April 14, 2020 - Washington D.C. Update
Washington D.C. Cancellation/Refund Follow-up
As announced last week, the 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. scheduled for May 20-24, 2020 has been cancelled due to circumstances brought on by Covid-19. The announcement prompted a number of questions from parents that I would like to address in this week’s newsletter:
What can I expect in the way of a refund? Due to the unprecedented circumstances, Worldstrides has adjusted their cancellation policy to help alleviate some of the financial hardship brought on by having to cancel the trip. They have agreed to refund the registration fee ($49 or $99 depending on when you registered) which has always been, along with the purchase price of the FRP (full refund program – travel insurance), considered nonrefundable. Basically, you can expect your out of pocket expenses minus the cost of the travel insurance ($115).
Here are a few scenarios that will apply to a majority of our registered travelers who did not fundraise:
(discounted early bird price) $789 + (purchased travel insurance) $115 = (net cost) $904
(net cost) $904 – (purchased travel insurance) $115 = (refund) $789
(regular price) $839 + (purchased travel insurance) $115 = (net cost) $954
(net cost) $954 – (purchased travel insurance) $115 = (refund) $839
What if I didn’t purchase the FRP (travel insurance)? To prevent the non-insured from losing everything, Worldstrides assigned ALL registrants travel insurance and will deduct the cost ($115) from out of pocket expenses. What this looks like for non-insured non-fundraisers:
(discounted early bird price) $789 – (assigned travel insurance) $115 = (refund) $674
(regular price) $839 – (assigned travel insurance) $115 = (refund) $724
**Important consideration: If your family has a current 7th grade student at NMS who anticipates traveling on our 2021 trip to DC, you may contact me directly and we can apply your money to that traveler, sparing you the forfeit of $115. If this option applies to you, please contact by May 21, 2020. (812.314.3883 or email@example.com).**
Will the money I raised in the Annual Kiwanis Duck Splash be refunded? No. As explained at the informational meeting, the Kiwanis Duck Splash is what the Indiana Gaming Commission qualifies as a “charity gaming activity”. According to the conversation I had with the state license control counsel last week, the use of funds generated through the gaming activity are determined by IC 4-32.3 which requires “that qualified organizations expend their gaming funds, less certain reasonable and necessary gaming expenses, infurtherance of their lawful purposes.” In other words, monies generated through the duck splash by NMS students goes to the school to advance their lawful purpose, that is education via the trip to Washington D.C. – not personal financial gain of the student. The counsel felt it was acceptable for money generated from the duck splash to be applied to costs associated directly with the trip, including the FRP (travel insurance). Worldstrides has agreed to apply duck funds to the insurance cost of those who participated in the duck splash event(s). Apply one of the two following scenarios to your situation:
If you raised more than $115 in the Kiwanis Duck Splash event(s):
Out of pocket* payments - $115 = refund
If you raised less than $115 in the Kiwanis Duck Splash event(s):
Out of pocket* payments – ($115 – amount raised in duck fundraising) = refund
*out of pocket cost is what you paid prior to discounted rates or application of any fundraiser money.
You can log-in to your account on MyTrip to view what you paid out of pocket toward your trip. If you need additional clarification, you can reach out directly to WorldStrides’ Customer Support at 800-468-5899.
When can I expect my refund? Due to the high volume of refunds being processed, WorldStrides has asked for your understanding on timing. Families can expect to receive refunds in 6-8 weeks from your scheduled departure date (May 20).
What if I raised more than $115 in the duck splash fundraiser(s)? Any surplus fundraising dollars, beyond the $115 we’re able to apply to insurance cost, from the duck splash event(s) are returned to NMS. The funds are placed in a Washington D.C. Scholarship Fund to offer assistance to students who desire to travel with the 8th grade class and have financial need.
**Important consideration: If you know of a current 7th grade student at Northside who intends to travel to DC in 2021 that you would like to apply your surplus duck money to, please confirm their plans with them and then contact Mr. Lax (812.314.3883 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to make those arrangements.**
What happens to the funds raised through the Texas Roadhouse Gift Card Fundraiser or work-study opportunities? Under the current situation, due to the nature of these fundraisers (nongaming), funds may be refunded to the student who raised the money. This will happen after NMS receives the refunds from Worldstrides – likely during the summer.
Worldstride’s explained their retention of the FRP (travel insurance) fee is to cover “unrecoverable costs”. What are those unrecoverable costs? I contacted a representative from Worldstrides last week who explained “we have booked tickets, hotels, coaches and have made financial commitments to those vendors. As you know your tour is made up of lots of parts to make these trips as economical as possible, we reserve services and pay for them in advance with bulk rates. However, those funds are not coming back to us at this point. The financial hit has been hard on all of our vendors. Our hotel contracts have cancellation terms, with fees retained based on the date of cancellation. We are working to negotiate these fees as best we can, but there will be significant costs associated with tours that cancel. The same also applies with the Bus companies; their contracts contain cancellation fees as well that are not being refunded to us.” The agent also provided the following e-mail address for individuals with additional questions or concerns: Customer1st@worldstrides.com
Will we receive the three Washington D.C. t-shirts we ordered through the school? Anticipating there was a chance the trip would be postponed or cancelled due to the growing concerns about Covid-19 prior to Spring Break, the t-shirt order was not placed. The checks submitted for payment were never cashed. Both uncashed checks and cash are being held in the safe at NMS and will be returned to parents at a date yet to be determined. Please continue to watch the Washington DC Facebook page, the NMS Parent Newsletter and the NMS Website Washington DC page for additional information.
193 Enrolled!Program Leader:Tim Lax812.314.3883Travel Company:Worldstrides1.800.468.5899Trip ID: 178067
DATES IN THE CHART BELOW WILL BE UPDATED SOON
Monday, May 9, 2018
Informational Meeting at Northside Middle School Gym - 1.
May 09, 2018 – June 15, 2018
Early registration for 2019 trip offers a discounted $49 registration fee. The registration fee will be deducted from the trip price of $759. The $49 registration fee reserves you a spot on the trip and allows you to set up a payment plan with Worldstrides. Early registration provides a $40 discount. The trip price will go up to $799 at the close of early registration.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
6:00 PM: Informational Meeting for parents/students not yet registered for the May 2019 trip. Meeting will be held in Northside cafeteria.
6:30 PM: Roll out meeting for the Kiwanis Duck Splash Fundraiser at Northside Middle School Cafeteria.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Duck Fundraiser materials due at Northside by 7:50 a.m. All materials, including unused adoption forms, must be turned in by 7:50 a.m. today.
Monday, November 19, 2018
Launch of Texas Roadhouse Gift Certificate Fundraiser. See Mr. Lax today if you are interested in selling Texas Roadhouse Gift Certificates to raise money for your trip.
Late November 2018
Funds from Duck Fundraiser will be applied to your Worldstride account.
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
All order forms/money for Texas Roadhouse Gift Certificates due to Mr. Lax by 7:50 a.m.
Friday, December 21, 2018
Students will bring home Texas Roadhouse Gift Certificates
Monday, February 25, 2019
Multi-page/multi-color packet of required paperwork and t-shirt order form sent home with students
Friday, March 1, 2019
Final payment for 2019 trip is due via Worldstride website.
Multi-page/multi-colored packet of required forms and t-shirt order form due in Main Office.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Students report to Room 120 at Northside between 7:15 am and 7:40 am to sign up with their roommates. Students, and their roommates, must have packet of required forms (due on 3/1) on file with Mr. Lax to sign up for a room. All individuals expecting to room together must be present at the time of signing up for roommates
Friday, March 8, 2019
Deadline for reserving a table for DC Fundraiser Rummage Sale
At a date-to-be-determined in March/April 2019
We will tentatively hold a Rummage Sale in the school cafeteria on a date yet to be determined. The sale will coincide with the Annual Community Rummage at Donner Center to encourage attendance by the community. Students will need to notify Mr. Lax of their interest in participating in the Rummage Sale by Friday, March 9. This will reserve a table for them at the event. Students will bring items in from home to sell the day of the event. What money they raise will be taken home with them and hopefully applied to the trip or used as spending money.
Monday, May 6, 2019
Parent Pre-Departure Meeting in Northside Middle School Gym 1 at 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Any changes to student medicine inventory form due in Main Office by 7:50 a.m.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Arrive at Northside at the designated time to turn in medication (if applicable), check luggage and depart for Washington D.C.
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Return from Washington D.C.