Zachary school officials are considering giving each of its seven schools a credit card they can use to buy snacks for students, supplies and other items that many teachers currently pay for out of their own pockets.
John Musso, the school district’s business manager, said some school administrators approached him about the idea. He presented the information to the School Board, which will vote later whether to get the cards.
“Some of the employees in our district will go out and purchase items for the schools for different programs — for example, the after-school and before-school programs,” Musso said.
The district repays employees who spend their own money on school supplies. Musso said employees at elementary schools also often have to be reimbursed for snacks they buy for students in programs that take place before and after the school day.
Musso estimated his office cuts 20 to 25 reimbursement checks per month. If each school had a purchasing card, he said, the monthly number of those checks probably would fall to about five.
There would be strict rules for using the cards, such as a $2,500 purchase limit and procedures for checking the cards in and out.
“They can’t just grab the card and do what they want to,” Musso said.
The credit card bills would be paid by the school board office, which would then bill the individual schools, he said.
Board members were receptive to the idea. A few of them raised questions about what documentation employees who use the cards would have to submit, something they said they’ll discuss before voting on the matter.
Also, Superintendent Scott Devillier announced that all schools in the district retained an A rating by the state Department of Education, which released its statewide data Tuesday. The district also kept its spot as the No. 1 district in the state, which it has held for 13 years.
During the work session, Devillier reminded board members the state’s rating system will change after this year, and the standards for getting an A will be tougher.
“The game has changed a little bit, but I believe if we continue to work hard ... then it doesn’t matter what system they use,” Devillier said. “We’re going to be OK.”
He said officials are planning to host meetings with parents to explain the changes and how they may affect Zachary.
In other business:
- Board members were recognized for attending training and other activities that count toward the six hours of continuing education required of them each year.
- The board approved responses to an “attestation questionnaire” that helps ensure the district is following all relevant laws. Musso said the questionnaire has to be filled out and sent to the state legislative auditor every year.
- Devillier said Zachary schools will begin collecting items for the Zachary Food Bank’s annual Pack the Pantry drive next week. Schools in the district gathered 13,733 pounds of food last year.