Update July 2012: Following the efforts by the District’s Fundraising Task Force in the Spring of 2012, School-Force’s funding policy page is currently being revised and will be posted soon. If you have questions about School-Force’s funding policy, please contact email@example.com .
School-Force, the Belmont-Redwood Shores Education Foundation, helps fund district-approved programs and personnel that have the potential to impact all students at some point in their primary school education. For example, all students in 4th and 5th grade have science specialists, all students have the choice to participate in upper grade instrumental music, all students eventually go to Ralston, where they all have access to a counselor and dean. Your School-Force donation funds quality educational programs at both the elementary school and middle school level, impacting all schools in the Belmont-Redwood Shores public school district. School-Force funds are providing an increasingly important role in the district’s overall budget and School-Force supported programs have a profound impact on all of our students.
How does the foundation decide what programs to support? School-Force works in partnership with the PTA Council to determine recommendations to the district for funding priorities. Recommendations are made to the School District via the School District’s Budget Advisory Committee which meets monthly. Ultimately the School Board* has the final determination for the school district’s budget. However, the School Board has always been responsive, using School-Force funds to support programs which are given high priority by both staff and parents.
How does School-Force get input from parents on funding recommendations? School-Force works with the PTA Council** and district staff to gather parent opinions on the priority uses of School-Force funds. In 2010, the school district reached out to the community to receive input on funding priorities based on a list of possible programs/needs created by the District Cabinet***. These programs were ranked at a meeting of staff and community leaders including PTA presidents and other parents. They were then also ranked at three different community meetings, open to all parents. These rankings were combined to provide overall community feedback on priorities for School-Force funding. The priorities identified through this process continues to be taken into strong consideration by the district School Board, when voting on each year’s budget priorities.
* The district’s School Board has five members, elected from the community of Belmont and Redwood Shores. See http://brssd.org/schoolboard.html
**The PTA Council consists of two PTA representatives from each school site (one of which is the site PTA president), all school Principals, District Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents.
***The District Cabinet consists of all school principals, the District Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents.
Can the foundation directly fund programs, or act as a conduit for pass-through funds for programs? It is not consistent with policy for School-Force to directly fund, or create pass-through funds, for programs and personnel that do not have the potential to impact a wide range of children as they progress through the district.
Does School-Force fund individual grants from teachers or school sites? At this time, the foundation only supports district-approved programs via direct donation to the district.
Can the foundation give money directly to individual schools? Currently, the foundation provides funding only through the school district, with the goal of providing services/programs which have the potential to impact all students as they matriculate through the district.
Can this funding policy be changed? For now, the foundation is only able to fill gaps due to funding deficits. In the future, once the foundation grows and is not forced to fill gaps, there should be an increased opportunity for focused grants and/or direct donations to individual schools. A major long-term goal is to be able to do more than fill the gap in funding deficits so the foundation can provide incremental educational opportunities to the children of the district.
To see the programs that School-Force has helped fund for the 2011-2012 school year, see the Status for 2011-2012 school year.