The EPIC Learning Fund is one of the most unique aspects of an EPIC education!
The Learning Fund is an allocation of a monetary credit on a student’s account that can be used for learning resources and extracurricular efforts. Parents and teachers decide how best to use the funds, starting with the selection of a core curriculum. The Learning Fund is in addition to the high-quality instruction and services students receive from EPIC. The fund amount fluctuates year to year, depending on several factors, such as the current economic climate and educational regulations.
Curriculum, extracurricular activities, school supplies, and other academic items that support student learning. All items purchased MUST possess educational merit. After deducting the price of a core curriculum, parents and teachers can decide to use the remaining balance for supplemental curricula, extra-curricular activities, and/or educational items/technology.
Click here to access a list of some of the basic school supplies that can be purchased with the Learning Fund.
Click here to access a list of some of the other items that can and cannot be purchased with the Learning Fund.
NOTE: These lists are not exhaustive, and are subject to change. If there’s an item your student would benefit from having and it is not listed, please inquire by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents and teachers both have access to place orders. Log in to the Learning Fund Portal with the username and password emailed to you upon enrollment. (The log in box is also located on the right-hand side of the screen on our website homepage.)
- Parents/Teachers cannot be reimbursed for any educational expenses.
- Parents/Teachers cannot be paid directly to purchase educational items or for services provided.
- EPIC must purchase the products or services for students for the Learning Fund to pay.
- In order to receive the full Learning Fund amount for a school year, students must be enrolled before the initial deadline of November 1. The Learning Fund balance will be prorated for students enrolled after this deadline. (Please note that the initial deadline is subject to change each school year.)
- Students that maintain attendance of 95% or greater can utilize 100% of their Learning Fund balance.
- A learning fund attendance reserve will be deducted for students with attendance of 94% or less. The learning fund attendance reserve will equal the student’s attendance percentage x the Learning Fund starting balance. Example: If a student’s attendance percentage is 91% their attendance reserve will be $180 ($2000 – (91% x $2000)). Attendance is calculated after each Learning Period so a student’s attendance reserve may go up or down after each learning period based on the student’s attendance percentage. The best practice is for students to keep their attendance percentage at or above 95%!
- Families cannot share among students not listed under the same Family ID.
- All non-consumable physical items and products are the property of EPIC Charter School and must be returned upon withdrawal or graduation.
- 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.
- If unexpected budgetary situations occur, EPIC Charter School reserves the right to manage the Learning Fund program as necessary.
Q: What requirements must be met to obtain a Learning Fund?
A: Students must be enrolled with EPIC for the current school year and maintain sufficient attendance.
Q: How much money is allocated to a student’s Learning Fund?
A: Learning Fund balances can fluctuate due to many different factors. For the 2020-2021 school year, the Learning Fund amount is $2,000. $1,000 for enrollments after October 31st.
Q: Who can help me with setting up and using my Learning Fund Portal?
A: If you need further assistance with the Learning Fund Portal, click on the yellow chat icon at the bottom right of our homepage, or contact Admissions and Enrollment at 657-220-1000 or email@example.com.
Q: When we purchase something from the Learning Fund, is it ours to keep?
A: The short answer is no.
Learning Fund items are purchased by EPIC Charter School and checked out to students for their use. All non-consumable items must be returned to the school upon graduation, withdrawal, or any other reason the student’s status does not reflect “enrolled” with EPIC Charter School. Non-consumable items are the property of EPIC Charter School.
Most of the items bought and ordered with the student’s Learning Fund are non-consumable, meaning another student could use it in the future. If the item is consumable and unusable by future students, students can keep it (such as workbooks).
Please note that consumable items, activities and lessons do not be returned since they cannot be reused.
Q: What is consumable vs. non-consumable?
A: Consumable items are those items that are not reusable by other students. Examples: paint/art supplies, write-in workbooks, printer ink. Non-consumable items are those that can be used by other students once the previous student has used the item. Examples: Calculators, reading books, microscopes, textbooks. All non-consumables purchased through the learning fund must be returned as they are the property of EPIC.
Q: What is the difference between a product and a service?
A: A product is a physical learning tool such as a book, chemistry set, flashcards, software, hardware, etc. A service is an instructional course or lesson, such as music lessons, dance lessons, tutoring, and other extracurricular activities.
Q: Does the cost of curriculum come out of the students Learning Fund? If so, how much do curricula cost?
A: Yes. Each student’s Learning Fund will be deducted the amount of the specific curriculum purchased. Costs vary per curriculum company, and we have over a dozen from which to select. Once a student’s enrollment process is finished, families meet with their EPIC teachers to review and discuss the available curricula options during (what we call) the ILP meeting.
Q: Does the cost of leasing EPIC devices and mobile internet come out of the Learning Fund?
A: No. Shipping costs do, but laptops and MiFi devices come at no cost from the Learning Fund for EPIC California students.
Q: Can students have items delivered to an Amazon locker?
A: No, items purchased from the Learning Fund cannot be delivered to an Amazon locker at this time.
Q: What happens to leftover learning funds if a student graduates or withdraws?
A: Upon withdrawal or high school graduation, the funds are moved back into the general pool for future students. The Learning Fund is not like a bank account students/families can keep or use for personal reasons. These funds are provided by the state for independent study students’ educational support.
Q: If one child in a family 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 ID and shared. In other words, children who are out of funds are able to use their siblings’ funds, if needed.
Q: Will the Learning Fund cover activities planned for the summer months?
A: Yes, as long as the criteria are met: sufficient funds must be available, the student cannot currently be truant, the student must be enrolled with EPIC for the next school year, and families need to submit the purchase order/s to the vendor/s in time for the vendor/s to submit summer invoices by June 15 (date subject to change).
**PLEASE NOTE: If you do not submit a purchase order before the vendor sends in the invoice, EPIC will NOT pay for the service. If you submit a purchase order and 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 summer invoices?
A: The last day to submit invoices is June 15th. Please note, this date is subject to change.
Q: What is the cutoff date to order physical items from the Learning Fund?
A: It fluctuates per school year, but it’s usually sometime in May. Families are notified in advance via email.
Q: How can I find out why an order was rejected?
A: Log into the Learning Fund Portal, and hover over the information icon on the rejected purchase until a small text box appears with the explanation.
Q: Do you use Amazon Prime?
A: We use an Amazon Business Account to order for the student’s Learning Fund rather than Amazon Prime.
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 change the shipping address on an order that has already been placed?
A: You can try, but know that once an order has been placed, the Learning Fund cannot guarantee that the address will be updated before the vendor ships the item. To prevent this, 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 Department?
A: On average, it takes 10-14 calendar days or less. The LF Department receives hundreds of orders daily, and there are busier times than others, so please take that into consideration when planning orders.
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 the student’s Learning Fund.
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 calendar days of the approval date, please contact the Learning Fund Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Will the Learning Fund pay for tuition for concurrent classes at a college? What about books and other materials for a college class?
A: Due to SB98, California public schools are no longer permitted to pay for concurrent college courses or materials.
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, contact the learning fund to check 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 which the LF does not cover.
Q: If the student has an iPad, can the Learning fund be used to purchase apps?
A: Yes, if the application is deemed educational. This is possible whether the iPad is or is not EPIC issued.
Q: What do I do if a vendor invoices me personally for services that the Learning Fund was supposed to pay?
A: Forward the invoice you have received to email@example.com. To prevent this from happening for future vendor activities, first, ensure the vendor is an approved EPIC vendor, then speak with the vendor to discuss using the Learning Fund to pay for services.
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 services?
A: Find out from the vendor how they do their billing. Some vendors do not send invoices until after the services have been completed for the month, while others may send them prior to services. Vendors should receive a payment within 30 days of EPIC receiving an invoice. EPIC pays 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: Why does my student have an attendance reserve item deduction on their LF balance?
A: A student must maintain a minimum of 95% attendance on average to keep their full LF balance. If a student’s attendance percentage drops below 95% anytime throughout the school year, the LF funds are prorated accordingly, and potentially frozen in some of the more severe instances.
Q: What if a vendor has invoiced for lessons/services my student did not use, or they overcharge?
A: Normally, our purchase order process prevents this from occurring. If it does happen, email the Learning Fund Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. These case-by-case situations will be handled accordingly.
Q: We no longer use a particular vendor, but they still 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 a purchase order and an invoice was still somehow paid for a vendor you no longer wish to use, contact the finance department so that they are aware and can note the account and stop paying 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 can 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 if services occur after the student is withdrawn.
Q: Why can’t vendors be paid in advance for the whole semester/year or even several months ahead?
A: The Learning Fund is available only to students showing an active enrollment status. If your student withdraws, the funding is no longer available, as of the date of withdrawal. For example: If a vendor sends an invoice for a semester covering September – December and the student had withdrawn October 15, the student’s Learning Fund could not pay for anything after October 15.
Q: Am I allowed to enroll in EPIC to use the learning fund to pay for activities/lessons at a private school, so long as the student is only enrolled with EPIC?
A: Yes, you can use your Learning Fund for activities such as basketball or tutoring through private schools. The Learning Fund does not cover the cost of admission fees, application fees, or yearly fees.
If you have questions not answered on this instruction page or in the links provided, here are some ways to contact us:
- Chat: initiate a chat with us by clicking the yellow icon on the bottom right of our website.
- Admissions and Enrollment questions: 657-220-1000, email@example.com
- Learning Fund, Asset, or Technology questions: 405-749-4550 x332 or x455.
All policies and procedures are subject to change.