Our fundraising survey last Spring clearly showed us that families have many questions, and there are many myths about fundraising. We are going to try to dispel the myths and address the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
Is this really a one-time ask? I feel like I am sending money to school for all kinds of things!
There are many requests for money from the school, but some are fundraising-based and some are not, so we wanted to help clarify. While Direct Donation and Pizza Lunch are both fundraisers, here are examples of other categories of monetary requests from the school that are not related to Parent Council fundraising:
- Field Trips – Field trips are organized by and at the discretion of the teacher on a class-by-class basis. They are not related to Parent Council or fundraising. It is worth noting that Parent Council does allocate funds to a Field Trip Bursary each year, for families who are not able to afford some field trips.
- School Cash Online – The new School Cash Online system is for expenses related directly to the school (agendas, locks, etc) and is not linked to Parent Council or fundraising in any way.
- Other Events that Cost Money – Things like the Hot Lunch Program, food sales at Movie Night, Curriculum Night & Nuit Orange, and Pub Night ticket sales are additional asks for money (but they are totally optional). These proceeds only contribute a small amount to the overall dollars raised at Runnymede and are opt-in.
- School and Class Fundraising Projects – Throughout the course of the year the school as a whole, or individual classes may undertake fundraising initiatives to benefit charitable organizations (e.g., Terry Fox Run, Water First, etc). These are teacher and student-led and are not related to Parent Council fundraising.
We thought it might be helpful to show how the money is raised and where it goes:
What about Equity across the TDSB – shouldn’t we be fundraising for a school in need?
Equity within the TDSB is something that has been discussed many times at Parent Council. In 2018, we created the Runnymede Fun Run as a new event to raise funds for another school and because of its success it continued in 2019 and is planned again for June 2020. The TDSB school that will receive this year’s funds has not yet been selected. If you are interested in being on the Fun Run team and helping to select the school for next year, please contact us: Runnymedespiritcommittee@gmail.com
We thought it might also be helpful to provide some information regarding the TDSB Location Opportunity Index (LOI) policy which is in place to address inequity across the Board. The LOI ranks each school based on measures of external challenges affecting student success. The school with the greatest level of external challenges is ranked number one and is described as highest on the index. Public education is designed to give all children an equal opportunity to succeed. The TDSB recognizes that students face varying degrees of challenge which can impact their opportunity to achieve high educational outcomes. Educational research has demonstrated that children from lower income families face more significant barriers in achieving high educational outcomes. Because of its commitment to achieving equitable academic opportunities, the TDSB wants to ensure that every student has an equitable opportunity to succeed. This means ensuring all students have access to available resources. The LOI helps to ensure that children who have access to fewer resources at home and in their neighbourhoods have increased access to available resources in their schools. The LOI will assist with steering additional resources to the schools serving students who face greater challenges. Runnymede ranks 455 out of 471 Elementary Schools in the TDSB.
We wanted to note that you can also write a cheque to any TDSB school of your choice any time you choose. Each school has its own website with contact information, so if you know of a school in need, please reach out to them to make your donation. We’re sure it will be appreciated!
I thought “public education” was paid for with my tax dollars. Why are you asking me for fundraising money when the Provincial government should be funding my child’s education?
While all schools in the TDSB are publicly funded by the Provincial government, the reality is that those funds simply do not cover all of the programs and expenses that are offered at Runnymede. Our school has an established history and tradition of a strong partnership between the Staff and Parent Council, and this includes fundraised dollars that are provided to the school each year. For example, each year, Parent Council provides approximately $15,000 to the Teacher Resource Fund, providing each teacher with an additional $300 in discretionary funds for their classroom. Parent Council has also contributed significant funds towards the play structures and outdoor spaces at the school, to replacing obsolete technology, and to new equipment for the Music and Drama programs. And while fundraised dollars can only be used for certain items, because Parent Council provides funding for technology, Arts, play and recess equipment, etc., the School can use its allocated budget for textbooks, teacher training, and many other resources it wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.
Thank you to the many Runnymede families who have already made their contribution.