Learning Fund

The EPIC Learning Fund is one of the most unique aspects of an EPIC education!

The Learning Fund is an allocation of credit on a student’s account that can be used for learning resources and extracurricular efforts. Each student receives an allotment of funds in addition to the high-quality instruction and services they receive from EPIC!

Learning Fund

What can the Learning Fund be used to purchase?

All items purchased MUST possess educational merit. After deducting the price of a core curriculum, the allocated funds may be used for supplemental curriculum, extra-curricular activities and or educational technology.

When can I access the Learning Fund?

Learning Fund availability (outside of purchasing core and supplemental curriculum for the upcoming school year) opens the first day of the scholastic school year and closes on May 15th of the following year. Families may submit vendor invoices up until June 15th of the scholastic year. This is to include services that may occur during the summer months. These invoices would cover June/July/August classes. For summer month invoices to be recognized and invoiced, the following criteria must be met:

  • Students MUST be enrolled for the upcoming school year.
  • Students MUST have the available Learning Fund monies required to cover all services rendered (Funds cannot be taken from the upcoming school year).
  • Students MAY NOT be in truancy violation.

When I purchase something from the Learning Fund, is it mine to keep?

The short answer is No.

  • All items purchased through Learning Fund monies are the property of EPIC Charter School.
  • Learning Fund items are purchased by EPIC Charter School and are then checked out to the students for their use. All non-consumable items must be returned to the school upon graduation, withdraw or any other reason the student’s status does not reflect “enrolled” with EPIC Charter School.
  • Please note that consumable items, activities and lessons cannot be returned, for obvious reasons.

What is the process for accessing the Learning Fund?

Requests for items are made through the Learning Fund Portal. Once an order is reviewed, approved and processed, EPIC Charter School will purchase the product/service for the student using their allocated monies, available within their Learning Fund.

Learn about the Learning Fund Portal here

What is the difference between a product and a service?

A product is a learning tool such as a book, chemistry set, flashcards, software, hardware, etc…

A service would be an instructional course/lesson, such as music lessons, dance lessons, tutoring, and other extracurricular activities. Please note that the Learning Fund cannot be used to purchase theme park, museum or any facility entry/membership fees.

When wanting extracurricular activities paid for with the Learning Fund:

  • Check to make sure the funds are available.
  • The vendor is an approved vendor with EPIC Charter School (the list can be found HERE)
  • Please request a purchase order by emailing cainvoices@epiccharterschools.org. This provides an allotted monetary hold for a specific monetary amount, to the vendor for upcoming services rendered. It is not considered a payment, but an assurance the funds are available for payment.

Policy and Procedures that the Learning Fund must abide:

  • Parents/Teachers CANNOT be reimbursed for any educational expenses.
  • EPIC MUST PURCHASE the products or services for the student(s).
  • Parents/Teachers CANNOT be paid directly to purchase educational items or for services provided
  • Families cannot share amongst students that are not residing under the same Family ID.
  • The Learning Fund cannot be appropriated, applied, used, donated – directly or indirectly – for the use of faith-based materials, denomination, sect, church or system of religion or religious belief or teachings per California state guidelines.
  • EPIC cannot purchase musical equipment, workout equipment, furniture and other large items.
  • Memberships are not allowed to be paid through the Learning Fund.

***This list is subject to change***

Common FAQ’s

Q: How much money is allocated to the Learning Fund?
A: For the 2020-2021 school year, the Learning Fund amount is $3,000.

Q: What requirements are needed to obtain a Learning Fund?
A: In order to receive the full $3,000 allotment for the 2020-2021 school year, the student must be enrolled before the initial deadline. The learning fund will be prorated for students that enroll after the initial deadline provided by EPIC Charter School and the state of California.

Q: Does the cost of curriculum come out of the students Learning Fund?
A: Yes. Each student’s Learning Fund will be deducted the amount of the specific curriculum purchased.

Q: Does the cost of leasing EPIC technology come out of the Learning Fund?
A: No. Laptops and Mifis are at no cost to the learning fund for EPIC students in the state of California. Headphones are the only technology that must be purchased.

Q: Can my student still get curriculum and technology if they do not qualify for a Learning Fund?
A: Yes. Students that enroll after the initial enrollment deadline will have no learning fund but will have access to the predetermined applicable curriculum and technology on a per-student basis. (Late Enrollment Curriculum subject to change based upon availability).

Q: How much does the Curriculum Cost?
A: Once enrolled, a link will be sent via email that provides you with a list of the available curriculum and their varying prices. You will also meet with your EPIC teacher to discuss the available options.

Q: Will the Learning Fund cover admission into zoos, museums, etc.?
A: No, the Learning Fund cannot purchase admission or season passes.

Q: What about the classes at the zoo or museum?
A: If they are an approved vendor and they send an invoice for the class, the Learning Fund would be able to pay for that. You must submit a Purchase Order prior to attending the class.

Q: Can students have items delivered to an Amazon locker?
A: No.

Q: If one child has used up their Learning Fund, but their sibling (who is also enrolled in EPIC) has not, can the first child still order items?
A: Yes, as long as they fall under the same family ID. Even though each child receives their own Learning Fund, it is pooled together under the same family. Children who are out of funds can use their sibling’s Learning Fund.

Q: Will the Learning Fund cover activities planned for the summer months?
A: Yes, as long as the funds are available, the student is not currently in truancy violation, and the student is enrolled for the next year. You must have submitted a purchase order ahead of time and the vendor will need to send in invoices for the services that will be rendered, before the cutoff date. If you do not submit a purchase order before the vendor sends in the invoice, EPIC will NOT pay for the service. A purchase order is written consent for us to pay for the service. If you submit a purchase order, but the vendor does not send in an invoice before the summer deadline, YOU will be responsible for the amount owed to the vendor.

Q: What is the cutoff date for invoices?
A: The last day to submit invoices is June 15th, and you must submit the invoices for summer activities before this date.

Q: Can I share my Learning Fund with another family?
A: No, you can only share funds within the same family ID. If the student withdraws then they no longer have any funds.

Q: Can the student order a backpack?
A: No, a backpack is not considered to be a necessity, therefore, is not an approved purchase.

Q: How do we return items that are damaged or not working back to Amazon?
A: You would contact the Learning Fund Manager who approved the order so that they can contact the seller. You can contact the Learning Fund Manager by emailing them at <firstname.lastname@epiccharterschools.org> or learningfund@epiccharterschools.org.

Q: Can I purchase flash drives or portable hard drives?
A: No.

Q: How do I access the Learning Fund Portal?
A: You can access the Learning Fund Portal from https://california.epiccharterschools.org/. The login is located on the right side of the screen.

Q: Will the Learning Fund pay for tuition for concurrent classes at a college?
A: Yes, as long as the student had the funds available. (Please take a look at what fees are NOT covered by the Learning Fund).

Q: Will the Learning Fund pay for books and other materials for a college class?
A: Yes, as long as the student has the funds available.

Q: Will the Learning Fund pay for Driver’s Ed?
A: Yes, if the school is an approved vendor. Please check the Vendor Directory first. If they are not listed, call the learning fund and we can check on their vendor status.

Q: Will the Learning Fund pay for the ACT or SAT?
A: Yes, as long as you submit your request by the deadline. To find out what your deadline is for either test, please visit http://www.act.org/. If you submit the request after the ACT or SAT deadline, you will accrue a late fee.

Q: Can I use my Learning Fund to buy a printer or ink?
A: Yes, there a specific printer we can order for you. It is currently the HP Office Jet 5255. You can also order ink with your Learning Fund. The current ink allotment is $150 per student per year.

Q: Am I allowed to pre-order an item? (Example: books that have not been released)
A: If the pre-order date is within a 30-day period, yes. For example, if you put in an order on January 1st for an item, it would have to be released by February 1st.

Q: Can I check why an order was rejected?
A: Yes. When you log into the Parent Portal, you can hover over the information icon on the rejected purchase.

Q: Why does my student have an Attendance Reserve?
A: Certain benchmarks must be met throughout the year to be able to access the full amount of the student’s Learning Fund. If the student does not meet these requirements, their Learning Fund may be frozen with an Attendance Reserve. The student’s Learning Fund will then be released as the student meets the required benchmarks.

Q: Can I change the shipping address on an order that has already been placed?
A: Once an order has been placed, the Learning Fund cannot guarantee that the address will be updated before the vendor ships the item. Please double check you have the correct address on file at all times.

Q: What is the average time it takes to get an order approved by the Learning Fund?
A: We at the Learning Fund aim to get your order approved in 14 days or less. We receive hundreds of orders daily, so please be patient with us!

Q: How long should I wait before checking on an order that has been approved but I have not yet received?
A: If you have not received your order within 14 days of the approval date, please contact a Learning Fund Manager either at their personal e-mail address <firstname.lastname@epiccharterschools.org> or the team e-mail learningfund@epiccharterschools.org .

Q: When a student buys or orders something with their Learning Fund, is it theirs to keep?
A: No. All items bought and ordered with the student’s Learning Fund is the property of EPIC Charter School and if the item is non-consumable then it will need to be returned to EPIC upon graduation or withdrawal.

Q: How do I return a laptop, iPad, or Mifi?
A: Please fill out the appropriate form on our webpage. https://california.epiccharterschools.org/returning-materials-to-epic/

Q: How can I check the balance of my student’s Learning Fund?
A: You will have to log on to the Parent Portal. A Learning Fund Manager is not permitted to give you that information over the phone. We strive to protect your learning fund information. We can only tell you whether you have funds available or whether you do not. Please plan accordingly and log into your parent portal regularly to view your learning fund balance. A video on how to use your learning fund can be found here: https://california.epiccharterschools.org/parent-tools/

Q: What do I do if my laptop, iPad, or Mifi stops working?
A: Please contact Epic Support at support@epiccharterschools.org or call us at 405-652-0935.

Q: How do I place an order?
A: You must go into the Parent Portal and use the “Standard Purchases” menu for technology and curricula. All other orders should be placed using the “Shopping Order Entry” menu. You cannot submit an order via email.

Q: Do you use Amazon Prime?
A: No, we are not able to utilize Prime. We use a business account to order for the student’s Learning Fund.

Q: Can we do expedited shipping?
A: If you specify in the description box of the order, then we can take the cost of the expedited shipping out of your Learning Fund.

Q: What is the cutoff date for Learning Fund orders?
A: TBD

Q: Can the student use their Learning Fund to purchase basic school supplies?
A: Yes, we have a specific list of approved materials.

Q: Am I allowed to purchase items in bulk?
A: No, bulk items are typically used in a brick-and-mortar classroom setting. You can purchase one item per student.

Q: Can the student order a desk and chair?
A: No, the Learning Fund is not allowed to purchase furniture of any kind. This includes organizational items such as bookshelves, bins, buckets, etc.

Q: Can the student order subscriptions?
A: The Learning Fund can be used to purchase educational subscriptions, but only if there is a gift option or if it does not auto-renew.

Q: What kind of information needs to be included when placing an order in the Learning Fund?
A: The more information in the description box, the better. Please make sure you add as much information as possible. Examples: item/SKU number, item title, detailed description. Please specify if the product is used and if needed, your username and password for the site.

Q: Will I receive a notification when an order is approved or denied?
A: Parents will receive an email if the order is approved or denied. Teachers will not.

Q: How does the student get a refund on a curriculum if they need it switched?
A: If the student is within the 14 day return period, you can request a refund on the curriculum that you don’t want and submit an order for a new curriculum at the same time.

Q: If the student has an iPad, can the Learning fund be used to purchase apps?
A: Yes, only if the application if deemed educational. The Learning Fund is able to do this even if the iPad is not EPIC issued.

Q: Do the laptops, iPads, or Mifis have to be returned every year?
A: They must be returned upon graduation or withdrawal. If the student is enrolled for the next school year, then they do not need to return these items to EPIC. They will, however, need to be renewed through the learning fund.

Q: How do parents pay for extracurricular activities with the Learning Fund?
A: The vendor they are wanting to user needs to be an approved vendor with EPIC. You would then need to request a purchase order via the Parent Portal. Please take note: If the parent or teacher does not send in a purchase order before the vendor sends us an invoice, EPIC will not allow the Learning fund to be used. A purchase order allows us to pay the vendors. Without one, we are unable to pay the vendor for services rendered. You will be held accountable for the charges.

Q: How do I request a purchase order?
A: A purchase order can be requested in the Parent Portal. The purchase order (PO) needs to include the student name, the vendor wanting to be used, a description of the services, the dates of the services, and the cost of the services. Purchase Orders are only used when requesting funds be set aside for vendor activities. When ordering materials/school supplies, please log onto the parent portal and use the “shopping order entry” menu.

Parents

Q: What do I do if a vendor invoices me personally for services used, but I want to use my learning fund to pay?
A: Please double-check that they are an EPIC vendor first. Speak with the vendor to discuss using the learning fund to pay for services. Follow the directions for sending in a Purchase Order to cainvoices@epiccharterschools.org. You may then forward the invoices you have received to the aforementioned email.

Q: When ordering materials for my student, I’m asked whether or not these items are consumable. What’s a consumable and a non-consumable material/item?
A: Consumable items are those items that are not reusable by other students. Examples: Paint/art supplies, write-in workbooks, printer ink, etc.

Non-consumable items are those that can be utilized by other students once the previous student has used the item. Examples: Calculators, reading books, microscopes textbooks, etc. All non-consumables purchased through the learning fund must be returned as they are the property of EPIC.

Q: My student has used a vendor’s services, but the money hasn’t been taken out of their learning fund yet. How do I know invoices were sent for those so I can use my learning fund?
A: Some vendors do not send invoices until after the services have been completed for the month, while others may send them prior to services, so you will need to find out from the vendor that you are using how their billing is done. Vendors should receive a payment within 30 days of EPIC receiving an invoice. EPIC is only able to pay for services on a monthly basis, so for any vendors that send several months at a time, each invoice will be processed closer to the month of services.

Q: What if a vendor has invoiced for lessons/services my student did not use or they overcharge?
A: We require parents to send in Purchase Orders prior to vendors sending invoices. This process should prevent this from occurring. If the invoice is still somehow paid without a Purchase Order being sent in, please contact the finance department by phone or email at cainvoices@epiccharterschools.org. These are case-by-case situations and will be handled accordingly. Vendors are not to invoice your learning fund without Purchase Orders and your permission.

Q: We no longer use a vendor but they were paid with our learning fund. How do we get a refund?
A: Because we require parents to send in Purchase Orders before invoices can be sent and paid, this should not occur. If you did not send in a Purchase Order and an invoice was still somehow paid for a vendor you no longer wish to use, make sure to contact the Finance department by phone or email at cainvoices@epiccharterschools.org so that they are aware and can note the account as well as not pay any further invoices. You will then need to contact the vendor and request that they refund the amount to EPIC. Once EPIC receives a check from the vendor, we are then able to credit the account.

Q: If a student’s learning fund is depleted, who is responsible for paying invoices vendors send in?
A: That student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) is/are responsible for paying any remaining balance once the learning fund is depleted or the student is withdrawn.

Q: Why can’t vendors be paid upfront for the whole semester/year or even several months ahead?
A: The learning fund is only available to students showing an active enrollment status if your student withdraws, the funding is no longer available. For example: The vendor sends an invoice for a semester covering September – December and the student withdraws in October. EPIC would not be processing any invoices for that student for the months of October, November, or December.

Q: Is the learning fund money like a bank account and do I get to keep any leftover funds from each school year?
A: No. The learning fund is funded by the state. This money is like per diem or “credit”. It is not money for you to keep or use for personal reasons. If a senior has any funds left by the time of graduation, those funds go back to EPIC.

Q: Am I allowed to enroll in EPIC to use the learning fund to pay for activities/lessons at my student’s current private school?
A: You can use your learning fund for activities such as basketball or tutoring through private schools; however, you may not use your learning fund to cover the cost of admission or yearly fees for any private schools/institutions.

Vendors

Q: I’m interested in being a vendor through EPIC. How do I apply?
A: You may apply by going here: https://california.epiccharterschools.org/vendor-directory/. You can also go to the “Programs+” tab and choose “Vendor List” in the drop-down menu. Make sure all paperwork is completely filled out and signed.

Q: How do I know when I’m an approved vendor?
A: You will receive an email sent to the email address you provided in your application. This will either notify you that you are an approved vendor or we will request more information/paperwork.

Q: I’m a new vendor and I’ve never sent in invoices. What are the requirements for invoices?
A: This information is found at the bottom of the application before you click on the “I agree” box. Once you become an approved vendor, we will also send an email that will contain this information along with the email address for sending the invoices. Please save this email and read through these instructions carefully. If you did not receive this email in your inbox, check your spam folder. If it appears no email was sent, please call us and we can send you another email with instructions.

Q: As a vendor, how long will it take to receive my payments once I’ve sent in an invoice?
A: We strive to send out checks within 30 days of when we have received the invoice(s); however, this is a process involving multiple departments. This means delays sometimes occur, especially during the busy months. Keep in mind that EPIC is only able to pay on a monthly basis, so even if a vendor sends in several months of invoices at one time, no payments for future months will be processed until closer to the appropriate month. If a month has passed and you have not received payment for an invoice, please contact cainvoices@epiccharterschools.org to check on the status. Keep in mind you should always receive an automatic confirmation email after an invoice is sent in. If this is not received, please call or email the activity account to double-check. We appreciate your patience.

Q: As a vendor, how do I check if students wanting to use their learning fund are currently enrolled in EPIC Charter School?
A: While the parent(s)/guardian(s) should be able to provide you with a student ID/proof of enrollment, you may always email us at cainvoices@epiccharterschools.org or call the finance department to double-check if they are a currently enrolled student through EPIC.

Q: I’m a vendor and my billing address and/or physical address changed. How do I update this?
A: It is very important that you go to the website and fill out the “Update your vendor listing” form whenever you need something changed. If the change involves the address that was listed on your W-9 you will need to fill out a new W-9 so that the payments are sent to the correct address. You can download a blank W-9 at https://california.epiccharterschools.org/vendor-directory/. Without the new W-9, we are unable to change the address of where the payments are received. You can email the new W-9 to cainvoices@epiccharterschools.org

Q: How do I return assets?
A: See asset returns

EPIC Assets

EPIC Charter Schools is proud to offer every student the educational technology they need to be successful. It is with this mindset that we allow each student the opportunity to use their Learning Fund to procure a Laptop, Wireless Mifi and a variety of educational assets. While the assets belong to EPIC Charter Schools, they are lent out to the students each year and must be returned when the student graduates, withdraws, or for any other reason the student’s status does not reflect “enrolled” with EPIC Charter School.

Policies and Procedures

The Assets department has implemented the following policies and procedures for all EPIC families:

  • Wireless Hotspot (Mifi)
    • Mifi devices are at a 3:1 ratio meaning that for every 3 students enrolled in the learning fund 1 device is allowed.
    • A family may request a secondary Mifi due to varying circumstances. These circumstances are reviewed and subject to the sole discretion of the Asset and Learning Fund department.
    • Mifi connectivity issues may occur. When this happens, EPIC will review if the Mifi provider is suitable for the student’s location. Secondary options are available if needed.
  • Chromebooks and iPads
    • Students must use their Learning Fund to order a laptop or iPad. Students may not get both. iPads are on a limited supply and are not guaranteed to be available.

Technical Issues

Device Support: https://california.epiccharterschools.org/technical-support

The phone number for our technical support provider, Beasley Technology, has changed. Should you need to call, the number is 405-652-0935.

Asset Returns

Return requests can be made three different ways by a parent or teacher. It can be requested by phone, through the EPIC website, or the assets email.

Technology Replacement

Technology will get broken, stolen, or lost throughout the year and replacement request can be made by phone or email. Depending on the situation the steps will vary to get the replacement process started. To file a claim, please contact the Assets department by phone or email.

First-time login information is the users first initial, second initial and EPICc ID (i.e. AB1234).

Laptop Care:

It may go without saying, but the lifespan of a laptop can be extended if the proper care is taken. Likewise, when the hardware is mistreated, a variety of problems arise and the lifespan of the device is shortened.

Here is a short list of the best and easiest ways to make sure your laptop stays in working order.

  1. Keep a record of the serial number, make and model of the laptop in case it is stolen or lost so you can report it immediately. You are required to report a stolen laptop to the police.
  2. Do not use a laptop on a bed, carpet or couch. This can cause the fans on the underside the laptop to not work and the laptop to overheat. Overheating can cause the laptop to restart repeatedly and can lead to hard drive and circuit damage.
  3. Place the laptop on a clean, flat surface. A well-ventilated area helps the fans to work properly and extends the life of the laptop.
  4. Keep food and drink away from the laptop. Spills and crumbs in the keyboard can cause malfunctions in the circuitry.
  5. Books and other heavy objects should not be placed on a laptop or stuffed inside a laptop bag with the laptop.
  6. Carry the laptop by the base, not the screen. Carrying the laptop by the screen can cause undue stress to the hinges and can lead to scratches on the display.
  7. Do not expose the laptop to extreme temperatures like using it outside or leaving it in a car.
  8. Be careful not to shut the screen with objects like pens, pencils or notebooks still on the keyboard.
  9. Keep cord away from rolling chairs.
  10. Call (405)-652-0935 or submit a technology support ticket to Beasley Technology if the computer needs repair and backup your files before sending the computer out. Please do not try to repair the computer on your own.

FAQ's

Q: I received my MiFi but not my laptop, do they ship together?
A: No, items do not ship together due to inventory supply and demand.

Q: It’s been a week and I have yet to receive my Tech. Where is it?
A: Per policy, shipping can take up to 1-3 weeks. Depending on order volume product availability.

Q: My MiFi doesn’t work/is lost/is broken, can you send me a new one?
A: Please contact Assets to troubleshoot the issue. Once the issue is established, we will help to determine the course of action needed. This can range from switching providers to returning the defective device and sending out a replacement when applicable.

Q: My kids live in separate households and need a second MiFi, can we make an exception?
A: After a review from the Learning Fund, we will help determine if there is a potential solution to this question. Currently, our policy is a 3 student to 1 Mifi ratio. We understand that this guideline is loosely defined. Mitigating circumstances can be reviewed and are at the discretion of EPIC Charter School.

Q: When did the learning fund start charging for damages, I thought it was free?
A: This is not a new policy. Due to the large student body that EPIC has, as a school, we must implement charges for damaged technology in order to help keep the overhead cost of these services and products at a reasonable rate for our students. There are times in which a charge may have been overlooked in the past, going forward, this will not be the issue.

For any other questions not addressed, please feel free to reach out to our Assets department at 405-749-4550 X245.

All policies and procedures are subject to change.