Access to Outschool
The Outschool Wallet
What is Outschool
Outschool is a high-quality online purveyor of 100000+ video chat classes for K-12 science, art, mindfulness, languages, social studies, life skills, and more!
To access the wallet:
1) Log in to your account on the Enrollment Portal at hwtrust.geouaw.org and esign the Participant Authorization Form* (the link should already appear on your dashboard if you've recently applied for a childcare reimbursement; if not, just email us at and we'll add the link for you.)
2) We'll send your UMass email address to Outschool and you'll go to Outschool's website and click on “Join” and sign up using your UMass email address. The email address that you provide will be the main address for the account. You will use this email address to sign into the platform, and that account will receive class confirmations, reminders and other notifications.
3) Begin accessing up to $75 of free content per plan year per child.
IF YOU HAVE ANY ISSUES
If you have any issues redeeming your free subscription, please email email@example.com
ELIGIBILITY & GUIDELINES
1) If you're eligible for Trust Fund benefits (Postdocs working at least 50% time) and have a child aged 3-18, you're eligible to access the Outschool Wallet.
2) Eligible Postdocs can access up to $75 per child per plan year (9/1-8/31) from the wallet. Wallet funds are finite and are accessed on a first come, first served basis. For this reason, the Trust Fund cannot guarantee access to Outschool Wallet funds.
3) Esigning the Participant Authorization is required in order to access Outschool Wallet funds. Once you sign the waiver, we'll send your UMass email address over to Outschool, letting them know you're able to access the wallet. We send a list over on the 15th of each month.
4) The Outschool Wallet can be used to pay for any classes or tutoring sessions on the Outschool site. Once you exhaust the $75 maximum per child per plan year allotment from the Trust Fund, any remaining course costs are your responsibility. For households with multiple eligible grad employees, the max allotment is still $75 per child per plan year.
5) The Trust Fund is not responsible for the content, presentation, distribution or administration of Outschool classes.
Which Email Address to Use?
If you’d like your UMass email address to receive notifications, then please sign in using your UMass email address. This will automatically give you access to the Trust Fund-sponsored funds.
If you’d prefer that a different email address receive notifications, then feel free to use a personal email address. If you elect to use a personal email address, then you will need to add your UMass email address as a secondary email on the account in order to access the Trust Fund-sponsored funds.
Note that your UMass email address must be listed in either the primary or secondary email field in order to gain access to your Trust Fund benefit.
For a brief overview of how to sign up for Outschool, check out this video tutorial.
How can I find classes?
You can search for activities by subject, learner, class time, class format, etc. You can also sort classes by the most popular. You can learn more about the teacher through their bio, and you can read reviews from other parents and children who have participated in that class previously. Be sure to check the materials list for classes before confirming enrollment to make sure that you have everything needed to participate fully. Once you register for Outschool, make sure to remain opted-in to receive personalized recommendations by email. This is a great way to discover exciting, new opportunities for your learner!
Is there any help available for finding classes for my child?
Yes! Outschool is providing free access to their concierge service for UMass grad and postdoc employees. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name, interests, and schedule preferences of your child(ren), and they will respond with suggested classes within one business day! Please note, this email is only for support in selecting classes. Any issues using the platform should be directed to email@example.com.
Will I be required to pay for the classes?
When browsing activities, you will see class pricing as normal. Once you select a class and proceed to confirming your enrollment, then the class should appear free in your cart (until you reach the $75 in credits that UMass has sponsored for you). You will see a message that the class is sponsored by UMass. If there are any issues, make sure your UMass email address is added as the primary or secondary email address on the Outschool account. Classes will appear free at the time of booking as long as there are company-sponsored funds available in the firm wallet.
Can my child attend class without their video/audio enabled?
For safety, we do require that learners meet with each teacher over video chat at least once. This can be a quick check-in at the beginning of class to allow the teacher to confirm your learner’s identity. We encourage learners to enable their audio/video during the rest of class to create a more social experience for all learners, but it’s not required.
Are my kids safe at Outschool?
Yes. Learner safety is our top priority. We have strict Community Standards that we ask all families and educators to uphold. If you observe behavior that goes against these standards, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to read more about how we make sure Outschool classes are safe and secure for every learner.
What kind of quality or vetting do you do for your classes?
We screen all of our teachers to feel confident they are offering a legitimate and quality educational experience. The teacher application process includes a background check and manual review of all listed classes. We require teacher training on safety, privacy, and content policies, as well as extensive optional trainings on best-practices around online pedagogy, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more. Rather than attending all the classes ourselves, we offer a review system so parents can share their experiences and learn from each other. We don't require any particular teaching credential, because we believe that many adults can offer great learning experiences based on their interests and expertise. We also have a dedicated class quality team focused on coaching teachers on our site.
What technology do I need for Outschool?
You'll need to use a device with a microphone and a web cam. Most laptops, tablets and phones come with built-in camera and microphone these days. If you enroll multiple learners in one class, each should have their own device. Read more about the technical requirements.
How does Outschool handle time zones?
For every user (teacher and parent) we calculate their timezone based on their location in account settings, or if that's not available then based on their browser timezone. We show all times to each user based on their local timezone. If the timezone is a handful of standard ones like America/New_York, America/Chicago, America/Los_Angeles, we'll display it as "5:00 am Eastern" or "Central" or "Pacific". In all other cases, we'll use the name of the city that the time zone is named after, e.g. "5:00 am Shanghai time" or "Sydney time". One detail to keep in mind about time zone changes: if an Arizona teacher has a class series that crosses a daylight savings boundary, they may see their class as happening at 10am every week, but for parents in California that class will be at 10am before the change and at 11am after (or vice versa). Read more about time zones and time changes.
What should I do if I need assistance on the platform? / What if I’m not able to access my UMass-sponsored funds?
What if my child joins a class late?
If your learner has not joined the meeting 10 minutes after the class’s start time, the meeting may be cancelled, at the teacher’s discretion. This is considered a missed meeting and you are not entitled to a refund.