Transaction Fees for International Payments

Credit Cards payments always incur a transaction fee. In most cases, the transaction fee is absorbed by the merchant. So for example, if you went to an online store and purchased some shoes for $100, a portion of that transaction is kept by the payment provider as a transaction fee, typically in the realm of 3% – 5% of the total. The merchant would then only receive between $95 and $97.

When allowing parents and students to pay online in Quickschools, schools actually have the option of adding a Convenience Fee to offset the transaction fees incurred by the payment gateway. 

Configure the Online Payments module where the parent or student pays the transaction fee

So from our original example above, if you were buying shoes for $100, the system would calculate a Convenience Fee, such that the merchant would receive the original $100 that was charged. So you’d end up paying something like $104, where $4 would go to the payment gateway, and the merchant would receive the original $100 charged.

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The Case for Importing Fees

Collecting fees is an important part of the school operations. And although QuickSchools provides an integrated way to collect fees online via Stripe, many schools choose to collect fees via their own payment gateway. When doing this, keeping both systems in sync can be a challenge. So here’s what you can do:

First off, you can use the “Outstanding Balances by Student (For Export)Summary Report to export all outstanding balances out of QuickSchools in Excel format. Simply search for “Outstanding”, and you should see it:

Outstanding Balances by Student (For Export) Report

You should hopefully be able to import the outstanding balances back into your payment gateway, and then charge your students/parents based on the new outstanding balances. Successful payments should create payment transactions (i.e. receipts) within your external system. Finally, you can then export all the payment transactions, and re-import them back into QuickSchools.

Import Fees into QuickSchools

If you’re using an external system to manage all payments and fees, and you simply want to display all fees and payments in QuickSchools via the Student and Parent Portal, you could import all transactions as well, but this is a different scenario.

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Tracking Late Arrivals and Early Dismissals

There are times when the school needs to track when students arrive late to school, or when they leave early. In most cases, you can use the Sign-In/Sign-Out app in QuickSchools, which works like a kiosk for signing in students on premise. If you want students/parents to notify the school of late arrivals or early dismissals from their portal, then the Online Forms app might be the better way forward.

Submitting Forms

Here’s an example of how you can use the Online Forms to allow parents to notify the school about late arrivals and early dismissals. A parent simply needs to log into his/her account and fill out the form every time their child comes in late or needs to leave early.

The form can be as simple as the example form below. The parent will fill out a few fields then submit the form.

Parents can use the same link to submit the same form over and over again, for different days, or for different students.

Reviewing Submissions

As an administrator, you can be notified via email whenever a form is submitted. You just need to add the appropriate emails when configuring the Notification Emails:

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Can I Edit/Delete Fees?

The Fee Tracking module in QuickSchools is a very useful tool for tracking and communicating fees and payments with students and parents. In some case, schools may even allow students and parents to make payments online. Although this Fee Tracking module is not a full blown accounting module, we do adhere to certain accounting principles in order to allow the current and future integration of the Fee Tracking module with external accounting programs.

Fee Transactions can only be Deleted, not Edited
Fee Transactions can only be Deleted, not Edited

In the accounting world, transactions should never really be edited, or even deleted. When an error is made, usually a new transaction needs to be created to offset the original transaction. As a result, our fee tracking module currently does not allow transactions to be edited. So if a mistake is made during data entry, the user will either need to delete the original transaction, or create a new transaction to offset the error.

Collecting Fees via Online Forms

Using the Online Forms in QuickSchools, you can collect fees from parents or students. There are 2 options when collecting fees:

  • Immediate payment: pay using Credit Card upon completing the online form
  • Charge to account: students will be charged via Fee Tracking upon completing the online form

Immediate Payment

This option will collect payment before the parent/student can submit the form. You’ll need to set up the fees that need to be paid – and these fees will be shown to parents/students on the last step, right before completing the online form.
Note: Stripe should be set up on your account for this to work

As you can see above, the parent/student needs to enter his/her credit card information to make payment, in order to complete the form submission. You can use this option for selling tickets to events (like an End-Of-Term Concert), or for products like T-Shirts and books.

The Online Forms module can be made accessible to the public, so you don’t have to be a QuickSchools users in order to submit (and pay for) forms. For more information on this method, click here.

Charge to Account

For this option, you’ll also need set up the fees to be paid. The parent/student will just need to confirm these fees before completing the form. The fee will be added to the student’s account under Fee Tracking as a charge and parents/students can make payment at a later time:

Since the fee will be charged to the students, this method is only applicable to students that already exist in the system.

For information in setting up this method, click here.

Please chat with us if you have questions. We’d be glad to help!

New Release – April 12, 2021

Here are the latest improvements in QuickSchools:

Google Classroom Improvements

  • Map students by email address – See below
  • Search feature for Profiles (Beta)

Email Improvements

  • Introduce Send History when sending Email from Templates – See below
  • Improve performance when emailing attachments from modules (Report Cards, Gradebook, Fee Tracking)
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes related to attachments

Other General Improvements

  • NEW: Attendance Dashboard for Not-Yet-Taken (Beta) – See below
  • Improve how Summary Reports are run for long queries
  • Live Stream now support recurring meetings
  • Search Student by Email Address and Phone Number
  • Ability to Schedule Synchronize with Sync 
  • Ability to disable Chat Box for Online Forms – See below
  • Fileroom App now supports sharing with Students
  • Improve Search on Teachers Lounge (Beta)
  • School Notes for new Self-Enrollment (Beta)
  • Miscellaneous improvements to Announcements
  • Miscellaneous improvements to Master Scheduler
  • Bug fix when managing Live Stream for Teachers
  • Bug fix when a new document is uploaded to the Student record

Mapping Students in Google Classroom

When mapping students in Google Classroom, the system now displays the email address, so that it’s easier to match students. This is particularly useful when students use their own personal Google Accounts for Google Classroom, and thus may have names in a foreign language:

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Report Cards and New Academic Terms

In QuickSchools, Academic Terms (or Semesters) provide a way to contain and separate student data. So for example, when you change the courses for a student within an academic term, it does not affect his courses from a previous academic term. And this extends to many modules, like grade levels / programs, subjects and gradebooks, simplified schedules, report cards, standard charges (from the Fee Tracking module), and so on. In this way, you can easily and safely introduce changes to the student record, while keeping archived data intact.

So when you activate a new Academic Term, it makes sense to copy certain information over, instead of recreating everything from scratch. By default, the system will ask you whether you want to copy data forward:

Choose whether to Copy data from the Previously Active Academic Term

There is an additional area to “Configure” additional information to copy over, like Gradebook Formulas and Admin Columns :

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New Release – Dec 29, 2020

This is the 17th and last release of 2020. Most schools will be on break right now. We’re looking forward to a bright 2021, with awesome new features and improvements. As always, your feedback is important to us, so let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see in a future release.

But for now, here are the latest improvements in QuickSchools:

Master Scheduler

  • Fix Department Constraints
  • Enhance ways for setting up Course Offering
  • New function to Lock All Sections in Step 5
  • Show Periods that have been restricted via Constraints
  • Set Student Portal Course Requests as INACTIVE by default, when an enrollment period is activated.
  • Improve wording of certain phrases

COMING SOON: Temperature App

  • Store student temperatures
  • Customize Health Screening questions
  • Works with externally scanner

Other General Improvements

  • Administrator can charge credit cards from Family Billing (See below)
  • Increase size limit for files uploads not related to email messaging
  • Bug fix when uploading multiple files with the same name
  • Improvement to District/Group School, to support more data to be copied over when students / teachers are transferred between schools. 
  • Improve support for Name Formats when enrolling student from Online Forms 
  • Report Creator Support for Subject ID (used for data exports)
  • Report Summary Support for Gradebook Total Marks Possible
  • Improve support for adding/updating subject attendance from the student record
  • Support links in template descriptions for Transcripts
  • Fix labelling support for Homework
  • Fix App Store error when loading reviews linked to a deleted user.
  • Various improvements to server infrastructure
  • Various improvements to the test environment
  • Security login improvement (login counter and timeout)

Charging Credit Cards via Family Billing

In a previous release, we introduced the ability for administrators to charge credit cards that were entered via the Student and Parent Portals. However, this feature was only available for schools using Student Billing. We’ve now extended this functionality to also support Family Billing:

This feature can be enabled when you configure the Fee Tracking module as an administrator:

Temperature App

In response to the year of Covid-19, we are preparing a new Temperature App, that will allow schools to quickly record and track student temperature readings, along with responses to health screening questions that can be customized. Here’s a preview of what the app looks like:

When taking a student temperature, you can use the Custom Fields widget to create screening questions:

More details for this app will be announced soon. Do enjoy the rest of your December Break!

See You Next Year!