Why is family participation in the Alki program necessary?
Family participation in the Alki Program will provide the extra resources not available through standard OSD school funds by:
- Providing the additional resources of time and money to enrich the education received by Alki students.
- Providing greater stability to this alternative education program through establishment of a governance system to:
- Advocate for necessary resources
- Manage enrollment process
- Raise funds to provide for enhanced education experiences
- Set long-term educational direction
What groups cooperate to make Alki work?
The ALKl program consists of:
- Alki Community Team (ACT – all Alki families)
- Alki Council (ACT administrative representatives -- 12 parent volunteers and 1-2 students)
- Alki Committees (5 standing committees; many Ad Hoc committees, as needed)
- Community Volunteers
What Are the Volunteer Committees in Alki?
Current Alki Standing Committees include:
- Enrollment and Orientation
- Classroom Resources and Volunteer Coordination
- Community Building/Social
Ad Hoc Committees will be formed as needed for a specific purpose (such as coordinating a specific Field Trip). These Ad Hoc committees will remain active until that purpose is achieved (often less than a month) and will then be dissolved. Their Chairs will serve on the Alki Council until the Committee is dissolved, in order to encourage effective information exchange about the short term Ad Hoc Committee efforts.
Who is on the Alki Council?
- Alki Council Chair
- Alki Community Team Facilitator is also the Alki Council Chair Trainee, and acts as vice chair
- Site Council Representative
- PTA Representative
- Classroom Resource Coordinator (Standing Committee)
- Enrollment Chair (Standing Committee)
- Communications Chair (Standing Committee)
- Fundraising Chair (Standing Committee)
- Social Chair (Standing Committee)
- Teacher Representative(s)
- Student Representative elected by Alki students
Trainees for each of these positions are allowed and encouraged to attend the Council meeting, but not as voting members (unless specifically authorized in replacement of his/her mentor).
How are families expected to contribute to the Alki Program?
Family Contributions to the Alki Program:
- Alki’s annual budget is generally between $13,000-$14,000 – which covers the costs of two 3-day Field Trips for 56 students+ teachers+chaperones; monthly class time Field Trips; Art Supplies; Guest Speakers; and other materials that support the program enrichment activites.
We raise that money through a combination of sources:
- A Pledge form together with a letter requesting $200 for each child from each Alki family is sent with Enrollment packages. Not all families can afford to pay the full pledge amount, but flexible payment plans are offered to help. Generally, we collect between $7000-$9,000 in dues.
- In addition to the money collected from Dues Pledges, Alki Families are expected to help with fund-raising activities throughout the school year – enough to pay for the balance of the annual budget. We always start with a goal to raise $3,500 for each school year, but often need to raise more to cover the shortfall from dues. Our bylaws require that at least 30% of Alki's budget must come from fundraising. This offers the larger community an opportunity to support the program.
How is the budget spent?
Family contributions will be used in the following order:
- Classroom supplies
- Basic program support (i.e., all parts of the program budget except field trips)
- Several one-day fieldtrips throughout the year and one 3-day, overnight field trip in the Spring.
- The Spring trip is paid from family contributions from the current school year or, if approved by Council and ACT, from past savings. If family contributions are insufficient to fund the Alki Program, the available funds will be used as described above in Section l(b.) A cancellation of the Spring trip is the most probable consequence of unsuccessful fund-raising.
At no time will these funds donated from Alki Families be used to pay for services or materials that can be obtained for free through donations of time and materials. However, ACT will seek to balance this policy on a case by case basis when the Council and ACT agree that paying for certain services or materials that benefit the whole community are warranted.
- Every effort will be made to utilize these donated funds in a respectful and responsible manner in keeping with the Alki program philosophy of building community and supporting sustainability and local enterprises.
- Alki will avoid entering into long-term (longer than a single fund-drive) business relationships with Alki program members (Alki families), in order to avoid potential and perceived conflicts of interest in a program that depends on donations and volunteer support from its participants.
- Every effort will be made to solicit additional fundraising dollars from outside of the immediate Alki Community.
How many ways can a parent volunteer in the program?
Alki parents should try to find a way to volunteer 5-10 hours of time each month. This can be carried out during school hours, or after hours in a wide variety of ways.
Classroom Volunteer Time
Our teachers need parent volunteers in the classroom and after hours (grading papers) both to aid with teaching, but also to lecture if they have particular skills or knowledge that can be adapted into the curriculum. Generally, they hope to have at least 2-3 parent volunteers in the classroom or after hours for every day of the week.
There are 13 people on the Alki Council (including our two teachers and one student rep), which meets once monthly but communicates via email throughout the month. These volunteers are the core group that keeps the Alki program organized and running smoothly throughout the year. Council members carry out basic administration tasks, such as budget management and oversight, as well as Enrollment, but also includes the chairs of the standing committees of volunteers who organize some aspect of all Alki Events throughout the year.
We generally run 3-5 fundraisers each year to raise enough money to pay for the various programs we find important for our children’s education. Some events are passive, and require minimal effort; others are more complex and involve a social or community building component – a big part of Alki. ALL Alki families are expected to participate at some level in fund-raising.
We try to go on a Field Trip every month. Parents come up with ideas (approved by teachers) and carry out the logistics organization. Some of these trips are so close to the school that we can walk; others require that we get 15-17 parent volunteers to drive and be gone from school for several hours; we have two 3-day Field Trips each year – one in the Fall and one in the Spring. These longer trips generally take a team of 5-10 parents to organize food and itinerary, and 15-17 parent driver/chaperone volunteers.