by Sarah Cole
Every year at Tri-S, Las Lomas families contribute thousands of dollars to help fund the upcoming school year. Some of the money is spent on extracurricular activities, but the question is, where does the money go? Although many fundraisers are held to support our school, but Tri-S is where Las Lomas receives much of its funding.
“The bulk of our fundraising happens at Tri-S from generous contributions made through our ‘Patron of the Las Lomas Performing Arts’ donation program,” said Carolyn Cool, PTSA website manager. “We also count on students/families purchasing Las Lomas Knights sweatshirts. Sales from these popular traditional hooded sweatshirts have been an important part of our fundraising for many years.”
The money that is PTSA raised during Tri-S supports various programs.
“The money we collect is for various expenses that support the band, drama and chorus programs,” said Cool. “For 2011-12, we funded instrumental music coaches that came into the band classrooms and provided enriched learning/instruction for the student musicians, vocal director and choreographer for The Music Man, music and drama student achievement awards, instrument repairs, program printing, and hospitality expenses for receptions.”
Cool confirmed the goal for the 2012-13 school year, which is raising over $200,000.
According to WCEF executive director Liz Davis, WCEF gave Las Lomas approximately $300,000 this year to support elective classes and technology.
“The ability to meet with and talk to so many of our families is integral to the success of the foundation,” said Davis, in an e-mail.
Although the money is necessary, the amount that is contributed per student can be very expensive.
“I spend anywhere from 300 to 500 dollars a year,” said a Las Lomas parent whose two children will attend Las Lomas next year. She said that, although she always gives money to the different groups, she doesn’t always know what it’s for.
“I don’t know specifically where the ASB goes and I don’t know why there has to be an ASB and a sport fee because they tell me the ASB supports sports,” she said. “Also, we pay for WCEF (the suggested donation) but its heavily weighted for the elementary and middle schools and the money doesn’t seem to go to Las Lomas.”
Even so, she thinks all parents should pitch in.
“It upsets me to think that not everybody who has a child at Las Lomas is participating in financially supporting the school,” she said. “I don’t understand why somebody wouldn’t support the school when the school is basically free.”
According to Davis, in the past, WCEF has funded reduced class size in core classes, academic counselors, crisis counselor, nurse, technology coordinator, computer lab technician, librarians, performing arts support and the Safe School Ambassador program, among other things.
“At LLHS we will raise over $200,000 to support academic elective classes,” said Davis. “We will also be giving almost $100,000 in technology support from a grant we received in 2011.”
Other funding opportunities for WCEF are during Open House.
“Some of the funds we collect are donated during our annual campaign launch in May each year during the week of Open House,” said Davis. “We would like to encourage all our parents to make their donation or pledge during this time. WCEF asks for a donation of $300 per child or $600 per family.”
Because of the economy’s shortfall, WCEF may not raise the usual amount this coming school year. Davis said that there are options for donating larger amounts.
“We ask our parents to consider becoming part of our Scholar Circle program,” said Davis. “The Scholar Circle levels range from $1200-$10,000 and can be pledged over 10 months. Making a donation in the spring helps the foundation plan their funding for the year.”