Charms retirement

Charms has been our management system for many years, used to manage students, parents, finances, and communications.  Charms was purchased earlier this year by another provider named Cut Time.  Recently, we were informed from the Cut Time support team that Charms would be turned off this coming August, meaning we would need to migrate to their software, or find another provider before then.

After much research and testing, the board has decided to begin to move to Cut TIme.  Rather than find ourselves using it for the first time in July, right before the craziness of marching season, we have decided to start our migration in January.  The software provides a whole host of functionality, but initially we are only moving to it for communications.

What does this mean for you?  Well, there are a couple things we need to make you aware of before we start using Cut Time.

First - Cut Time is a bit more robust in its handling of student and guardian contact information.  It uses mobile phone numbers as it's primary identifier and mode of communication.  This means that guardians can no longer share the same mobile number as another - each requires it's own phone number to be in the system.  The migration of student and guardian information from Charms to Cut Time resulted in a number of guardians not being moved because they did not have unique phone numbers.  Additionally, Charms also had a number of students that did not have their own contact information, but their parents' information, which was preventing them from receiving communications.

In order to fix our data set before we start using Cut Time, I need ALL band families to fill out this Contact Information Form (just one per family), adding all guardians, each with unique phone numbers and email addresses.  Also, each student needs to have their information added as well.  This will allow us to review the information we have and correct any issues before we start using Cut Time, ensuring there is no gap in your ability to receive communications from us.  If we have any issues or questions after your submission, we may reach out for clarification.

Second - You may have noticed I started to send out text messages from Charms indicating when the weekly newsletter was available.  This was for a good reason.  Cut Time ONLY sends communications via text (with a couple of exceptions, which I will get to in a bit).  These text messages can be either a quick message, with all information contained in the message itself - a traditional text - or they can contain what Cut Time calls a Magic Link.  This Magic Link is unique to each phone number, is validated to that phone number, and when clicked, takes the individual to a Cut Time page unique to you - no more logins or password resets.  

This Magic Link page only has your student or students information, with communications, events, and fees that are specific to those students.  During the upcoming Spring semester, we will ONLY be using it for communications.  Events and fees will come next season.

There are two exceptions to the text only paradigm - one is when the texting system is down, emails are used as the backup, and the other is for students who do not have mobile numbers, their email address will be used for all communications.

I understand this may be a little inconvenient happening mid-year - filling out this contact form, learning a new system, etc...  However, do know that this was unavoidable and our hands are tied.  Starting with just one piece - communications - makes the transition a little easier to take on, and allows us to learn together without the chaos of marching season making the transition more difficult.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we undertake this major system change.

So to sum up - for the upcoming Spring semester, starting January 2024:

If you have any issues, or questions about this, please let us know at