We have received some additional questions about our enrichment fees this year and thought it would be helpful to provide additional information. If you’re looking for our original September 18th letter, you can find it by clicking HERE.
After two years of operations and growth, we found it necessary to streamline a number of our processes, one of them being money handling and fee collection. This year Arco Iris implemented a new concept called Enrichment Fees.
Instead of asking parents to pay the school for each field trip and donate supplies and funds for our specials (e.g. art materials, guest speakers), we have wrapped these fees into one up-front payment. By adopting a single fee, the time and cost savings for Arco Iris is significant. This was no small task when we opened school at 60 students, but at almost 160 students, we either need streamlining in our processes or additional office help.
Enrichment fees and their usage are a part of both PTO and Consejo de padres committees as well as finance committee planning. The PTO, Consejo de padres, the school board, and our staff are all working together on how these moneys are spent. The parent groups and our staff have input and, in some cases, responsibilities for procuring materials. The school board determined the allocations in May and June, but Jan has approval on the expenditures in not only the spirit of how they are spent but the legal manner as well.
Our school has a restricted budget for enrichment fees. These dollars do not go into our general operating fund and there are legal obligations for enrichment fee usage. So where will these fees go? Here are a few examples from this year’s budget:
- Student planners
- Field trips (2-3 per class)
- Specialized art supplies
- Specialized PE equipment
- Cultural studies and celebrations (e.g. Hispanic Heritage month, student performances)
- Contract specialists (e.g. music performances, technology, PE)
Returning families may have noticed that our supply list this year was shorter than in the past, and did not request pastels, acrylics, construction paper, speciality papers, etc. Most of these supplies were used for art projects in the past, and this year, we budgeted for their purchase out of the enrichment fee budget.
To date, we have 40% of our families who have not yet responded to our request for enrichment fees. Without the fees to cover our school’s cost, our enrichment activities for this year may need to be reduced. If you have not yet paid your annual enrichment fee, we are asking that you please do so. You will find the payment form on page 2 HERE. Thank you!