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Music Department Handbook

Fees, Payments, Trips, & Fundraisers



Students will be responsible for paying fees throughout the school year.  We have several different types of fees that are incurred during the year:


  • Beginning of Year Fees

  • Supply Fees

  • Trip Fees

  • Other Fees


Beginning of Year Fees

The following beginning of year fees will be incurred.  Please note that different groups of students will have different fees.

Beginning of Year Fees
Rental Fees
Supply Fees

Supply fees are charged to student accounts when they need to purchase a supply from their respective program.  Supplies that can be purchased from your child's program include (but are not limited to):  Reeds, valve oil, strings, rosin, etc...  While these items are available in case of emergency on a first come, first served basis, while supplies last, it is recommended that supplies be purchased directly from Music and Arts (online or in-store), or another online retailer (i.e. Shar, Southwest Strings, etc...).  Based on the cost of the supply, and if the supply is paid for on demand, the charge may or may not be reflected in your child's Charms account.


Trip Fees

Trip fees are incurred when a student musician, with the permission of their parent, indicates that they want to participate in a trip.  Often, trips will have two payment phases:  a deposit (uisually no less than 10% of the cost), and the final balance payment.  The final balance payment will usually come after the fundraiser phase, if one is available for the trip.  More information regarding trip fees can be found below.


Student Accounts and Balances

Fees. Student fees should be paid as soon as possible. At the very latest, all fees should be paid by the end of the second week of participation in band, chorus, or orchestra. Should you not be able to pay your fees in full by the end of the second week of participation in your ensemble, please contact your child’s director to set-up a payment plan.


Student Accounts. Student account balances should be maintained at a balance of $0.00 when possible. When a student’s account balance is higher than $0.00, your child’s director will notify you that you will need to make a payment toward your child’s account. You may see your child’s account in Charms Office.


NOTE: Student musicians will NEVER be excluded from participating in band, chorus, or orchestra due to their inability to pay. Please contact your director for information regarding setting up payment plans for your child’s account.


Forms of Payment

The following forms of payment are accepted for fees: Online Payments


  • Paypal through Charms Office


In-Person Payments


  • Cash

  • Check

  • Money Order


Information regarding making payments for fees can be found below!


Online Payments through Charms & Paypal

We have set-up Charms to accept credit cards through Paypal as a form of payment for your fees.


Once the fees have been set-up in your Charms Office Account, you can select the appropriate “Make Payment” button, which will then take you to the “Pay Through Paypal” payment screen.


On the Pay Through Paypal screen, enter the amount you’re going to pay, and then in the description box, explain what the fee is for.


IMPORTANT:  It may be necessary to restrict payments through Paypal, or shut them down altogether during the year.  If this should happen, payments may still be made through the in-person payment options listed below.


NOTE: When paying with Paypal through Charms Office, it will require you to make a 5% donation as well. This donation allows us to be able to pay the required fees for using Paypal’s credit processing. If you do not wish to make the 5% donation, you can always pay by cash, check, or money order in- person!


In-Person Payment Options

The following payments can be made in-person:


  • Cash

  • Personal Checks – made to Passage Middle School with the student’s name on the memo line

  • Money Orders – made to Passage Middle School with the student’s name on the memo line


NOTE: For all in-person payments, please place the payment in an envelope with the student’s first and last name, the amount of the payment in the envelope, and what the payment is for. Please seal the envelope and give it to your child’s director only. Do NOT give payments to your homeroom teacher, a substitute teacher, or anyone else.  If your director is not at school on a day that you want to make a payment, please see either Mr. Roberts or Mr. Bell and they will accept your payment.  If Mr. Roberts and Mr. Bell are both out of school, then please hold on to your payment and bring to in the next day.


Trip Fees and Payments (operational information regarding trips can be found in the Other Activities section)

Over the last few years, the Music Department has offered many trip options, including:  Busch Gardens Williamsburg, The National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, MD, The National Orchestra Festival in Atlanta, GA, and Hersheypark in Hershey, PA.  These trips require our Music Families to pay for their children to attend.


Often, we have several students who are able to go on these trips for very little cost, or for no cost, because they are able to fundraise the appropriate amount of money through our fundraising efforts.  If you are willing to put in the effort, you can do it through fundraising.


Starting in the fall of 2018, we are putting in to place several new guidelines regarding trip fees and payments.


Trip Fees

Trips can be expensive.  We try to keep the cost minimal and we do not make a profit off of your trip fees.  However, we need to be able to pay for the entirety of the trip, and this requires students to be responsible for the cost.  However, creating the budget for the trip can be tricky.  Therefore, we follow a three phase system...1) the Deposit Phase, 2) the Fundraiser Phase, and 3) the Final Balance Payment Phase.


The Deposit Phase

This is the phase where students and their families are COMMITTING to this trip.  Students who return their permission form and their deposit are committed to going on the trip. 


Once students return their permission form and their deposit, we are expecting them to go on the trip.  If a student drops from the trip, this puts a financial hardship on their ensemble Therefore, it is important to understand that the Commitment Phase is that...a commitment.  Students should NOT withdraw from the trip after turning in their permission form and deposit. 


Should a student not want to commit to the trip, they should not turn in a permission form and deposit until ready to make that commitment.  If they are able to commit after the deadline for the deposit phase, and seats are available for the trip, we will be more than happy to add them to the trip, once their permission form and final balance has been paid.


Students who return a permission form, but do not return the deposit payment by the deadline, will not have a seat reserved for them on the trip until they pay their deposit.


The Fundraiser Phase

The fundraiser phase is when students have the chance to fundraise for their individual trip.  A small portion of the profit from the fundraiser goes to your child's program, while the majority of the profit goes straight to your trip.  If you fundraise more than the amount needed for your trip, then the remaining balance goes to the overall budget for the trip. 


It is recommended that students who have NOT returned their permission form and deposit participate in the fundraiser.  This will help subsidize their trip in the event they make the ultimate decision to go on the trip.


Please understand that the fundraiser phase coincides with the final balance payment phase.  Therefore, LATE PAYMENTS FOR FUNDRAISERS MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED.  Fundraisers that are returned after the fundraiser order has been placed will not be accepts and will be returned to the student.  It will be the student's responsibility to return the payment to their customers.


The Final Balance Payment Phase

This phase is when you must pay the final balance.  In order to give you the most time possible, we make the deadline for this payment at the very last moment that we can.  Please realize that our final payments are usually due to our vendors THIRTY DAYS in advance of the trip.  In order to ensure that your directors have enough time to collect the payments, receipt the payments, put the payments into Charms, and then have the checks cut to be sent off to the vendos, the final payment is usually due about five to six weeks out from the trip.


Please remember what we discussed in the Deposit Phase...if your child doesn't pay their final balance on time, we won't be able to pay the vendors we are working with.  Whether or not your child goes on the trip, we have to pay for it.  Therefore, whether or not your child goes on the trip, if they paid a deposit and made a commitment to go, we are expecting your payment.


If you are not going to be able to make your final payment on time, it is vitally important for you to communicate with your director. If you do not make the final balance payment on time for the trip, and have not previously communicated with your director, we reserve the right to remove your child from the trip without refunding your previous payments. 


Payment Information

The following information pertains to all payments...fees, supplies, trips, or any other payments.


No Refund Policy

Generally, the money we collect from your fees, whether they be beginning of the year, trip fees, payments for the Award Banquet, or any other type of payment made, the money does not stay in our account for long.  In many instances, your payment is turned into a check made to a vendor in which we are working within days.


Therefore, all money paid (regardless of the nature of the payment) is non-refundable, unless otherwise stated.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding any payments you need to make, please contact your child's director BEFORE making the payment.


Late Payments

If you need to make a late payment, it is the parent's responsibility to communicate with their director BEFORE the payment deadline.  If you cannot pay all of your beginning of the year fees, please communicate with your director before the end of the eighth day of school.


Generally, we can make the necessary accommodations, so long as we are aware of the need ahead of time.  However, when we don't receive your payment and we are not aware ahead of time, it is more difficult for us to figure out how to make it work. 


Therefore, if you're going to be late, please communicate with your child's director AS SOON AS YOU KNOW you're going to be late.  That will help us tremendously.  Thank you for your consideration!


Next Section:  Musician Expectations

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