Victoria ISD Fine Arts

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District Fine Arts Handbook (for Teachers)

 Table of Contents

THE MISSION OF VICTORIA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT…is to provide rigorous, relevant learning and life experiences so that all students contribute positively to society.


VISD FINE ARTS MISSION…is to promote and support fine arts education and educators through collaboration, innovative curricula, and the sharing of best practices so that every child in Victoria ISD is assured of receiving quality instruction in the understanding, appreciation, and performance of the arts.


Interpretation of Policies and Regulations - This handbook has been prepared as a general guide to the operation of the Victoria Independent School District (VISD) Fine Arts Programs.  This is neither a contract nor a substitute for the official District Employee Handbook created by VISD Human Resources. It is not intended to alter the at-will status of employees in any way. Rather, it is a guide and a brief explanation of District Fine Arts Policies as created by Jason Levin, Director of Fine Arts.

Mr. Levin, with the consent of the VISD administration has the authority to render all judgments concerning any matter pertaining to the overall fine arts programs, its students and its operation. For more information on policies and procedures, employees may refer to the District Employee Handbook or confer with the Director of Fine Arts or or Human Resources.


Level of Responsibility - The Fine Arts program’s specialized characteristics, it is organized under two distinct chains of command. The Home Campus chain of command and the District chain of command are separate, but complementary systems.

The below groupings are provided to give a general idea of how the system operates. The key to past success has come from a spirit of cooperation with all administration. *There are areas of overlapping interest and responsibility.


Home Campus - The home campus principal is the teacher’s primary supervisor, even though assistant directors report to head directors on a day-to-day basis. The following areas/items are primarily within the principal’s jurisdiction:

Lesson Plans & Grade Books, Grading
Primary appraiser (T-TESS)
Sundry funds
Building/room keys
District/State required trainings
PTA activities
*Student field trips
*Class scheduling
*Extra duty assignments (non-stipend)
*Fund raising
*Parent conferences, Student discipline
*Work orders (repairs – routine and emergency)



District - “District” authority refers to the specialized chain of command within the Fine Arts Department itself. The Director of Fine Arts is primarily responsible for:

Monitor the quality and implementation of all fine arts programs, and make recommendations for adjustments as needed.
Plan, coordinate and conduct district-wide events and activities related to the Fine Arts.
Coordinate, plan and conduct staff development and in-service in assigned subject matter field.
Solicit and develop and maintain partnerships with the Fine Arts Community in Victoria.
Fine Arts Budgets – Prioritize needs
*Curriculum, Coordination & Development
*District Master Scheduling
*District & Out of District Travel
*Teaching Assignments
*Extra assignments (stipend per contract)
*UIL Requirements
*Inventory & Fixed Assets
*Booster Clubs

Fine Arts Director Primary Purpose – Primary Purpose:  Assist in the coordination, development, and improvement of the district’s fine arts program and district personnel in K-12 fine arts programming.  The position of Director of Fine Arts encompasses areas of administration, budget, personnel and curriculum.

District Fine Arts Facilitators

Art Facilitator(s)
Band Facilitator
Choir Facilitator
Dance Facilitator (dance, drill team, ballet folklorico)
Elementary Music Facilitator
Guitar / Mariachi Facilitator
Orchestra Facilitator
Theatre Facilitator



Fine Arts Facilitator purpose – Facilitators serve as a means of coordinating areas of the fine arts programs district wide as advisors to the Director of Fine Arts and site administrators.  This position embraces a district wide approach, particularly in curriculum effectiveness as it relates to student achievement.


Fine Arts Professional Meetings in Eduphoria – The main focus in our PLC’s will be on Learning & Collaboration. Meetings are designed to establish a set of standards/curriculum used throughout the year. These meetings will be scheduled by our Facilitators and Mr. Levin.  Directors will receive credit in Eduphoria for Professional Development hours and turned into the Fine Arts Office by each Facilitator.  Director of Fine Arts & all Facilitators will send out the agenda’s in advance.  


Calendars - The VISD District Fine Arts Shared Outlook Calendar is titled VISD District Fine Arts Calendar under Mr. Levin (in your Outlook program).  If you can't see the VISD District Fine Arts Calendar under Mr. Levin - email and he will send you the invite if you cannot see it.  


Fine Arts Outlook Calendar / Eduphoria Calendar


The purpose of this Shared Internal Calendar is to share information with our elementary programs at this point.  Elementary Schools here in VISD currently do not have Eduphoria as a scheduling option so we will continue using a Fine Arts Shared Calendar for our Elementary Music (until they are added in Eduphoria), and any other events not scheduled in Eduphoria (outside of district events, like UIL, OAP, Football games etc.).  


The Fine Arts Secretary, Ms. Gonzalez, will place all events in the Fine Arts Outlook Calendar for us by pulling that information from Eduphoria and anything you email her (UIL events, performances down-town etc.).  Please be sure to proof the material being submitted as it will be posted exactly the way it is received.  You will be able to "view only" our Outlook calendar as a reference to check for conflicts when planning/scheduling events. If you have a flyer you would like added to the Website, please send that to Ms. Gonzalez and she will insert it on the District website.  Again, please proof your material. 


Overall Procedure 

Middle School and High School Fine Arts Programs - first schedule your events in Eduphoria. Once your date has been approved, please send your schedule to Ms. Gonzalez to add in Outlook and on our District webpage.
Elementary Programs will schedule your event through your campus but will also need to email Ms. Gonzalez your events to add in Outlook and on the District webpage.  Elementary music programs that wish to perform at the Victoria Fine Arts Center, East or West Theatres or anywhere else on any secondary campus will have to make reservations through Eduphoria.


To reserve a date in the Victoria Fine Arts Center, Athletics, Administration building rooms or in the East & West Auditoriums or classrooms:

  1. Check the on-line Eduphoria Calendar for open dates – go to– click on Eduphoria Calendars under STAFF
  2. Check our Shared Fine Arts Outlook Calendar – Check for conflicts or open dates.
  3. Make your reservation in Eduphoria, once you receive a confirmation email, send the information to Ms. Gonzalez so she can add it in the Shared Outlook. 

Special Note on Building Lease Agreements

Make sure your principal approves your after hours event by having them sign a Building Lease Agreement.  This will allow you to have A/C or Heat and lighting for your event.
This is a universal form that you need to fill out (campus secretaries have copies) that require your principal’s approval.
Please NOTE – if you make any changes to your event you need to update that event in the Fine Arts Office by contacting Ms. Gonzalez and then update your Building Lease Agreement by contacting the District Maintenance Department (assuming date or time of event change).


CHARMS (Band, Choir, Dance, Orchestra) - 

This program will keep track of your inventory, student rosters, calendar events, financial and parent communications and much more.  We will be using the following areas this year.


Student tracking & Communication (emails / text features).
Trip Budgets (Booster Club helpers)
Calendar (optional if you have a better one) on your website
Inventory – all students assigned to school instruments.
Library (this might take two years to get in for some of our programs).


VISD District Main Website & Fine Arts Website  

 District -         District Fine Arts (do not type in www.) -  

Campus Teacher and Program Webpages


We are working to create consistent looks for our websites throughout the district.  We have a District Fine Arts Page (run by Mr. Levin), and each teacher should have a Teacher Page located on each campus website.  In addition, some secondary teachers might opt to have a Program Page.  Regardless, the Teacher Page and Program Pages should be easy found on each campus websites.  


On the District Fine Arts Page - We will do the following:

A picture of the each of the Fine Arts Teachers with a link to their Teacher Page or Program Page on each of the campuses. 


On the Teacher Page and/or Program Page  located on each of the campus websites we should strive to have the following:  

Class schedule and overall program description.

Short Welcome or Director Bio, Contact information. 
Syllabus, Handbook, Constitution or Elementary Class Schedule.
Something generic that lasts the full year can be used for Fall and Spring. 
Link to your Teacher Page or Program Page (or both) to the District Fine Arts Page –
Anything else your principal requires (lesson plans etc.)


Special Note - campus fine arts programs should not be listed under Clubs or Extra-Curricular.  We are CORE, and are REQUIRED by the state to have TEKS.  We have some Extra-Curricular components in our classes, but that does not define the full course.  Exception would be of course, if you created a Club that goes with your program...then list that Club under Clubs on your website.   

Mr. Levin and Mrs. Martinez will help you get connected with your campus webmaster (if you have one) and/or permissions for your Page(s).  At the district level, if we need assistance, together we will contact - Melanie Martinez in our VISD Communications Office. - to help with websites. 


Title IX Amendments, Procedures / District Policy for VISD Fine Arts Staff – The following Amendments / Procedures are established to enhance the safety of our students and staff. For more information on policies and procedures, employees may refer to the VISD Policies & Regulations on the VISD website or confer with the Director of Fine Arts or Director and/or Human Resources.  The term “parent” shall be used herein to mean both parent and/or legal guardian.

Title IX – Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against students and employees of educational institutions.  Title IX prohibits discrimination, exclusion, denial, limitation, or separation based on gender in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, including the District’s fine arts programs.  More importantly, Title IX regulations explicitly prohibit sex discrimination, which includes sexual harassment.  It is important to recognize that Title IX’s prohibition of sexual harassment does not extend to legitimate nonsexual touching or other nonsexual conduct.

For example, a high school fine arts teacher hugging a student who made a first division or a teacher’s consoling hug for a child with a skinned knee may not be considered sexual harassment. However, in some circumstances, nonsexual conduct may take on sexual connotations and may rise to the level of sexual harassment.  A teacher’s hugging and putting his or her arms around students under inappropriate circumstances could create a hostile sexual harassment environment. 
Accordingly, the District’s fine arts staff should observe all District policies pertaining to conduct with students.  For further guidance, please reference the District Employee Handbook under VISD Policies & Regulations on the VISD website.



Sexual Harassment and Reporting Suspected Abuse – District employees shall not engage in conduct constituting sexual harassment or sexual abuse of students, co-workers or parents.  Sexual harassment includes any welcome or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal (oral, written, email or sent by text), physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature.


Reporting:  Any District employee who receives information about sexual harassment or sexual abuse of a student that may reasonably be characterized as known or suspected child abuse or neglect will need to make a report to the appropriate authorities, as required by law.  Any employee who suspects or knows that a student is being sexually harassed or sexually abused by a school employee or by another student shall inform his or her principal, administrator, immediate supervisor, or Title IX coordinator.


Investigations:  Any allegations of sexual harassment or sexual abuse of students will be investigated and addressed.  In considering and investigating allegations that an employee has sexually harassed or sexually abused a student, the investigation shall proceed from the presumption that the employee’s conduct was unwelcome.  For further guidance in any of the above areas, please reference District Employee Handbook under VISD Policies & Regulations on the VISD website.


Safety and Abuse Prevention – Recommendations by your Fine Arts Department:


Be aware of the fact that there are two issues:  actually crossing the line and the appearance of crossing the line.  Please take affirmative steps to avoid both.  When in doubt, contact Mr. Levin or your principal or Human Resources for guidance.  Below are a few recommendations from Mr. Levin:

District employees should ever be alone with a student for any prolonged period of time. Staff should ensure that at least one other student and/or one other adult are present and in eyesight at all times.
When employees need to communicate with students outside the hearing of other persons, they should do so in an open area and within the sight of others.
To the extent possible, employees should not place telephone calls to students. Calls should be directed to parents of the student.
No employee should ever write, e-mail, call, or otherwise communicate with a student if the communication is intended to be private.
Notes of encouragement may be appropriate if also addressed to the student’s parent in the same communication.
Never write or say anything to a student that you would not be comfortable sharing with the student’s parents, your administration, or read out loud at a school board meeting.
While on trips away from school, a chaperone or teacher should never be alone with a student for any reason at any time.
Employees should not be alone with current or potential student outside of work-related activities.
Never arrange to meet a student away from school without parent permission or one of the parents being present.
Adults should not use any student restroom facility.
Employees should not transport a student in their personal vehicle except in a true emergency.
No employee should ever pat a student on any private part of the body, including but not limited to the bottom.
Employees should not initiate physical contact with students other than a high five or a pat on the back. If any student ever expresses any discomfort with any of these contacts, then no further contact should be made.
Our Fine Arts staff must be consistent with the use of proper language and ways to professionally convey your message – demeaning, degrading, loud and/or profane language has no part in our fine arts programs.
Follow all district policy and guidelines on social media within your programs and schools.
Do not friend any VISD students on any of your personal online media (FaceBook, etc). Wait until they graduate.  Group FaceBook pages are not personal, they are public.
If you choose to create a group page in Facebook for your group, you must have administration rights.  Strongly consider making it a Closed Group. Remember that you will be held responsible for all content on these sites (i.e. someone copies a post and sends to the newspaper, administration or school board member).  Only place pictures on your site that educationally enhance your program.  Use good judgment and good taste.


Volunteers, Chaperones and Parents


Criminal Background Checks from your campus administration is Required – All chaperones, parent volunteers, private lesson teachers or anyone who comes into contact with VISD students are required to undergo a criminal background check prior to being around the students. Once they have been cleared, you are allowed to have them work on your campus or ride the bus as chaperones etc.



Transportation Policy & Field Trips – Anytime you take your students off campus, for any reason, you must receive approval from your campus administrator.  Start with a Field Trip Request Form. Procedures for Transportation – All Trips must have prior approval from your principal before you can schedule transportation using your fine arts transportation budget in your account.

First step – Field Trip Request Form with your principal signature (campus form).
Second Step – Parents sign and return the Parent Permission Form to go on the trip (campus form).
There are exceptions for some secondary groups – for multiple trips examples (football games etc.)
Third step – Send your Field Trip Request Form (signed by your principal and a budget code you received from our Fine Arts Office) to Transportation.
Do not assume the trip is scheduled, call transportation to confirm at least 3-5 days before the trip.


Reserving district vehicle - If you need to reserve a district vehicle (van) you will need to contact the appropriate department to check for availability.  Please do not use toll roads.  If you use toll roads you are responsible for paying these fees and the District is not to be billed.


For CTE, the contact is Christy ext. 40234 - CTE Vans seat 8
For Special Services, the contact is Joann ext. 11603 - Special Services vans seat slightly more
For Athletics, the contact is Clemmie ext 42003


Travel Releases – Under certain circumstances or exceptional situations, students may be excused from riding either to or from an event on school authorized transportation.

Parents must make prior arrangements with the director in advance of the trip by completing the approved travel release form on or before the day of the trip. The director may deny permission and must communicate this directly to the parents.
The students will be released to the parent(s) (designated adult) by the director upon presentation of a copy of the approved travel release at the event.
In no cases will a student be allowed to ride home with a student or another parent.


Procedures Relative to the Use of School Buses top Bus Guidelines

Emergency Medical Forms must be taken on all trips for each student or your Student Field Trip Form.
The director will assume all responsibility for conduct and discipline on the bus and will cooperate with the driver who has the ultimate responsibility.
Only assigned and district approved personnel may ride on school transportation.
Report any incidents involving students to your principal and/or Mr. Levin as soon as it happens day or night.  Do not wait until the next day – call Mr. Levin’s cell.
All students shall return home on the same bus or vehicles in which they traveled to the event. The only exception would be if they have secured a travel release, signed by the parent(s).



Major Trips / Spring Trips / Out of State / Overnight Trips

Detailed trip itineraries and budgets will need to be presented in advance first your principal, then The Director of Fine Arts, Dr. Shepherd and the VISD Board of Trustees.
Plan ahead – you cannot announce the trip or collect funds from your students until the trip has VISD Board approved.
Trip Handbook / itineraries / cost break-down / reimbursement time-line for cancellations / standard parent permission and medical release forms / and parent meetings will all need to be planned in advance and executed after VISD Board approval.
Purpose of trip (most times will require an education component).
Break-down of payments / refund policy and dates.
Date and time of departure and arrival back home.
Where students will be housed with all contact information.
Secure reservations, student room plans, chaperone and director’s room plans.
Whether or not the boosters will defray expenses of travel, board, lodging and food expenses.
If students must defray a portion of the aforementioned expenses, indicate the amount assessed to each student.
Make all eligibility rules clear in trip handbook.


Procedure for Travel Advance/Reimbursement for Instructor PD Trips (TMEA, TCDA, TAEA, TETA, etc.)


All conference registration, meals, miles, and hotel comes out of the $500 Staff PD fund allocated to each teacher. Fine Arts does not advance or reimburse the cost of any individual teacher’s PD expense over the allocated $500.00. If your trip is more expensive, please talk to Mr. Levin about using your sundry funds and/or addressing this as a line items in your booster club finances. 


For memberships:

The District understands that memberships to these organizations are required for conference attendance, UIL competition, etc.


Membership fees can and will be paid for by instructional Budget funds (not out of your $500 allocated for PD).

Memberships need to be paid for with a PO.  Do not pay out of pocket unless there is truly not enough time to go through the PO process.
This should only apply to anyone needing the membership before Sept. 1 and prior approval from Mr. Levin is still required.

To pay for membership via PO, you would fill out the usual PO request form and attach the membership form (filled-out) and submit to Ms. Gonzalez to process the PO. A check will then be cut and sent to the vendor with the membership form. Please see the Fine Arts Handbook for specifics on the Business Office’s procedures regarding checks so that you are making sure to submit everything in a timely manner.


For registrations:


Registrations are just like memberships and need to be planned for and paid for with a PO. To register for a conference, please submit a PO request and conference registration/entry form (filled out) to Fine Arts to process the PO. A check will then be cut and mailed to the vendor to place your registration. 


Travel Advance/Reimbursement Forms:


This is the form to get a Travel Advance check cut to you ahead of time. This form covers hotel, meals, and miles. Please make sure you are filling out the left-hand advance portion of this form to have a check cut ahead of time.  Please write on the top left corner if you will pick up from Admin.  If you do not write anything on the form it will be mailed to your campus using interoffice mail.  

For the hotel: Hotel arrangements are made directly between the teacher and the hotel. As VISD does not accept hotel reservations made through third party sites (i.e. Expedia, Travelocity,, bookingbuddy), we will always recommend calling the hotel directly. You make the reservation and then send the confirmation to Ms. Gonzalez with the filled-out Travel Advance form and conference confirmation/agenda (something validating the reason for the hotel stay) for a check. It is your responsibility to ask the hotel for the tax breakdown (we are exempt from state tax and do not advance or reimburse it). The District does not advance or reimburse state tax.


We strongly encourage teachers to room together. Please have one teacher make the reservation, and then specify with your Travel Advance form which teachers will be attending and which accounts to use for the Advance so we can split it between each teacher’s PD accounts.


For meals: To get an Advance for meals, you will need to submit an itinerary (detailing departure and arrival times for the conference) so we can determine your per diem. You will also need to know if your hotel offers complimentary breakfast. If so, the District does not offer breakfast as part of the per diem. Each teacher attending will need to fill out their own meal advance and attach their own itinerary.


For mileage: If you would like an advance for mileage, you will need to submit a Google Maps/ Mapquest detailing the miles of the trip. You will then fill out the mileage section of the Advance form with the amount to be paid for mileage. If this cost is being split between teachers, please specify which teachers and which accounts with the Travel Advance form so we can split the cost.


Reimbursement After The Fact (For Hotels and Mileage):

Please note it is always an option to be reimbursed after the trip for hotels and miles. If you choose to do this, you are shouldering the costs until your return from the conference. You would then submit your hotel invoice (with state tax factored out) and maps for mileage with right-hand Reimbursement section of the Travel Advance filled-out.


Booster Club Guidelines – Be they music, fine arts, academic or athletic, booster clubs should exist to enrich students’ involvement in your program without endangering their eligibility.  Please see most updated guidelines from UIL online.


Role of Booster Club – School patrons form booster clubs to help enrich the school’s participation in fine arts’ activities. The fund-raising role of booster clubs is particularly crucial in today’s economic climate.


Role of the Superintendent – Member schools make UIL rules and determine policies regarding penalties to schools, school district personnel and student participants. The superintendent is solely responsible for the entire UIL program. All activities, events and personnel are under the jurisdiction of the superintendent. Booster clubs must recognize this authority and work within a framework prescribed by the school administration.



Relationship with the School District

The Superintendent or a designee & the Director of Fine Arts have approval authority over booster clubs
The Director of Fine Arts should be invited to all meetings.
All meetings should be open to the public.
Booster clubs do not have authority to direct the duties of a school district employee. The schedule of contests, rules for participation, grades and all other criteria dealing with inter-school programs are under the jurisdiction of the local school administration.
Minutes should be taken at each meeting and kept on file at the school.
Periodic financial statements itemizing all receipts and expenditures should be made to the general club membership and kept on file at the school.


Written Policies – In order for any Fine Arts Booster Clubs to function in VISD, the following policies must be in place:

How to obtain administrative approval before beginning projects;
How to plan and publicize meetings;
Bookkeeping, fund administration that includes the process of obtaining district approval prior to rising funds.
Election of officers;
Taking, distributing and filing minutes;
Public communication;
Proper interaction with school officials as established by the school board;
Plans to support the school regardless of success in competition or event, keeping the educational goals of the school at the forefront of all policies.



What can parents do?

Remember: The students / classroom come first!
Set standards by which you expect children to conduct themselves, and live by those standards yourself.
Delegate authority to the school, and then support its decisions.
Don’t criticize. Urge others to do the same.
Help your children and their friends develop integrity through the study of fine arts.


Fund Raising/Spending/Stipends/Gifts – Booster Clubs are legally separate entities from the school district, even though they exist to benefit a campus, activity, program or the district in some way.  Because of this legal separateness, it is critical that no co-mingling of funds take place


The following items should be noted about Fund Raising in Booster Clubs:



Fund raising activities should support the educational goals of the program and should not exploit students.
Activities and projects should be investigated carefully and receive principal and/or administration approval before committing the school’s support.
At no time should outside organization funds be deposited into district accounts, even on a temporary basis.
District employees will serve in an advisory capacity to the booster club and will not have control or signature authority over booster club funds, including petty cash or miscellaneous discretionary funds.
Funds are to be used to support school activities. To provide such funding for non-school activities would violate UIL rules and the public trust through which funds are earned.
Purchases must be made by these organizations on their own, without the use of district funds.
There will be times when the Booster organization wishes to partner with the district on a purchase whereby the district will be paying for a portion of the goods or services ordered. In this event, the school district will initiate the transaction, specifically a purchase order, using district funds for the purchase, and accept a donation from the booster club for their portion of the expense.
Fund raising projects are subject to state law. Nonprofit or tax-exempt status must be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service.
Community-wide sales campaigns should be coordinated through the school administration to minimize simultaneous sales campaigns.


Eligibility for UIL Participants for the First Grading Period – UIL Academic Requirements (No Pass, No Play)


– TEA-UIL Side-by-Side – Interpretations of the Rules 

UIL participants are eligible to participate in contests during the grading period of the school year provided the following standards have been met – see TEA-UIL Side-by-Side – Interpretations of the Rules 


TEA-UIL Side-by-Side – Interpretations of the Rules




All Fine Arts Teachers whom participate in UIL music must have Professional-Acknowledgement Form on File in the Director of Fine Art’s office.  Only need to file this once in VISD.  A copy of this form can be found on our VISD Fine Arts Webpage.  **Must be notarized**

Teaching Assignments – The Personnel Department in consultation with the campus principals and the Director of Fine Arts assign teaching assignments.  The Director of Fine Arts in concert with the campus principal has the authority to assign, reassign and/or transfer fine arts teachers based on the specific needs of our programs within our district.  Any movement within the district will be upon the approval of the sending and receiving principals, along with the approval of the personnel department.  A reassignment may be made for disciplinary reasons when termination of employment is deemed too harsh for the offense.


Fine Arts Budgets – We maintain a centralized district budget in support of our Fine Arts programs. These accounts are serviced directly by Mr. Levin in coordination with the Fine Arts Facilitators and each program director.  This team (facilitators & Mr. Levin) are considered to the District Fine Arts Budget Committee for prioritized recommendations submitted to the district for both Operations Budget and Over budget (or Capital Outlay) Requests. 



Your budgets are broken down into a number of categories – the most basic of which consists of:
General Supplies
Transportation (buses)
Student Travel (Participation Fees, UIL Fees, Any Entry Fees)
Contracted Services (clinicians) 
– many more for Secondary Campuses
Our budget cycle begins in Early September, as dictated by our Business Office.
Our budget cycle ends in May – usually the first week in May, as dictated by the Fine Arts Office.
Before the budget cycle ends, all POs must be Encumbered by the Fine Arts Secretary.
All items encumbered or ordered earlier in the year, must be received before the last instructional day.
Each director will receive details in your Operations Budget (as listed above) at the beginning of the year and work in coordination with your Fine Arts Facilitators and/or Fine Arts Office on all purchases.
You cannot go over budget without coordinating with Mr. Levin.  
The funds have to be made up from somewhere (Sundry, Booster Club or another Fine Arts Program).  Coordinating with the Fine Arts
Office is required before you go over budget.
You can check your balance anytime with your Facilitator and/or Ms. Gonzalez.


Clarifications on Staff Development & Reimbursements:

All Fine Arts teachers are allotted $500 for staff development opportunities. This includes all travel, convention fees, travel expenses, dues for the convention, etc.
For travel expenses that exceed the $500 allotted, additional funding must come from you personally, or from your principal. Principal approval must be received prior before said trip/convention.
How can I get an advance or reimbursement for travel expenses?
Use the VISD Travel Advance Expense Voucher.  This link is only an example. Please request an actual form your campus secretary as they tend to update this form often.
You will have to provide documentation to support each cost.
See new VISD Regulation DEE(B) – R. VISD will no longer advance or reimburse you for meals for any non-overnight trips from general fund or sundry funds. (Revised 9/15/15)
You are given a per diem for the day.
If students are accompanying you, you may request meal money for your students. Please provide a class list or roster of the student names going on the trip.
Once funds are disbursed to the students they must sign or initial a form as confirmation of how funds were used.
How can I get reimbursed for travel expenses after the fact? – VISD Travel Advance Expense Voucher
This again is only an example for reference. Please request an actual form from your campus secretary. BTW – Same form for travel advance and travel reimbursement.
Fill out the form and attach itemized receipts to the form. You are not required to provide receipts for your meals or mileage, you will receive a per diem.
How can I get reimbursed for an item I purchased for my classroom out of pocket?  VISD Expense Reimbursement Form
If you have to purchase something (an emergency only) you will have to fill out an Auditors Memo to attach to your Reimbursement Form. With proper planning these kind of purchases are preventable.


Each teacher must book their own transportation / hotel under the given guidelines – See VISD Policies & Regulations on the VISD website (using government rates, registration etc.).
On-line hotel bookings have to be through the hotel, not any .coms. per business office. Ex:, etc are not permitted. 
Within 10 days of returning, each teacher must provide itemized receipts – VISD Travel Advance Expense Voucher
You would file this paperwork with our Fine Arts Secretary.


Professional Services Contract (Clinicians/Judges)

Clinician/Judges - The contract can be found in the Fine Arts website under Helpful Forms.  You will need to attach a “Fine Arts request for PO” with the paperwork/contract, to the Fine Arts secretary.  


There are four parts for the clinician/judge that need to be returned to the Fine Arts secretary:

1. Contract – You will need to fill out the effective date, name of consultant and sections a-d.  Have the consultant fill out the lower right-hand section with their contact information and signature.


2.  CCH – authorizing background check


3.  Addendum –authorizing background check


4.  W-9 –vendor tax form

Once the paperwork is received for approval and signature, the contract come back to Ms. Gonzalez to proceed with entering a requisition for a PO to process a check for services rendered.    Please allow a minimum of 2-3 weeks for processing.


The clinician/judge must submit a signed invoice at the time services are rendered. 

If the invoice is received by the end of the day Monday, a check will be processed that Thursday and put in the mail.  If you/your clinician would like to pick the check up at Admin, please make note on the request and the check can be picked up on Friday after 2pm. 


PO Process for Funds

Where can I find the VISD Bid List?

Check to see if that vendor is on the Approved Vendor List. – Click here for a link
If you find a vendor associated with a bid item, you will not be required to get bids/quotes from other vendors.
If your item(s) are not on the list – then you will need to solicit three other bids.
You may only use approved vendors
Fill out the Purchase Order Typed In – VISD Fine Arts(computer form)
Scan and attach any additional back-up 
Use specific item numbers 
Make sure shipping charges are included (you must clarify with your vendor, do not guess)
 Send in one email to Ms. Gonzalez to process.
Please allow 2-3 business days (at least) for your PO request to generate a PO. After Ms. Gonzalez submits your request, it will go through the Purchasing and Business Offices and the order will be placed.


Important: If your PO request is asking for a check for payment for conference registration, organization membership, clinician payment, etc., please try and submit it well in advance. For a check to be cut on Thursday, all paperwork will need to be submitted by Monday of that same week. The Business Office only cuts checks on Thursdays. Please plan ahead as much as possible.


**Please note – we will not use inter-office mail for this process – this form you fill out, save to your computer and attach to an email.  If you don’t know how to scan (for extra receipts or registration forms etc.), see Mr. Levin or your Facilitator for clarification.

Sundry Funds:  Each campus can operate an activity fund (operates in partnership with your Principal), the use of which is governed by TEA Bulletin 679, VISD policy, and campus policy. Fine Arts sponsors are expected to manage Sundry fund accounts in a manner that adheres to established policy and accounting procedures.  Monies collected from students must be properly receipted and safeguarded. Regular deposits should be made to the school bookkeeper. At no time should cash or checks be left in filing cabinets, desks, given to parents to hold or taken to your cars.

Items or services purchased with Sundry fund monies are to directly benefit the students that the program serves.


Audit of your Sundry Accounts – It is your responsibility to keep good records of funds you have received. Computer generated lists or hand written ledger sheets are acceptable, provided all pertinent information is furnished (date, name, number of items sold, amount paid and method of payment).  Your receipt records should match your deposits when collecting money from students and you should be able to show this if you are audited by the district or state.


Fine Arts District Improvement Plan / General Recommendations on Program Needs & Master Scheduling – This should be clarified by our fine arts teams traditionally around January/February in planning for program expansion / equipment / grow /updates and needs for the up-coming school year.  Mr. Levin will schedule meetings will all principals and administrators to make the Recommendations.  *This process does not end until the first day of school in the Fall.  Constant communication from our fine arts teachers with Mr. Levin and your administration is critical.


Above Budget Allocation as outlined & prioritized in our plan – We will be given an opportunity to request non-consumable or capital outlay items prioritized in the Fine Arts District Improvement Plan generally as early as March for the following school year.  Above Budget Items are generally one-time items needed for your program to continue.


VISD programs work on a Zero Based Above Budget Allocation, thus all requests are presented to upper administration for approval.  Mr. Levin coordinates with the district to present these proposals to upper administration for Fine Arts.  This is a needs list, not a want and upgrade list. This list should work in conjunction with your long-range planning and projections (generally your 3 to 4 year curriculum growth plans).


Inventory Procedures – Certain inventory items for all campuses are to be maintained through our programs.

School owned musical instruments,
Serial number, brand, year it was purchased and cost, location in district and student assignment.
School uniforms and (marching uniforms, tuxedos, mariachi, dance, drill team etc.)
Identifiable number, brand, year it was purchased and cost
School equipment at a value of $500 or more
Serial number, type or brand, year it was purchased and cost


The lists will be kept in CHARMS or kept in an excel spreadsheet.  Please include electronic, sound, and recording equipment in addition to all musical instruments (acoustic or electronic, wind, string or percussion).  When taking inventory of uniforms, just list the manufactures and numbers of uniforms on your inventory.  Sizes need not be entered. Our option to use the CHARMS uniform label in the near future is recommended.


Receiving New Equipment/Removing Old Equipment – Anytime you receive new equipment it must be immediately added to your inventory if it meets the criteria above.  All property no longer of use to the District will be sent to the warehouse for storage and disposal. Mr. Levin must remove inventory items from District inventory reports prior to disposal per district policy. Under no circumstances can campuses or departments just dispose of any school or district property. Items must be sent to the warehouse where they can properly be disposed of or go to a public auction. Contact your Facilitator and the Director of Fine Arts if you need to remove equipment from your inventory.


Loaning Equipment (instruments) – think of our equipment as district wide – If you loan equipment to a teacher on another campus you must go into the CHARMS inventory software (or your excel spreadsheet) and indicate the loan of equipment in the appropriate column.  When you loan a district-owned piece of equipment to a student, you must indicate the name of the student it was loaned to, plus the date it was loaned and the date it was returned. It is also required that you have the student and their parent sign a form which states that they accept responsibility for that piece of equipment while in their possession. That form must be designed/created by the program and be clearly detailed in your department handbook.


Instrument Rental – School owned instruments – Victoria ISD provides a limited number of instruments for students to rent during the school year; however, it is strongly suggested that each student purchase their own instrument. It is assumed that students shall purchase or rent their own musical instruments whenever possible. Where the school district does not have enough instruments available to meet the demand, band and orchestra directors shall assign them based on the needs of the music program.  The directors have the responsibility of keeping track of the list of students using district-owned musical instruments in your CHARMS accounts.

A payment plan for the family can be used as long as the director keeps up with payments and all is paid by a reasonable time.


No district funds for repairs should be used until all rental monies are used for repair of school owned instruments through your Sundry Account.  Monies not being deposited and/or collected for instrument rentals is in direct violation of district policy. You must show that funds are being collected for each and every school owned instrument.  Any exceptions for students not paying the full amounts (waiver, handbook exceptions) for rental must be noted in your records (CHARMS accounts).


Missing/Stolen Equipment – The campus/department is responsible for documenting and contacting your principal and our district police when an item is stolen, damaged or vandalized.  A police report must be completed for all items reported stolen from school property. You will need to keep a copy of the police report for your records.  Make sure that your principal and the Director of Fine Arts is informed.  If, after one calendar year, the equipment does not return to the building it will then be deleted from all inventories and will be considered a loss.  The Director of Fine Arts along with the Business Office will determine if an insurance claim can be filed through the school district. Replacement of a lost item is the responsibility of the campus/department to replace.


Annual Physical Inventory/Survey of existing equipment – Every 3 to 5 years Mr. Levin will conduct an Annual Physical Inventory with all fine arts departments. We will undergo a physical inventory of all equipment listed on your databases (CHARMS or excel) and inspect the storage rooms and such of any equipment owned by the school district. The Facilitators/Director of Fine Arts will conduct this inventory/survey. A date and time will be scheduled for this inventory by the Fine Arts office.


Fund Raising – Fund raising projects involving Fine Arts students must have the campus principal’s approval in place before anything else.  All Fund Raising should be scheduled in our Fine Arts Outlook Calendar (internal calendar for us) when approved by principal.  All fundraisers are subject to district purchasing and accounting guidelines.  Monies received must be receipted and deposited regularly according to district policy.


Some “do’s and don’ts”:

Do insist on receipts from the school bookkeeper.
Do keep accurate records and go back and check the bookkeeper put your funds in the correct account.
Don’t leave cash or checks unattended.
Don’t begin until you have identified needs and goals and know your time-line for the Fund Raiser.
Don’t use class time except when absolutely necessary.
Do secure district-approved parent volunteers to assist with collection.
Do make daily deposits.


At any time, an internal auditor can review your VISD activity accounts.  With this in mind, the director in charge (Head Director with multiple directors on a campus) will need to keep documentation that will support the following:

Deposits for fund raising are made on a timely and regular basis.
Fund raising deposits should consist of cash and checks.
In general, checks should not have been written more than two weeks prior to deposit.
Fund raising should yield a reasonable profit. Most professional fund raising vendors indicate that the organization should realize approximately 35% profit.
Receipts shall be issued to students who make deposits.