Supporting the Schools Financially

Portage-Schools-Admin-BuildingWritten by Nicole Thorn, Director of Finance

It may seem that the Business Office has little to do with the actual outcome of educating the children of Portage, but in reality, our staff supports every aspect behind the scenes.

Whether it be purchasing items for the needs of the students, making sure that all of the employees who teach, feed, clean, transport, administer, and maintain the needs of the students are paid properly, or budgeting and tracking spending, the Business Office plays the role of keeping everyone informed of the district’s financial health.

From textbooks, paper, and periodicals, to computer equipment and remediation software, every instructional supply requires a purchase order prior to the order being placed. This task is completed with the assistance of school secretaries/treasurers, office staff in food service, transportation, maintenance, and auxiliary services who use the accounting software to enter the requisitions.

These requisitions then become purchase orders, or the “authority” to purchase on behalf of the district. Once the items have been received, each invoice must be matched up with the purchasing authorization, reviewed for accuracy, and paid to the vendors.

This is not an easy task. Portage Schools pays more than 9,000 invoices annually.

Every employee of Portage Schools strives for our students to be educated at the highest level. The list includes teachers and instructional aides, bus drivers, food service staff, custodians; maintenance staff and mechanics, and principals and other administrators. The Business Office is in charge of paying these 1,150 employees bi-weekly for performing these services for the future of Portage students.

The Business Office also produces quarterly reports for all of the grants that the district receives.

The list of grants the district receives includes assistance for students from lower income families; assistance in achieving high academic standards; free and reduced lunch reimbursement through the food service department, and non-English speaking, just to name a few. These reports are just part of the many reporting requirements made to the Indiana Department of Education.

The Business Office staff members are available year-round for assistance in any of the countless behind-the-scene roles that help to educate the children of this great community. We are all part of a larger team, though, led by the Region 1 Superintendent of the Year, E. Ric Frataccia. Frataccia received this honor through nomination and selection by his peers, which demonstrates what Portage Schools have accomplished under his leadership.

Our kids are very fortunate to attend a district with a team that truly cares and gives them every opportunity to succeed, and we are happy to serve such a district.