As you know, the Lagunitas School District has taken significant steps to balance its budget this summer. As part of a series of legally mandated spending reductions throughout the whole district, our unique programs will be losing some district-provided funds over the next two years.
But there is good news: As you might expect from our school community, people have already started work on solving the problem. One idea has come up that could replace all of the lost program funds and may even increase program funding beyond what it was in the past. This is not a too-good-to-be-true scheme but a practical solution that won’t cost families anything aside from a little time and attention.
Here is a simple way that we can refill the parent funds and continue all of the aides, specialists and other things the parents fund: PARTICIPATE IN SCRIP and eScrip.
SCRIP is a program where merchants donate a percentage of sales to organizations such as our programs and LEAP (our school foundation) when their customers sign up and designate the program. So every time you buy something at a particular store, you could be ensuring that the merchant makes a donation to our school. Escrip is an online version with huge potential to raise funds.
LEAP – The easiest way to support the entire district going forward will be to participate in Scrip and eScrip through LEAP, our district-wide fundraising organization. They help fund the band program, teacher mini-grants, and provide significant funding to each of our district’s programs. They are in the process of getting Scrip cards from Good Earth and United, but they already have an eScrip account. As parents of kids in more than one program can attest, carrying two Good Earth and United Cards can get pretty cumbersome, so one card for LEAP might be a better way to go.
What can you do?
1 – SIGN UP FOR ESCRIP: www.escrip.com Input name, address, ATM and credit card info (secure) Sign up any other adults in your family. You can split between several programs or schools, if you have children in more than one.
If your cards are not current, your program nothing from your efforts. I will send a monthly reminder to the whole school through the e-mail coordinators saying “IF YOU HAVE GOTTEN ANY NEW CARDS, PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ESCRIP ACCOUNT”.
IF YOU THINK YOU ARE ALREADY SIGNED UP, YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE CURRENT CARDS…Of the over 150 people we have signed up for the Open Classroom for eScrip, about 80% haven’t contributed in the last year, which means their cards are expired. I presume the same is true of the other programs.
2 – Download AUTOEARN from the escrip site to any computer that you shop. Go to www.escrip.com click AutoEarn and download – automatically directs funds to your program. When you shop online, your computer should AUTOMATICALLY ask you “Do you want to give ?% to (program name)?, and you just click yes. I am not sure if Amazon or eBay will pop up, but if you go through the escrip site, and go to those sites, you will also direct funds to your program.
3 – SIGN UP GRANDPARENTS, ANY EXTENDED FAMILY AND FRIENDS: have them go to www.escrip.com Make sure they download AutoEarn, or you can just do it for them. But you have to let them know that those pop ups are not asking them for money. They are directing vendor funds to your program.
4 – Get and use Scrip cards for Good Earth (which do not expire) and United (which expire annually). Put it in your wallet next to the card you use most, so you will remember to use it. Also get other adults in your family to do the same. For Montessori, Linda should have the cards in the lower campus office, and your coordinator sent out two cards per family at the early part of the year. For the Open Classroom, they are in the parent pick up area behind Sandy’s desk. I’m not sure if there are Middle School cards.
5 – Sign up for Safeway and IGA scrip, and use your phone number every time you buy there. As far as I know, you have to go in and fill out a form the first time. For IGA, be careful to find the right program. It is alphabetical, but I think Montessori might be under Lagunitas Montessori so under L and Open Classroom is under The Open Classroom, so under T. Once you sign up with Safeway, you can renew every year in by November 1 on the escrip site. It is prominent when it is near the time.
Open classroom raised $3,600 in 2014/15. Montessori raised $1,500 in 2013/14, and I don’t have their actual amount for this year. I don’t have the Middle School budget, but the message is clear, we are leaving tons of money on the table that we could all use in our programs, especially now. If each family raised $200 over a year through script, it would total $60,000!
LEAP – District Wide Fund-raising Group
Name of Program on eScrip: Lead Enrich Achieve Progress
Name of Program on eScrip: Lagunitas Middle School Student Council
I am not sure if there is a coordinator from Middle School, but this would be a great position for a Middle School parent to take on.
Name of Program on eScrip: Lagunitas Montessori Scrip Program – Group ID 137596465 (be careful, because there are two listed.
Montessori scrip rep: Dean Halpern firstname.lastname@example.org
Next year there will need to a new person from Montessori
Name of Program on eScrip: Open Classroom Elementary School or ID#3512171
Current Open Classroom scrip rep: Jackie Bloom email@example.com
Next year’s Open Classroom scrip rep: Bita Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org
We are starting a district wide conversation on the best way to raise funds for our district. We want to generate more dollars for each program and maintain their ability to make spending decisions, but working together to raise funds, we could all benefit more. We hope you will participate in this conversation. Opportunities will be provided in the near future.
Thank you for supporting all children in the Lagunitas School District through this, and all of your efforts.
Meegan Lee Ochs-Potter, Trustee
Laura Shain, Principal