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

Review of feedback from BSD Policy Committee

Since the last committee meeting, Jeff met with two members of the BSD Policy Review Committee to discuss the initial draft of revisions to BSD Policy 6114. Those members then provided feedback consisting of questions, areas of concern and things to consider regarding the initial suggestions.

A handout was provided and discussion was held, walking through the questions, areas of concern and things to consider:

What is the reason behind the addition of the language in the comment to policy? Language added to policy should be interpretation, no ‘filler’ or soft language. Should the policy be more directive? What is critical in this language?

  • The intent is to add a preamble – similar in nature to what is found in other revised policy. We especially liked the idea of adding the idea of fair and equitable opportunities for all.
  • The desire was to eliminate the list of PTSA, PFO, etc… as a means to be less proscriptive in the beginning of the policy.
  • Simplify statement – individuals and organizations, specifics to follow in procedure
  • Simplify the current language
  • Ensure appropriate donor, reserve the right to refuse

Should the policy be more directive?

  • Yes? BSD recognized organizations, gray areas lead to misinterpretation, provides guidance for groups, procedure not policy, equity should be included.
  • No? Policy can be an expression of values of the district, equity should be included in the policy – not equality, may unintentionally lead to need to re-write policy too often

Again, as a committee, we believe education around the current policy will resolve the majority of concerns.

It would be helpful to provide the policy review committee a couple of exemplar policies and include why they were chosen. Why were each of these policies included in the review of exemplar policies?

  • We looked at WA, OR, TX and UT and at the examples provided at the initial meeting. We also looked for school districts similar to our own in terms of size, varying demographics, etc. such as North Shore and Lake Oswego. We looked for language that provided guidance regarding how to balance donations that are accepted – so that imbalance can be fixed.

In the addition of F. the language is too vague. The policy review committee will need: examples from other policies, equity needs to be defined along with programs and schools, donations cannot be equal so language needs to be specific. What are boundary cases? What are normal cases to consider?

  • Examples: From other policies that represent the most prescriptive language we saw, need based vs. dollar based.
  • Equity: the more defined then the more restrictive, don’t inadvertently want to exclude any donations, equity is a value we hold as a district that should be present in our policy, “mindfully looking at acceptance of funds to develop opportunities for students.”
  • Programs: All programs
  • Schools: elementary, middle and high schools are different, encompassing language in policy – more specific language could be in procedure
  • Boundary cases (examples of particularly big and small donations): Puget Sound Energy in January donated to $380k the district, elementary school PTSA in May for staffing next year, Gates Foundation Grant/Donation, STEM Grant to Sammamish High, Interlake Music Booster donated hard drives for teachers, existing seniors wanting to provide teachers with classroom gift, PTSA request items for use at the school (e.g. food for clinic), individual spots teams traveling out of the state, music out-of-state trip.
  • Normal examples: Jing Mei Elementary BMDL PTSA funding IA/EA time valued at $13,075, Woodridge Elementary – Northwest Piano Hailun upright piano, NHS Drama Boosters – Drama Club trip valued at $1,014, SHS STEPS – SHS AVID trip to visit a college valued at $1,200, NHS PTSA – YES Mental Health Counselor valued at $10,500, International Jennifer Go – Choir valued at $1,000, etc.

What are classes of groups? They need to be fully defined. Language regarding enforcement of policy should be included. There is a serious concern regarding the 501(c) statement that all groups donating have to be a non-profit (Senior Party parent groups as an example of those that are not). There needs to be consideration for anyone from individuals to large organizations. How does the policy apply to everyone or how does it differentiate? The language needs to be specific regarding requirements for each group.

  • Groups: Examples given from BSD 4260.2P for facility rentals which could be used as a guide.
  • Statement: The intent of this language is to apply best practice standards to one category of groups who donate. The concern is when a group is raising money in the name of one of our schools with no control on the district or school side … is this a fundraising issue or a donation issue? Perhaps address in fundraising policy/procedure.
  • Categories: Individuals/citizens, alumni groups and current students; Parents of current students; Specific school clubs, groups or teams (current students); Non-profit groups like Boosters/Parent Support Groups, PTSA or another group with a national charter to follow, and foundations; Corporate donors.
  • Language regarding enforcement: Enforcement is acceptance, any donation accepted shall comply.

Next Steps

Information gathered today will be compiled and sent to the BSD Policy Review Committee members for review by Thursday, March 9.

Bottom line: The current Policy is 90% good. The 10% that needs to be addressed involves equity. Not much needs to be changed, but adding that equity piece in the policy will guide changes to the procedure. As we have discussed, there are also concerns that can be addressed within fundraising as it ties together with donations.

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.