Guidelines for Teacher Enrichment Requests
The purpose of Greely PTO is to bring parents, administrators and educators together in order to contribute to a vibrant MSAD 51 school community. One of the PTO’s main goals is to offer curriculum-enhancing enrichment opportunities for our students (pre-K-8) that go above and beyond the classroom experience.
Greely PTO supports grades pre-K-8 in providing enrichment opportunities by raising funds and distributing stipends to educators who can then plan enrichment activities for their students. Enrichment activities are defined as hands-on learning opportunities that tie in with the classroom curriculum and engage students by exposing them to new experiences.
The following guidelines were created as a resource to support teachers in planning enrichment activities that are aligned with the PTO’s mission and purpose.
Ideal Use of Funds that Align with PTO’s Enrichment Focus
Enrichment funds are ideally used for activities that tie into classroom curriculum including field trips, guest speakers (ex. poets, artists, authors, musicians), arts and science activities, and cultural events. Grade level teams get together to decide how best to use the enrichment funds for all of their students. We welcome and celebrate new and creative ideas for enrichment activities. Equipment or items that have a clear connection to curriculum (ex. telescopes for an annual class stargazing field trip) would be considered enrichment. Food that ties into curriculum would be considered. (ex. African dishes while studying African art/culture, ice cream offered at a farm when learning about cows and other farm animals).
Areas that Fall Outside of PTO’s Scope of Enrichment
The following categories of requests do not typically align with PTO’s enrichment goals. (However, we understand that there are some circumstances within these categories in which our enrichment goals are met. Examples are provided below to help clarify the difference. Still not sure? Ask your designated Enrichment Chair who will be happy to answer your question.)
- CAPITAL ITEMS: Tangible “bricks and mortar” items such as furniture or classroom supplies without a demonstrated connected to curriculum do not fall within the PTO enrichment guidelines.
- FOOD: Celebrations with food that have no connection to curriculum or enrichment do not fall within the PTO enrichment guidelines, (ex. End of year ice cream party).
- TRANSPORTATION: In general, PTO is not able to cover the cost of transportation to field trips. While the transportation fee per individual student may seem minimal, supporting this cost for a whole class or grade level uses a significant portion of the allotted enrichment dollars.
PTO would prefer for teachers to ask if the per student cost of transportation can be covered by parents or another source.
- There may be cases in which there are exceptions to this guideline:
- If cost of entry is free and the only expense is travel;
- If enrichment dollars are unable to be used for other enrichment; opportunities towards the end of the school year;
- For students whose families may find the cost of transportation a barrier to their child participating in the enrichment event.
Greely PTO is open to questions and engaging in a dialogue regarding the circumstances in which transportation funds can potentially be covered.
- MEMBERSHIP FEES: Membership fees to stores, organizations, etc. to purchase or access classroom supplies fall outside the scope of PTO Enrichment funds.
Timing of Funds - Availability and Expiration Date
The amount of funds available to each grade level will be shared with administration and teachers in October in order to provide ample time to plan enrichment activities. Any funds not used by the last day of the school year will not be carried over to the following school year.
Once a grade-level has determined how they would like to utilize their funds, they can inform their designated PTO Enrichment Chair of the request by completing the Funding Enrichment Request Form with the details of how and when the funds will be used and how much funding is needed. Once the Enrichment Chair receives the completed form, they will pass the request along to the PTO Chairs and Treasurer in a timely manner to ensure follow-up and payment can be made.
Help Us Raise Future Enrichment Funds Through Storytelling
When parents understand how PTO funds are invested in their child’s learning, they are much more inclined to support fundraising efforts. You can help us with this in the following ways:
- When communicating with parents about upcoming field trips use the PTO logo on permission slips or mention if it is a Greely PTO-funded effort so parents can see the return on their investment;
- Snap some photos of media-release approved students (or some safe shots of backs of heads looking at exhibits etc.) and share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a link to Google Photos or DropBox. Pictures are powerful ways to tell the story about how PTO funds make a difference in our children’s’ school experience.
If you have any questions regarding enrichment guidelines, please do not hesitate to reach out to your designated PTO Enrichment Chair or email us at email@example.com