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Working Space | Finances

Working Space | Performing Arts

In tune with students for 15 years

Dollars and sense Cashless school payment system integrates with eTAP Many schools can now remove office handling of parent payments thanks to the integration of student management system, eTAP, with school e-commerce platform Kindo. The ‘marriage’ of the two online systems promises to free up a significant amount of office admin time and allows parents and caregivers to action all their financial transactions with the school through a single login.

Seth Haapu works with a student at Stratford High School

2016 marks the 15 Anniversary of the NZ Music Commission Education Programmes – and there is a lot to celebrate! th

In 2001, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was in theatres, Shihad’s “Pacifier” was in the charts, and Julia Deans and Whirimako Black were winners at the NZ Music Awards. It was also the year that the then NZ Music Industry Commission, with funding from the Ministry of Education, launched the education programmes that have reached thousands of students during the past one and a half decades. The NZ Music Commission Schools Programme has brought music industry professionals to a minimum of 60 schools per year all around the country and through the Bands Programme, participants in Smokefree Rockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats have learned from guest performers, guest speakers, and one on one mentoring when they reach the finals. More than 100 of New Zealand’s top music professionals have mentored students through the programmes; from legacy artists like Jon Toogood of Shihad and Annie Crummer, bright youngsters like Indira Force of Doprah and MajicPaora, and the superstars of the Maori music world – Maisey Rika, Tama Waipara and Rob Ruha. Shihad singer Jon Toogood, a 43 year old father of two with 20 years of success in the music industry, joined the programmes “because it’s just as challenging and inspiring as anything I’ve done in my professional life. I get to meet so many talented people and share what I can about the art form I love.” The Schools Programme provides crucial support to teachers in terms of content delivery, industry expertise and technical know-how. Many mentorships focus on songwriting - a specialty that most music teachers are very grateful to have assistance - as well as rehearsal and performance techniques for bands, and utilising music technology. The mentorships are a significant boost for students working toward NCEA assessments in Composition,

Solo Performance, Group Performance and Music Technology. Teacher Tim Sherrifs of Waiopehu College said about a recent mentorship with TynaKeelan (NgatiPorou), “In Music we have a reasonably high number of Maori and Pacific students. Tyna worked with all of them and the feedback I had from them was great. They felt inspired by someone they could relate to and respected.” Teacher Jane Egan of Gisborne Girls High School said of a recent mentorship with Annie Crummer, “Having a positive Pacific role model who has excelled in the industry was definitely of benefit to our students and gave them aspirations of following music as a career option. “Our mentor made all students feel very comfortable about being themselves on stage. Annie was also great with the autistic students she worked with. All students showed a marked improvement in skills and confidence, and met our goal of writing and performing two original pieces of music at a public concert within the two day time frame.” Some of New Zealand’s most successful artists at home and abroad have been mentored through the NZ Music Commission Education Programmes – including 2011 Grammy award winner Kimbra (Hillcrest High School), Waiata Maori Female Artist of the Year winner Majic Paora (Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rito) and Caleb and Georgia Nott of Broods (Garin College), who took home Best Group and Album of the Year at the NZ Music Awards. As Chris Mac from Six60 said, “I mentor – because somebody mentored me”. And that’s something worth celebrating. To learn more about the NZ Music Commission Education programmes, go to www.nzmusic.org.nz/education

Kindo’s intuitive platform enables parents to pay school expenses and complete permission slips from their mobile, tablet or laptop. Now, all school invoices on eTAP can also be paid via Kindo with payments flowing directly into the SMS without manual reconciliation or data entry. This will dramatically cut down interruptions and data entry in the school office. It will also make it quick and easy for working parents to action payments and respond to school opportunities, like fundraisers, sports team sign ups and trips. Kindo founder and CEO, Sandra Finlay says schools using Kindo have already seen payments coming in more quickly. “Now that Kindo can act as a seamless extension of eTAP, schools will be able to focus office resources on more valuable activities, rather than payment reconciliation and updating records.” Allowing part payments is another feature that is set to make parents and schools very happy, she says. “Parents can easily see what they owe and what payments are outstanding, then choose to pay all or some of each amount. Many schools already manage this manually but it’s a time-consuming job that requires an intuitive knowledge of a family’s wishes. “The integration between eTAP and Kindo empowers families to decide how to step out their payments without complicating things for school administrators. Payments made through Kindo will be posted directly into eTAP without passing through anyone’s hands.” Administration and accounts team at Stonefields School, Ellie Bramwell and Lauren Wessels, are excited about the time savings that the integration offers. “Now that the two systems can talk to each other it’s a dream come true,” Ellie says. “It totally takes away manual reconciliation, cutting out such a mundane part of the process.” This creation of a single ‘centre of truth’ for all pupil-related payments also makes it easier for schools to run off ‘real-time’ reports for staff members, so they can see how many families have paid for each activity at any given time.

Ellie Bramwell from Stonefields School

Cutting out a boring task and allowing parents to pay at their convenience is a win-win for parents and the school.

now,” Ellie says. “Payments download automatically into eTAP without us touching the system. It’s such a bonus for administrators.”

Ellie Bramwell used to see manual reconciliation of payments as a mindnumbing, but important part of her role, but she’s enjoying being able to give it away, safe in the knowledge that automation means the job will get done accurately. “We’re now less likely to work through our morning tea and lunch breaks and we have more time for the kids. It makes perfect sense,” she concludes. “Cutting out a boring task and allowing parents to pay at their convenience is a a win-win for parents and the school.” Ellerslie School finance manager, Dawn Findlay is finding the Kindo/eTAP combination popular with parents, simplifies payment processing and cuts down on admin time. “We sent out reminder letters about children’s expenses at the beginning of term one with a link to Kindo. Over the following weekend we got a flood of money in through Kindo. “By the end of February we had around 350 transactions through for our fees, which represents about half of our school families. More families sign up for Kindo with every reminder we send out.” Dawn estimates that Kindo is cutting out an hour to an hour and a half of admin time every day, plus saving the school money on paper and consumables. “Because Kindo integrates with our SMS, we don’t have to write receipts or enter and reconcile payments into our system manually. It also eliminates any human errors caused by constant interruptions in the office – our systems are all streamlined now.”

Stonefields is just one school that has Schools wanting to find out more can seen money coming in more quickly contact Kindo on (09) 869 5200 or go to since it started using Kindo at the end www.kindo.co.nz of 2012. “And it’s even more efficient www.principalstoday.co.nz   Term 2, 2016 | 19

Principals Today #110  

Issue 110 of Principals Today magazine

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