Dear View Ridge families,
Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! With the start of the school year, comes the start of fundraising for our PTA. So let’s get right down to it. This letter will cover why we need to fundraise, the importance of getting involved in the PTA, and a link to a survey about what kind of fundraising you would like to see.
Why do we have to fundraise?
In short, we fundraise for two reasons:
1. Staffing. This is where 85%+ of our fund-raising goes. Seattle School District does NOT cover all of View Ridge’s staffing needs. In years past, the PTA has supplemented staffing expenses to the tune of $200,000. For 2022-2023, we were able to give $139,000. Because View Ridge is a Tier 4 school (more information about that here), we receive the least financial support from the district. That means positions such as librarian, nurse, ELL, are only partially funded from the district – some half time or less. These funds ensure we keep these programs at our schools, keep our talented teachers, and give our students adequate support from the counselor, reading specialist, music and more.
2. The PTA’s operating expenses. For 2022-2023, we have budgeted just under $35,000 for our general operating expenses, a slight decrease from previous years. This covers the events that the PTA puts on or supports (picnic in the park, Boo Ridge, assemblies, 4th grade Camp Orkila trip, field day, 5th grade promotion, and more), as well as reimbursements to teachers for classroom supplies and books, education materials and speakers for families, family support, staff appreciation, and miscellaneous other expenses. For all the ways the PTA supports the school, we run very lean.
While we are focused on advocacy to increase funding for public schools, change is not likely to happen anytime soon. If we want to keep these crucial staff members, we must continue to fundraise. Last year, we raised about $100,000, and supplemented that with some savings from past, more profitable years. That will not be an option this year as our excess savings are now nearly drained. Between operating expenses and staffing, in order to match this year, we need to raise approximately $175,000 over the next six months.
Enrollment has trended down at View Ridge, and across public schools in Seattle. We have 315 students enrolled for 2022-2023, down from 350 for 2021-2022, and 420 students in 2020-2021. We receive funding from the district in the amount of $16,924 per student. That’s almost $600,000 in funding lost just since last year.
What does this mean for families? Well, to fund our operating expenses for next year and supplement staffing in the same range that we were able to this year, we’d need every student to donate $555. We know not every family can donate that much, and many cannot donate at all. And that’s OK! Every View Ridge family is valuable and you can help our community by volunteering, showing up at events, or just by supporting your student from home. (By the way, most, if not all, PTA events will be free for all to attend.) But for those who are willing and able to donate, please consider doing so this year. Our fundraising website can be found here: https://www.viewridgeschool.org/en/otter-fund/. We also accept checks anytime.
What do YOU want?
In the past, the View Ridge PTA has put on large scale events such as an in-person auction to fundraise. This was wildly successful in years past, raising in the range of $150,000 – $185,000 between 2012 and 2016, for example. We’ve also done smaller fundraising events like Walk n’ Roll, which raised about $30,000. We have not put on either of these the past three years, choosing instead to ask for direct donations. We are surveying families to determine interest in an auction or other events this year. If you are able to donate $10, or $100, or $1000 – would you rather spend that money on an auction item, and enjoy a fun night out with other families, or simply donate directly? A mix of direct donations and fundraising events? Or do you have another idea? We want to hear from you! Please fill out the survey here or a hard copy that came home with this letter in Kidmail, which can be returned to the PTA box in office via Kidmail.
Link to our Otter Fund