The Ashland School Committee believes that public education is a common good that should be adequately supported by federal, state, and local governments. School-age children in Ashland are entitled to a free and appropriate education under applicable law. However, fiscal realities often result in less than adequate resources for our schools and students.
The School Committee recognizes the need for fundraising and appreciates the benefits to the district of donations of time, talent, and money in support of the educational goals of Ashland Public Schools. The following policy provides principles and guidelines intended to achieve an appropriate balance between the desirable outcomes of fundraising and the potential pitfalls associated with these activities.
It is the goal of the School Committee to work collaboratively with all school fundraising organizations on behalf of Ashland students. The Committee recognizes that any policy statement on this topic will not be comprehensive in its resolution of all questions and situations. The Committee expects, from time to time, to render specific decisions, including policy exceptions, when it deems circumstances so warrant. Moreover, the Committee may amend this Policy from time to time at its sole discretion.
School Fundraising: the selling of a product, the provision of a service or activity, or a request for donations for the purposes of raising money or other resources in the name of Ashland Public Schools. Such activities may take place on or off school property. This policy is not intended to include or address donations made directly to the Ashland Public Schools by arrangement with the school administration.
Student organizations: groups that are sponsored by the district and approved by the administration. Such groups provide opportunities which are consistent with the district mission for students to participate in school and public events for recreation, education, or community service. Student organizations are directed or supervised by School District staff.
Charitable giving campaign: an activity which solicits funds for a charitable cause not directly related to any district goal. Funds raised for these campaigns are not donated to the school district.
School community: refers to students, parents and guardians, school committee, school administrators and staff, members of the broader community, as well as others who support Ashland schools and student achievement.
Approved School Fundraising Organization: an organization which has completed an application, met minimum standards, and been approved by the Superintendent to conduct fundraising for Ashland Public Schools. Such status is granted on a specified basis prior to the start of fundraising activities.
Fundraising is just one way that parents and communities may choose to support their schools. Like all activities that support education, fundraising should reflect the values and expectations of the school community, including those of parents, students, staff, the school administration, and the school committee.
“The Ashland Public Schools is committed to being at the forefront of student achievement by preparing students to be college and career ready, while promoting independence, respect and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed as problem solvers in the 21st century.”
APS Vision statement
All school fundraising must be conducted in a way that is consistent with the Ashland Public Schools vision statement.
All funds raised must be for a purpose that is consistent with the Ashland Public Schools vision statement.
The purposes and principles of public education, including diversity, accessibility, equality of opportunity, and inclusivity should be considered in the selection of fundraising activities.
If the fundraising event is to reflect these principles, it will have educational, social, or recreational value in itself.
All students and staff are welcome to participate in fundraising activities.
Participation in fundraising activities is strictly voluntary for students, their families, school staff and the Ashland community. Coercion to donate or participate in fundraising activities and discrimination based upon level of success or contribution are strictly prohibited.
The safety of students shall be a primary consideration for all fundraising activities.
Children should never be exploited or used as fundraisers.
Student fundraising activities require supervision and should be age-appropriate.
Fundraising activities shall comply will all applicable policy, regulation and law.
Fundraising activities shall have a designated purpose and proceeds will be for that purpose, as intended.
Appropriate financial reporting practices will be in place for all fundraising activities and organizations.
All applicable privacy laws shall be followed. Under no circumstances will the School District share personal information of staff, students, or other individuals for the purposes of fundraising.
All fundraising organizations and activities conducted on behalf of Ashland Public Schools shall be reported on a periodic basis. Such reports shall be available to the Ashland community on the school website.
Reports on district fundraising will be presented annually to the School Committee.
All donations to the schools shall be accepted by vote of the School Committee in accordance with policy. - Guidelines
The Superintendent of Schools shall promulgate procedures to comply with this policy.
These procedures will adhere to the following guidelines.
No organized fundraising activities will occur during the school day on school property except for activities which support school-wide PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) programs or to meet the guidelines of an acceptable Charitable Campaign, as specified below. Solicitation of students or staff during instructional time is strictly prohibited.
Charitable Giving Campaigns may only be conducted when:
- the activity has been approved by the Superintendent or his/her designee as being curriculum related or serves as a civic engagement with Town of Ashland groups or
- the activity is being run by a Student Organization and is related to the purpose of that organization.
Only Student Organizations and Approved School Fundraising Organizations will be approved to conduct fundraising on behalf of Ashland Public Schools.
All fundraising activity on behalf of Ashland Public Schools must have prior approval by the Superintendent of Schools.
The approval process for organizations and fundraisers which is conducted by the Superintendent will be designed to ascertain that the organization and all fundraising plans are in compliance with this policy.
All Approved Fundraising Organizations and Student Organizations shall be posted on the district website.
All approved fundraisers shall be listed on a fundraising calendar to be maintained by the Superintendent’s office and posted on the district website.
School District employees who supervise official school programs or extracurricular activities may not organize, conduct or involve students in fundraising activities unless and until the fund-raising activity has been approved by the administration.
School and athletic handbooks shall include language referencing this policy; school administrators, advisors and coaches will be required to review this policy annually.
All approved fundraising organizations will follow appropriate accounting procedures to be specified by the Superintendent or designee.
Any approved organization wishing to propose a fundraiser that is not on the calendar must submit a request to the Superintendent’s office in advance of the proposed activity/event, at a schedule to be specified by the Superintendent.
Fundraising may not proceed until written approval has been received.
The School District expects all individuals who participate in approved fundraising activities to represent the school, the organization and the community in a responsible manner. All rules pertaining to student conduct and student discipline extend to student fundraising activities.
Funds raised to support trips or activities must equally support all members of the club or team.
Door-to-door solicitation is prohibited for elementary students and strongly discouraged for older students.
Our schools are funded by our local, state and federal government for the benefit of all students. Therefore, special access or privileges related to the school day, school events, school property or school staff may not be sold or donated for fundraising purposes unless there is also a corresponding lottery made available to all students.
Upon approval, an organization may use the phrase “Ashland Public Schools District Approved Organization” in promotional literature.
Group (class or grade) incentives are the preferred means to motivate and reward students.
Acceptance of Donations
Any donations to the District, whether in cash or in kind, that are raised in accordance with this policy, shall become the property of the District in accordance with School Committee policy.
The School Committee reserves the right to reject any donation or proceeds from fundraising if it finds that the donation would not serve the interests of the District. The School Committee will consider the overall interests of the District in reviewing each circumstance. In general, the School Committee will accept donations or proceeds from fundraising which meet the following criteria:
· The targeted purpose is compatible with existing or planned curriculum, programs, or educational goals of the District.
· The donation would not result in an unreasonable inequity among classes or groups of students within the District that are protected by applicable antidiscrimination laws and policies of the district.
· The donation does not involve advertising or promotion of a commercial interest except as specified in School Committee policy.
The Policy Committee shall be responsible for the routine review of this policy.
REVISED: 12 June 2014
CROSS REFS.: JP, Student Gifts and Solicitations
KHA, Public Solicitations in the Schools