Attendees: Amy Lenox, Betsy Johnson, Carolyn Stanley, Connie Peterson, Debbie Romero, Ellen Epstein, Jeff Lowell, Jerry Hartmann, Kerri Patterson, Lisa Shank, Marie Telecky, Michelle Ball, Michelle Deerkop

Review of Today’s Work Session

Each of the five subgroups have two hard copies of the Donations Policy, Procedure, Exhibit A and Exhibit B (6114). Subgroups are to markup the draft, indicating what you think needs to be addressed for your particular subgroup’s topic when it comes to donations. One copy can be used as a worksheet; the other will be a subgroup final draft to be collected at the end of the meeting. Add any guidelines you feel would be helpful. You also have scratch paper and sticky tabs if you need them.

Each subgroup’s draft will then be used to create a single draft of all recommendations. Jeff will put all notes, highlights, edits, etc. on a single Word document and present it as a draft to the BSD Policy Review Committee next week. He will ask for their feedback to ensure we are on the right track and get any further guidance. We can then go from there.

The time is yours. If questions, just ask.

Subgroup Work

[Subgroups worked on drafts.]

Sub Groups:

  1. BSD Policy Review and Comparison with other districts with specific focus topics
    Members: Betsy Johnson, Ellen Epstein, Lisa Shank, (Jess Garcia, Molly Schladetzky)
  2. Do we have a problem from whom donations are received?
    Members: Debbie Romaro (Chandana Surlu, Chris Sampson)
  3. Does language specific to consistent training have a place in procedure?
    Members: Jerry Hartmann, Michelle Deerkop (Dana Tavener)
  4. Where does auditing fit in to donations?
    Members: Amy Lenox, Connie Peterson, Kerri Patterson (Fred Wiesinger, Jeffrey Blunden)
  5. Gifts and Donations to Benefit Students Individually
    Members: Carolyn Stanley, Jeff Lowell, Marie Telecky

Whole Group Check-in

How did everyone do?

Group 5: We looked at whether or not the Policy/Procedure effectively dealt with donations to benefit an individual enough. We believe it does a good job, though McKinney-Vento students and students that are foster kids may need additional information. We are really looking at definitions as to what needs to be added. That is where we are.

Group 4: Our charge was to figure out if we need audits. Full-blown audits would be burdensome. However, we feel they should be recognized. Maybe there are certain things that should be added, such as a statement about acceptable donors. We have made a list for the Board to consider with a School Support Organization Procedure. We ended up with a sheet to fill out at the end of the year to help address any conflict of interest, by-laws, etc. Question: I love the idea you have outlining some basic criteria you have to meet to be a recognized support organization. Is there a separate policy to recognize special relationships like with our PTSA? If so, can we tie those together? I like that idea; it is currently part of facility use as far as there being groupings. We could consider a different policy around recognized organizations. I am hearing we get into gray areas when we are not sure who is donating. If we know who is donating, it is easier to manage. This is an easier way to do that. To keep creditability with the district, the organization needs to fill out the sheet every year. Also, if recognized you can use our intellectual property, but if you are not recognized you cannot use it. It is not always clear where the money is going. If you see the school logo, many think it is going to the school. An example is an organization like the BBGC hosing a summer camp at the school with student volunteers and a school logo on the flyer. It is an event for community support and the money goes to BBGC, not the school, which is not always clear.

Group 3: We are addressing training and came up with what it should look like, such as mandatory yearly training and list of who should be included. It is up to the District to create the training, ideally online, so anyone can review it. There should be accountability with who reports to the District about what training has been done by building. Training should be clear and consistent. Look through the lens of who needs to be trained to better decide how to best disseminate the training and identify exactly what are you training for. Question: What is the current training plan for AD, coaches, etc? Jeff uses the policy itself and talks it through with AD’’s and coaches. The District does have training through Safe Schools. Could there be something internally for teachers and coaches? Yes. We could create modules and a button to send email to say they have to do this. The problem you run into with coaches, some are teachers, some have done parts of Safe Schools already, and some activity advisors may not be a teacher as they me be paras. What is cool about the Safe Schools is we can assign training by position, such as a coach. They go through it and take the test questions to prove they watched it and know the answers. That is what I am used to in a corporate setting, a form of online training that has a quiz at the end you pass or fail and take again. It is not rocket science. I would hope we could make it a generic Safe Schools module to link to the Athletics page or somewhere so anyone who wants to take it just clicks on the same training. That would be my preferred way of doing it. I like that because everyone is seeing the same thing. You can then monitor for compliance. Any update or change can be sent out again. It could be on a checklist. That is probably the direction we will go.

Group 2: As far as where the donations are coming from, I took a different approach. Our initial response was we have a problem with transparency, documentation, and funding. Now that I have seen the policy, I am not sure it needs changed too much. I think it is more about training and educating people. If we use the current forms, you will get the transparency and documentation that we wanted. Is there a way to amend the form to address the athletic side of it? On the donation form, it has principal signature for over $1,000. If I have a general donation to the Booster Club for over $1,000, I do not have a signature. You do not have to have it signed. If that $1,000 is coming as a general donation and then parsed out to different programs of say $50 that becomes individual school donations that we are concerned about. Can a Booster organization like KABA make a donation form for money coming into the District? Yes, they can mirror forms like this. This could also be helpful for Robotics and other groups, which was also raised as a concern. Can these forms be web forms? Tracking this is not as easy as it sounds. We are not dealing with the same system. I think knowing what Alex just did with registration information, we probably could ask about that. That would be good.

Group 1: We looked at WA, OR, TX, UT … the national school board association has done a great job with standardized policies. We pulled from some of the more friendly language. Two big adds were around equity. Several districts say we are committed to fair and equitable. Donations should not create an inequality, but at the same time, equity does not mean equal dollars such as in Title IX. Looking at the gifts and donations procedures, the forms and dollar amounts were fine, not too burdensome. We would like to add that the superintendent may reject an offer of donation as there can be a lot of pressure to accept. As for the procedure, are these being approved after the fact? The school district has no current view of the cumulative effect of donations. The superintendent should have a report of cumulative donations to each school and any donation over a certain amount. This should not be hard to compile. The school district would then know the cumulative donations.

Next Steps

Our next step is to take all five drafts and get them compiled. In a Word document, we can track the changes, add highlights, areas of consideration and notes. We will send it as a pfd to everyone for review. This draft will be presented to the BSD Policy Review Committee by Jeff and he will share their feedback at our next meeting.

Next Meeting

Wednesday, February 8, 2:30-4:30pm ESC-West 1A

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.