PLACEHOLDER - schooldistrict

The St. Joseph School District will be instituting a new online payment platform for the upcoming school year.

School Cash is a website that was used by the SJSD about five years ago without the online payment component, meant to help more effectively manage various funds. Now, with that function having been purchased and instituted midway through last month, students and parents can pay for field trips, athletic fees, yearbooks and even spirit wear online.

“So any kind of fee that is charged to students, they now have the option to do it online,” Gabe Edgar, the SJSD assistant superintendent of business and operations, said. “Before, they would just write a check or pay cash, so that online option is definitely a benefit to the parents and students as well.”

An increase from around $23,500 a year to $30,000 allows for this online-payment feature, though lunch and nutrition-related payments still are done through My Payment Plus, which charges a 4.75 percent fee — approximately $1.20 for every $25.

However, Edgar said the district is in the process of having those services transferred over to School Cash Online in the future.

“For the school lunch, there is a fee to pay online, but what we have done is we’ve built in that fee for School Cash,” Edgar said. “The school district is paying that, so there is no fee to pay online for School Cash; it’s just a flat rate.”

He hopes that the removal of such a fee will make the processes more convenient and efficient not only for parents, but for teachers as well, considering they won’t need to take time out of their day to collect checks and cash for certain school-related activities and events.

And while Edgar said the process makes it easier for all involved, it is optional. Parents still can send money or checks with their children should that be more convenient for them.

According to the website, each school creates its own items for purchase and assigns them to its students, allowing them to add those items to a cart.

Edgar also said secretaries throughout the district have been trained in the system through the back-to-school workshops.

Students and parents can go to stjoseph.school

cashonline.com to access their accounts for the upcoming school year, which begins on Thursday, Aug. 15.

Daniel Cobb can be reached

at daniel.cobb@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowCobb.