity’s purpose, funding methods, budget, and participants. (This description shall include the grade level, student program group [Yearbook, Foreign Languages] and number of participants) as well as its leadership.  The principal must be clear about any payroll charges that may be requested through these activities.


2.       No stipend will be paid to any staff member from a student activity checking account.


3.       Authorizes the City Treasurer to establish and maintain an interest bearing Student Activity Agency Account, which is to be audited as part of the City’s annual audit. 


4.       The interest that is earned in such account shall be maintained in the Agency Account and distributed annually among the Building Student Activity Checking Accounts as directed by the regulations established by school committee policy.


5.       Interest that is earned for each building will be used by the principals as he/she deems appropriate within the guidelines as established in school committee policy.


6.       Interest earnings may be expended for costs related to the operation of the student accounts.  This includes (but is not limited to) bank charges, audits, specialized bonds for employees handling student activity monies (if not covered under general liability policies), forms, tickets, and bookkeeping costs. 

7.       Interest earnings not used for operational costs of the account shall be turned over to the clubs, classes and organizations having monies in the student activity account.  All organizations shall be treated equitably in such distributions.


8.       Authorizes the establishment of Student Activity Checking Accounts for use by each principal and recommends the following specific maximum balances:


¨       Gardner High School                                               $25,000

¨       Gardner Middle School                                            $10,000

¨       Elm Street School                                                    $  2,500

¨       Helen Mae Sauter School                                        $  2,500

¨       Prospect School                                                      $  2,500

¨       Waterford School                                                    $  2,500


Further, the school committee recommends that the maximum balance for the High School be raised to $25,000 for the period April 1 through June 30.  At July 1, the maximum balance will revert to $15,000.


9.       The building principals are directed to provide the City Treasurer with a bond whose value will be according to the following schedule.  The expense for the bond is to be paid for by the school committee.


¨       Gardner High School                                   $25,000

¨       Gardner Middle School                                $10,000

¨       Elm Street School                                        $  2,500

¨       Helen Mae Sauter School                            $  2,500

¨       Prospect School                                          $  2,500

¨       Waterford School                                        $  2,500


10.   The School Business Administrator will audit all of the Student Activity Checking Accounts at least twice a school year.  The audit will look at the uses for these checks and proper documentation for each check written.


11.   Each principal will provide a quarterlyfinancial statement to the School Business Administrator that indicates the beginning and ending balances and a summary of the receipts and disbursements for each activity during that period.


12.   The School Committee requires that there be a two-signature requirement for any check over $500.  The second signature shall be that of the School Business Administrator and/or the School Superintendent.


13.   Any assets left in place from an inactive student activity organization (no transactions within a three-year time period) becomes the property of the school building and its use will be defined and supervised by the building principal.


14.   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.


15.   Every year, an independent audit firm shall conduct an audit of the student activity funds.  This audit will be conducted in accordance with procedures as agreed upon between the school committee and the auditor based upon guidelines issued by the MassachusettsDepartment of Education.  The cost of said audit would be paid from interest earned on the Student Activity Agency Account.



Legal Ref: MGL 71, Section 47


[Adoption Date: 10/26/98]

[Revised: October 2002]

[Revised: November 2003]

[Revised: November 2007]

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