School looks at using credit card machines

    Use of credit card machines in the school offices, as well as concessions stands, is being considered by Holyoke School District Re-1J. Budget and finance director Ben Rahe presented information at the Sept. 5 school board meeting.
    In general, board members were in favor of the proposal, which will return to the Sept. 19 meeting for further discussion.
    Having checked with the banks in the community, Rahe said he opted to present information from Bank of Colorado, mainly because there’s no contract involved. If the district decides to try offering payment by credit card but then decides it isn’t working, there’s no obligation to continue.
    Rahe explained that each office secretary would have a virtual terminal, so they would go to a website to process purchases. The second piece of the proposal involves payment by credit card at concessions stands/gate entry. For this, two mobile devices would be utilized, said Rahe.
    Three different accounts would be set up for credit card usage: general fund, lunch fund and activities fund.
    The mobile units would be set up for the activities fund, with each sponsor involved in concessions sales having their own ID. Ticket sales could potentially be handled at gates with the mobile unit.
    Rahe outlined the district costs for using the proposed credit card machines. He also explained that a convenience fee could be added per purchase if the district wants to assess that. A flat amount per credit card swipe could be added, but that amount would need to be the same for each swipe.
   Customers’ credit card information would be stored in a cloud and would be secure, added Rahe.
    He also pointed out that Bank of Colorado will provide a Remote Deposit Capture machine (valued at roughly $560) and will waive its monthly usage fee of $140.
    Emphasizing that he thinks using credit card machines will be beneficial, Rahe cited some statistics. Fifty percent of Americans carry less than $20 in their wallets, and 10 percent carry no cash at all.
    Being able to take credit cards provides a convenience for district patrons.
    
DAAC charges considered
    Pondering study charges for the District Accountability and Advisory Committee, the board heard suggestions from Superintendent John McCleary.
    He asked the board to consider charging DAAC to study the implementation of the Student Centered Accountability Program for the district’s new accreditation.
    He highlighted several elements for S-CAP that will be beneficial for various committees in the district. Two of these elements include a survey on student learning dispositions and professional learning.
    Additionally, McCleary suggested the board consider pushing the charge for studying when and how to move forward with a mill levy override proposal to the Budget and Facilities Committee. He recommended continuing conversations around school funding that came out during the Great Education presentation to the community Aug. 7.
    
Other business
    In other business at the Sept. 5 meeting, the school board:
    —Approved the following coaching assignments: Tanner Serratto, volunteer HS football; and Bryan Beckner, head strength and conditioning, $3,102, and volunteer HS football.
    —Learned there are four candidates for the three open seats on the school board for the Nov. 7 election. Names were to be drawn for ballot placement Thursday, Sept. 7, in the administration office. Candidates are Patricia Wiebers, Sue Razo, Trampas Hutches and Jon Kleve.
    —Approved nonresident student Katie Marshall.
    —Noted a memo from McCleary that he was required to report that a student action was taken.

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