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NYC and DC Trip Refund Information (Updated 6/30/2020)

6/30/2020
Good afternoon. I hope this email finds everyone doing well and enjoying your official summer break. 😁

As of today, June 30th, we have received all refunds from vendors for the 7th grade Washington, D.C. trip. 

We are still awaiting the arrival of two checks from the hotel for the 8th grade New York trip (this is a big amount owed to us). In a discussion with the hotel manager a few weeks ago, we were told that the refund check had to be processed at their corporate office in Texas and that it would be sent to us in two payments. I called the hotel today and spoke with the GM. She informed me that they will put one of the checks in the mail today or by tomorrow at the latest. 

We are ready to begin processing refunds at the school level for the 7th grade Washington, D.C. trip. This is going to be a huge undertaking, but our bookkeeper, along with our trip coordinators, has already done a great deal of work upfront to make this process as smooth as possible. So, I ask for your continued patience. The names and mailing addresses of those who paid have been double-checked by our trip coordinators. If there was an adult going on the trip, we already have that chaperone's name connected to the student's name in our records. The entire refund for the chaperone and the student will be included in one check. 
 
If you have moved during this pandemic time, 7th grade parents and guardians, please email John.Walko@spart5.net with your new address.
 
8th grade parents and guardians, please email Kristie.Davis-Cox@spart5.net with your new address.
 
 
If we have not received the final checks from the New York hotel by the time we are done with the D.C. refunds, we will refund everything we have received from New York at that time and then do a second refund check for the remaining amount once we receive those funds. I will send out another email notifying you of this. Our goal has always been to refund you all of your money at one time. However, we do realize how long this process has been and are trying to accommodate you the best we can.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding through all of this. It definitely wasn't an ideal situation, but your understanding of what our nation is facing with this pandemic and how it has altered life as we know it is greatly appreciated as we work to get your refund to you. 

Yours in Education,
McCants
 
 
5/8/2020
 
Good evening, Parents!
 
I hope this email finds you all well.
 
I wanted to give you an update on the class trip refunds to Washington, D.C., and NY.
 
First, I want to dispel any rumors that may be circulating that DR Hill Middle is giving back refunds to their families for the DC and NY trips. This is not true. Both schools are still waiting for big refunds from at least one of the same companies I will discuss below.
 
Our trip organizers for DC and NY are still waiting on two of the biggest refunds to come from the hotels and Jean's Bus Company.
 
I spoke with a representative from the bus company this week because we'd received an email response from them at the end of last week, which was contrary to an email they'd sent us at the end of March about our refund. 
The representative I spoke with said they are currently waiting on a business loan from the government in order to begin processing refunds to their customers. She was not certain when this would happen.
I stressed to her the importance of trying to expedite things on their end---however they needed to, so that we can get our families their refunds. She assured me that we would get our money back but couldn't give me a roundabout time-frame. I did ask some probing questions about their fiscal responsibility to their customers. 
 
My trip organizers have been in contact with the hotels, which is the other big refund we are waiting for. The NY hotel changed management and asked us to re-submit our information this week. It was quickly resubmitted. They, too, said they are waiting on a business loan from the government.
 
Please understand that I know you all not only want your refunds but probably need your refunds now! I don't take this lightly. However, it seems like we are at the mercy of these vendors. We are checking every day in anticipation of these funds. 
 
We have already begun doing some upfront prepping in our office so that we can quickly get you your funds once we have them. Our hope is to begin sending out refunds in June.
 
I whole-heartedly thank you for your patience and understanding as we are working to get these funds to you. If we had the funds in our building to give you, I really would.
 
I hope that each of you has a wonderful weekend!
 
Sincerely,
Christopher McCants, principal
 
 
4/7/2020

Hi parents!

I hope you all are doing as well as to be expected during this unprecedented time in our world. Please know that we truly miss our students and look forward to the day when we’re all reunited as a Cougar family! 

I wanted to give an update for those of you who paid for trips to Washington, DC and New York. Thankfully, we are able to get refunds from the companies we had already paid (hotels, bus company, Carowinds, and other events planned in these cities). The downside to this is that it will take about six weeks for these funds to get to us. Once we have the funds, we will begin issuing refund checks. This may be around the beginning of summer; however, we will let you know once we start mailing out checks. 
I want to thank you all for your patience and understanding of this as we’ve not had to cancel a major trip like this before. 

Families, please know that we are here for you as we all try to navigate through these uncertain times. 

Our school office hours during the school closure is 8-12 Mon-Fri. by appointment only. 


Yours In Education,
Christopher E. McCants