Parent collection letter?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by pwhatley, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I have written two letters explaining the (school assessed) student fees. Thus far, of 17 students, I have received 7 payments. How would you word a "gentle reminder" letter asking that those who haven't paid do so? I'm planning on only sending it to those deadbeats, um, parents who haven't paid. Seriously, I know it's difficult for some parents - been there, done that, but it's now been 5 weeks!
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    You shouldn't have to...admin should. Maybe ask them? I bet you're not the only one facing this.
     
  4. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    They insist that it's our job, since "we" will be "spending" the money on enrichments for our class - like Weekly Readers and materials, lol.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I disagree with them. Sorry. :(

    Guess I'd just make a short and simple note and staple it in their agenda or whatever you all do: "Records indicate you have not paid the student fees for your child. Please do so prior to (make up date a week or so into the future) so materials necessary for this year can be purchased. Please contact me should you have any questions or concerns."
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    How many reminders have you sent? I sent a reminder email about party money that just said, don't forget party money is past due. I sent it to myself and bcc only the parents that hadn't paid, many sent it the next day and the rest emailed that they planned to Monday. I'd try something simple first, then send an official looking letter.
     
  7. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Thanks, y'all!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2013

    Maybe put it on the HW listing for the first few days this week and then send a formal 'reminder' midweek. It was just pay day for many so this week might be a good time to hit them up!
     
  9. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I'm curious, how much is the payment?
     
  10. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    $10, Pisces_Fish. My daughter had to pay $18 in third grade, and that was 16 years ago! LOL
     
  11. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Yeah, $10 isn't a big deal :(
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 15, 2013

    Unless you have several kids. And you've just spent a ton of money on school supplies. And they need new sneakers. And you've just paid for Religious Ed for all of them. And gone food shopping. And registered one for Gymnastics and another for Tae Kwan Do. Or have a dying parent, or are facing serious medical issues yourself and are trying to keep all the balls in the air.

    During my SAHM years, there were a few times when my $10 per kid was late. Not because I was a "deadbeat" or a cheapskate, but because, by the time I got to it, my wallet was empty. I always paid it, but it wasn't always on time.

    Send home a gentle reminder.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Good post, Alice. I do think sometimes people forget that school isn't the only thing in a families life.
     
  14. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Alice, late is one thing, not paying is another. I suspect the OP will end up having a few parents still not paid up in a few weeks. Maybe I have the Sunday Night Grumpies, we'll see...
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I suspect you're right.

    During my "black cloud" year, the odds are very good that I was one of those "deadbeats." As I said, I was doing my best to keep all the balls in the air, and I'm positive I must have dropped some. I have no idea which ones, but I'm sure there must have been some.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    pw, do you mind me asking what these student fees are for and who decided that these things need to be purchased?
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't think parents are "deadbeats" if they haven't paid. But I do feel if parents can't pay, they should communicate that. And yes, that sucks and hurts to have to say...but that would probably end the collection efforts. But again, I do feel strongly the office should be handling this.
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    1. the term deadbeats wasn't meant literally
    2. I understand late, but FIVE weeks? I've been late before, too!
    3. I know that my little fee isn't the most important thing on their priority list, but:
    A. Only about half of my kiddos brought any supplies. at. all.
    Guess who purchased them?
    B. I have not "pushed" the fee in the past. Instead, I have just paid for stuff myself. I'm tired of counting change for gas right before payday.
    4. The fees go to pay for things like Scholastic News and Time for Kids, as well as offsetting any costs for field trips (like the bus costs).
    5. Unfortunately, our office staff handles as little as possible.
    6. My district is not providing any common core materials for upper elementary. Instead, we were told "there's so much on the web."
    7. The increased emphasis on nonfiction texts in the CCSS means that we have to FIND the texts SOMEWHERE. The magazines are a good source.
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I do love those publications! :)
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't think anyone expects you to pay out of pocket.

    Just send home a gentle reminder. It's entirely possible that the fee has simply fallen off the radar and they've forgotten all about it. And that, if the reminder coincides with payday, a number will send in the fee.

    For what it's worth, my son's guidance counselor sent home a memo over the summer on registering for Naviance, to start the college search process... obviously a high priority. Each kid (and parent, I think) had an individual code. But they were on slips the size of the fortunes you find in fortune cookies...tiny, little slips of paper.

    We're in the middle of construction. I imagine I put those tiny little slips of paper someplace safe, but have absolutely no clue of where that might be-- my old "safe place for important stuff" no longer exists. The odds of my putting my hands on those tiny little slips of paper are pretty negligable.

    Had a friend not mentioned it over the weekend, I would never have remembered receiving the letter. Not because of a lack of interest, simply because of the realities of living while your house is under construction.

    So I'll have to call guidance, apologize, and ask someone to look up the codes again.
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Maybe every evening you can call a few parents. If you actually speak with them then they can't say they didn't SEE the note about the money. I think 5 weeks gave them plenty of time and if they had a real problem with the $10 they should have contacted you personally.
     
  22. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Are many of these families free/reduced lunch or right on that line? If so, many of these things they see as "extras" might not be on their priority list.

    I hate to say it, but there have been many things over the years that were nice extras that I had to pay for that were really just that, nice extras that were barely used. Sometimes they weren't really used but they were thought as nice for kids to have because they might not have the opportunity otherwise.

    I say write a nice reminder and see what happens. If they are free/reduced lunch families or really close to the border, you might consider that charging for these extras in the future may not be the way to go. Seems you have had trouble for years with families that aren't providing materials or money.
     
  23. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Sep 17, 2013

    This year has actually been the best for supplies :)
    All but 2 of my students are on free lunch. They do have $200 shoes, though, and iPhones.
    I wrote a gentle reminder as part of the teacher note on their progress reports, which went home today, lol!
     
  24. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 18, 2013

    My GS's school has a fund to pay for any child on free lunch. That way, the teacher is not caught in the middle.

    I agree, $10 can hit a low income family hard. I bet there are a lot of grandparents like me who pay for a lot of school fees, new shoes, and dance lessons.
     
  25. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Don't I know it! I'm one of them, lol! $200+ for my grandson's supplies, uniforms, and shoes for school!
     

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