Hillview ASB Frequently Asked Questions

  • Using the term “ASB” and selling “ASB Cards” at the start of the year often raises questions from parents regarding the terms and purpose of an ASB. This resource is intended to provide you with clear answers to your ASB-related questions. The best way for parents to support our outstanding activities program is to purchase an ASB Card. For more information about ASB Cards, please click the hyperlink below, “What is an ASB Card?”  The rest of the following FAQ’s are also addressed. For quick access to a specific question and answer, simply click on the highlighted link:

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    What is ASB?

     

    The term “ASB” is short for “Associated Student Body.” In California, the needs and interests of student bodies in public schools grades K-16 are protected and enumerated in the California Education Code. As part of the Ed Code, California has “incorporated” the students bodies of our public schools in such a way that their rights to organize, advocate, fundraise and spend money are spelled out for school leaders to follow.

    The following explanation of what an ASB is and does is taken directly from The Associated Student Body Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference published by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT).

    California law allows students in California’s public schools to raise money and make decisions about how they will spend this money. Student organizations that are established to raise and spend money on behalf of students are called Associated Student Body organizations, or ASBs. ASBs must be made up of current students. The funds that are raised and spent by student organizations are called associated student body funds or ASB funds. In the minds of public school officials and the general public, ASB funds may be thought of as small proceeds from a few bake sales, dances or car washes a year. However, in many cases ASB funds have become big business for student organizations. An ASB at a large high school or a community college may raise millions of dollars a year. ASB organizations and the management of ASB funds present students with opportunities not only to raise and spend money, but also to learn the principles of operating a small business and acquire leadership skills while making a contribution to their school and fellow students. Many people are involved with student organizations and their management.

     

    How and why are ASB’s in middle and high schools different than in elementary schools?

     

    The transition from elementary to secondary school (middle school and beyond) and the differences between what an ASB is responsible for vs. a PTO cause the most questions for parents. In the simplest terms, the interests and rights of students in K-5 schools are almost exclusively managed by the PTO and School Administration; in secondary schools, students are given rights to fundraise and spend money in new and empowering ways, still with clear guidelines from the state. Some of what, in elementary school, used to be the purview of the principal and the PTO is now the responsibility of the students and their governing body.

    The following explanation is taken directly from The Associated Student Body Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference published by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). As you read the following explanation, please keep in mind that Hillview’s ASB as a secondary school is considered an “Organized ASB” and thus follows the guidelines and expectations prescribed for such schools under the California Education Code.

    ASB organizations are classified as either organized or unorganized. There are some differences in procedures between organized and unorganized ASB organizations. In general, unorganized ASBs are those in which the students do not govern the ASB organization, and organized ASBs are those in which the students organize their activities around student clubs and a student council. The requirements for unorganized ASBs are generally not as complex or specific as for organized ASBs.

     

    Elementary/Unorganized ASB Schools

     

    In elementary schools, the ASB organization is called unorganized because as a rule, the students do not govern the ASB organization. Usually there is only the primary student body organization and no additional clubs with a more focused agenda. Adult education, continuation, special education, regional occupational programs (ROPs) and K-8 schools are also considered to have unorganized ASBs. 

    Although students in unorganized ASBs raise funds, they usually have more limited involvement in making decisions about the fund-raising events and how the funds are to be spent. The governing board delegates the authority to oversee the raising and spending of funds to the principal/site administrator or another school employee, who is able to make all of the decisions related to the ASB operations and funds.

     

    Secondary/Organized ASB Schools

     

    Student organizations in middle, junior and high schools are called organized because the students organize their activities around student clubs and a student council. At both community colleges and secondary schools, there is oversight by district administration and advisors.

    Organized ASBs normally have individual clubs under the primary student body organization, each with its own focus and organizational requirements. Students in organized ASBs are primarily responsible for their organizations; the student council and student club leaders hold formal meetings, develop budgets, plan fund-raisers, decide how the funds will be spent, and approve payments. The students make the decisions; the school administration, ASB bookkeeper and club advisor(s) assist and advise. 

    To this end, Hillview’s ASB as a secondary school is considered an “Organized ASB” and thus follows the guidelines and expectations prescribed for such schools under the California Education Code.

     

    Is ASB new to Hillview?

     

    No. Hillview students have led an organized ASB for many years; however, different from many schools in California, the elected group that leads ASB has not been referred to as “ASB;” it has been referred to as “Student Council.” Hillview Student Council has overseen ASB budgeting, fundraising, and purchasing for many years supervised by a long history of outstanding Activities Directors. In 2012, under the leadership of two new Directors of Student Activities with activities experience outside of Hillview, as well as a new principal who was a former high school Director of Activities, a concerted effort began to ensure that the ASB operation was conducted accordingly to the law and with the goal of creating an outstanding model ASB program.

     

    What is an ASB Card?

     

    A major responsibility of most ASB’s in the State of California is to organize, publish and sell yearbooks. School yearbooks, as well as spirit wear, dance tickets, and other school-wide events, represent a major portion of an ASB’s fundraising efforts throughout the year. Many ASB’s choose to “bundle” high-ticket and high-interest items at the start of the year for ease, clarity, and financial solvency. These bundles are known as “ASB Cards” or “Spirit Packs.” Depending on the school, purchasing an ASB Card or Spirit Pack can and often do include yearbooks, spirit wear, promotional items, and other materials such as PE clothing.  

    Beginning in the fall of 2013, Hillview began offering and selling “ASB Cards.” When a student/parent purchases an ASB Card from Hillview’s ASB they receive the following:

    • Yearbook (which would normally cost upwards of $30 sold separately)
    • Color Team/Hillview T-Shirt (which would normally cost upwards of $10 sold separately)
    • Discounts to Dances & Performances (totaling upwards of $10)
    • School Store Promotions
    • Block H Points (for participation in the collective student experience)
    • A donation to the ASB general fund for operating expenses and student programming (approximately $10) 

    Need-based scholarships and payment plans are available for ASB Cards; interested students/parents can request such a plan from the ASB Clerk in the Student Center. ASB Cards are sold at ACI (Arena Check-In) and for the first two months of school through the Student Center.  

    All students will be given a Student ID Card free of charge. When a student purchases an ASB Card, a sticker is placed on the Student ID indicating that he/she has purchased an ASB Card. This ID, with the appropriate ASB sticker, will give the student access to promotions and discounts, as well as serve as proof of purchase for t-shirt and yearbook.  

    The purchase of an ASB Card is not required; however, the cost of purchasing items separately will be more than if a student/parent were to purchase as ASB Card. Yearbooks will only be sold separately after ASB card sales end in October.  

    Note: Besides ASB Card sales, the other fundraising that ASB typically conducts includes event ticket sales, the annual magazine-drive in the fall, and school store sales.  

     

    On what does ASB typically spend its fundraising revenue?

     

    Each year, ASB drafts a budget that complies with the rules and regulations of California Education Code. The Student Council, Directors of Student Activities, and the Principal approve the ASB budget. The most common expenditures include, but are not limited to:

    • Publication and printing of yearbook.
    • School Store items.
    • Salary and related expenses of the ASB Clerk/Bookkeeper.
    • Dance expenses (DJ’s, decorations, etc.)
    • Lunchtime Activities
    • School-wide events such as Movie Nights, Rallies, Cardboard Arcade, Hawkapalooza, & Talent Show
    • Color Team Competitions and Reward (usually field trip)
    • Block H Program and Reward (usually field trip)
    • Motivational Speakers
    • Equipment for activities
    • Student Council/Advisor Camps and Trainings
    • Association Memberships
    • Operation and Materials Expenses
    • Need-based scholarships

    It’s clear that Hillview has an outstanding activities program; however, supporting such a program takes money. ASB remains grateful for the support of the community and asks that every family who can afford an ASB Card consider purchasing one.

     

    How is the business of ASB supervised and audited?

     

    The following explanation is taken directly from The Associated Student Body Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference published by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT).

    The State of California is responsible for establishing the laws and regulations that govern the activities of local educational agencies (LEAs), including student organizations. The Legislature writes the laws, and state agencies enact regulations based on those laws. The California Department of Education (CDE) develops policies regarding any legislation or regulations enacted as a result of the law; these are codified in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations for K-12 districts. For community colleges, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) functions as the oversight agency. No one state agency specifically monitors the operations of ASB organizations. Rather, the state relies on districts’ governing boards to ensure that ASB activities are carried out within the law, based on a district’s internal policies and procedures. This is reviewed during the district’s annual independent audit performed by an external certified public accountant (CPA) firm.

    [At] middle, junior and high schools (organized ASB), the responsibilities of the principal/site administrator…is responsible for the following major duties, many of which are delegated to an ASB advisor:

    • Communicating the student organization policies and procedures to the staff and students, and enforcing the policies and procedures.
    • Ensuring that a student council is established and that each club has a certificated advisor.
    • Providing supervision to the ASB advisors.
    • Reviewing and approving constitutions for each club on campus.
    • Making certain that minutes are kept of all ASB and club meetings.
    • Providing supervision to the ASB bookkeeper or similar position. This position will perform site financial tasks related to ASB, maintain adequate records of ASB activities, deposit funds into the bank, pay invoices, reconcile monthly bank statements, and prepare monthly financial statements.6 Associated Student Body Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference
    • Ensuring that all ASB funds are raised and spent in accordance with applicable laws and the district’s policies and procedures.
    • Deciding how many fund-raising events will be held each year and ensuring that they are appropriate for the students and the community.
    • Scheduling and receiving proper approval for fund-raising events.
    • Working with the district’s business office regarding training, implementation of good business practices, internal controls and resolution of audit findings.
    • Reporting any suspected fraud or abuse to the district’s business office. 

    The principal/site administrator may delegate some or all of these activities to a site employee such as a vice principal or teacher.

    To this end, the ASB of Hillview is supervised and audited no differently than what is explained above.

     

    What is the role of the Director(s) of Student Activities in supervising the Hillview ASB?

     

    The following explanation is taken directly from The Associated Student Body Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference published by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). 

    In secondary schools and community colleges, each student club will have an advisor who must be a certificated employee of the district, in addition to an advisor who is responsible for the general student council (also called the leadership class in many high schools). As the principal/site administrator’s designee, the ASB advisor frequently is directly responsible for all of the functions listed above and ensures that all required procedures are followed. The ASB advisor(s) works directly with students in clubs and the student council on a day-to-day basis, supervising the activities of the student council and the clubs and serving as a link from the student council and the clubs to the ASB bookkeeper and the principal/site administrator.

    When any ASB organization or club holds fund-raising events, the ASB advisor is responsible for ensuring that adequate planning and internal controls are established and that all of the funds are properly accounted for and given to the ASB bookkeeper with all the necessary paperwork at the end of the event. The ASB advisor(s) will also work with the students when preparing the annual budget and revenue projection estimates and will ensure that only valid expenditures are made and authorized from the different clubs’ funds. …Regardless of the age of the students in the organization, it is important that they be involved as much as possible in the various responsibilities.

    To this end, Hillview’s ASB Advisors is/are the Director(s) of Student Activities and fulfill the responsibilities as described above.

     

    What is the role of the ASB Clerk (Bookkeeper) in supporting the Hillview ASB?

     

    In the spring of 2013, the Hillview ASB voted to use funds to hire a part-time (3 hour/day) ASB Clerk to serve as the ASB Bookkeeper, School Store operator, and Student Center supervisor. The following explanation of the role of an ASB Bookkeeper is taken directly from The Associated Student Body Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference published by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT).

    At each school site, a staff member is responsible for maintaining the accounting records for the ASB funds. In elementary schools, the school secretary or an attendance clerk may serve as an ASB bookkeeper. Middle, junior and high schools, and community colleges, will usually have a staff person whose only responsibility is to maintain the accounting records for student organizations. Regardless of which employee is assigned the task of ASB bookkeeper, the ASB bookkeeper is responsible for ensuring that:

    • At the time that receipted funds are properly counted, confirmed, documented and then turned over to the ASB bookkeeper, all ASB funds are safeguarded while at the school site until deposited in the ASB bank account in a timely manner (within a few days of receipt).
    • Adequate financial records are maintained of all ASB financial transactions in accordance with established policies and procedures.
    • Expenditures are approved in advance and paid only with appropriate documentation. Documentation should include but not be limited to preapproved purchase orders, invoices, packing slips, and student council minutes.
    • The bank reconciliation is completed each month.
    • Laws and the district’s policies and procedures related to ASB funds are followed.
    • Business policies, procedures and internal controls related to ASB, such as those for accounting, purchasing, budget, and payroll, are known and followed.
    • Any suspected fraud or abuse is reported to the principal/site administrator or the district’s business office.

    The ASB bookkeeper position is often perceived as simply a bookkeeping position but it is much more than that. The ASB bookkeeper also acts as a controller and is the gatekeeper for student funds. The ASB bookkeeper must be strong-willed enough to say no and not accept deposits, reimbursements or perform other transactions when policies and procedures are not followed.

    Both the ASB advisor and bookkeeper must work together and support each other in keeping their duties separate and when policies and procedures are not followed.

    To this end, Hillview’s ASB Clerk (Bookkeeper) fulfills the responsibilities as described above.

     

    What is the role of the Student Council in organizing and administering work of the Hillview ASB?

     

    In the spring of 2013, the Hillview ASB approved a completely new constitution that ensured alignment with California Education Code and laid a strong foundation for the strengthening and growth of the Hillview Student Council and ASB. A copy of the Hillview ASB/Student Council Constitution is available on the Hillview Activities website.  

    The following explanation of the role of Student Council is taken directly from The Associated Student Body Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference published by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT).

    In middle, junior high and high schools, as well as community colleges, a student council must oversee all of the student clubs in the school. The student council represents the students and has the primary authority regarding how funds raised by the students will be spent. Their primary responsibilities include the following:

    • Developing and adopting the annual budget for the student council/leadership class.
    • Authorizing the budgets for all student clubs.
    • Authorizing fund-raising events for all student clubs.
    • Approving expenditures from all student funds.
    • Reviewing financial reports and reconciliations from all student clubs.
    • Approving new clubs.
    • Approving who student council auxiliary members for other functions will be, such as head of lighting and head of sound.
    • Approving the student council’s policies and procedures and determining how student council members will perform their duties and be disciplined for nonperformance of duties.

    To this end, Hillview’s Student Council fulfills the responsibilities as described above.