Welcome and Review of Minutes

Facilitator Dick Withycombe welcomed committee members and asked them to review the minutes of their January 17 meeting, which they adopted as submitted.  With the approval of these minutes, the committee adopted, as preliminary recommendations, the responses they completed to questions posed by the school board in the September 2017 Phase Two charge

Completion of Responses to School Board Questions

The committee spent much of this meeting discussing the remaining questions the school board’s charge asked them to address.

“What guidelines should be provided around organizations providing scholarship support? How can we provide clarity around role of District vs. role of organization in assessing need for and distributing funds for scholarship?”

Response:  The Donations Policy Committee recommends that the Department of Athletics and Activities develop and publish guidelines regarding scholarship assistance to ensure full participation in co-curricular activities and field trips.  Further, the district should revise Administrative Procedure 2320P Field Trips to require sponsoring organizations to articulate the educational value of a proposed trip at the beginning of the approval process.

Considerations:  This question is understood to refer to the financial assistance organizations such as booster clubs provide to individual students so they can take part in co-curricular activities (those associated with a course or program in which students receive grades).  It is district policy that, when cost is the sole barrier to participation, the sponsor must find a way to ensure inclusion.  The Department of Athletics and Activities, which is responsible for field trips, currently provides needed clarification on a case-by-case basis.

The committee’s discussion pertained to assistance to students who have parental permission and who are otherwise qualified to participate.  While much of the conversation focused on fieldtrips and travel costs, this recommendation is also intended to cover other required expenses that may pose barriers to participation, such as the purchase of clothing or equipment.

“Are there other guidelines that would be helpful to provide in policy or in procedures that would help ensure strong positive partnerships with our community who support our activities and athletics?”

Revisions to Policy 6100     The Donations Policy Committee recommends that the Board Policy Subcommittee consider revising Policy 6100 Revenue from Local, State, and Government Sources to include language relative to grants from all sources and to include explicit language that defines grants and clarifies the difference between donations and grants.  Further, the committee recommends that, once those revisions are completed, the Board Policy Subcommittee review, and align as necessary, Policies 6114 and 6100.

Considerations:  Organizations such as the Bellevue Schools Foundation (BSF) and Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs) often refer to their donations as grants, although these gifts are considered donations in must comply with Policy 6114.  A clear definition of grants that includes the distinction between grants and donations would be an appropriate complement to this committee’s efforts to clarify the donations policy and procedure.

Annual Recognition Event     The Donations Policy Committee recommends that the district consider holding an annual event to recognize and celebrate the significant human and fiscal contributions of the partner organizations that support school programs and activities.

Considerations:   The considerable efforts and financial support of organizations such as the BSF, PTSAs, and booster clubs provide a wide variety of enrichment and achievement opportunities districtwide.  These volunteers merit recognition, and all Bellevue students will benefit if that recognition encourages their continued support.

Booster Clubs/Support Organizations Policy     The Donations Policy Committee recommends that the Board Policy Subcommittee consider creating a separate new policy to specifically address special-interest school support organizations.

Considerations:  Over the course of their deliberations, this committee identified a variety of issues that merit attention but do not belong in the donations policy or procedure.  They concluded that these matters would be most appropriately addressed in a separate policy and administrative procedure.  The attached draft policy and procedure is based on those of the Lake Washington School District, which were based on models provided by the Washington State School Directors Association.  The committee anticipates that these guidelines will apply to both ongoing organizations and single-event groups and that there will be a transition period during which the district implements communications, outreach and training strategies.

Decision Regarding Additional Outreach Activities

After some discussion, the committee decided that additional community outreach efforts were not necessary to the completion of their work given the broad based representation on the committee. The committee and that they will defer to the Board Policy Subcommittee regarding additional outreach activities.  The committee’s membership brought together representatives of key stakeholder groups, and members were encouraged to keep in contact with the people they represented.  In addition, District Director of Athletics and Activities Jeff Lowell will review the committee’s draft donations policy and procedure with school athletic directors at their next meeting; and Executive Director of Schools John Harrison will brief the PTSA Council.

Throughout their deliberations, the committee sought to apply an equity lens to their work, and they forward their recommendations with an assumption that the School Board and the District administration will consider their work in the same spirit.

Submission to Board Policy Subcommittee

The committee asked John to arrange an opportunity to present their recommendations to the Board Policy Subcommittee.  This was tentatively scheduled for February 28.  The committee would like to meet at 3:00 p.m. to review their final recommendations and to invite the board members to join them from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.