More Money Talk
With the No-Hassle Fundraiser behind us, we are still doing some internal evaluation about how it went and how we might improve things next year when this time comes around again. Check back for updates on what we glean from our analysis. You can always send your thoughts or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We sometimes receive questions from parents such as: Is it possible to know exactly how my donation will be used? Can we direct our donation to a specific activity or type of purchase? There is no easy answer. That is because “earmarking” funds donated during the No-Hassle Fundraiser makes bookkeeping more difficult and can make accomplishing our full scope of work for the year more challenging. It could even result in us having to under-fund some activities or leave some funds unused if they can only be used for specific things. As a result, we generally discourage creating these types of restrictions on incoming donations; however, we try to work with each donor to figure out a way to address any concerns they have.
Where Does the Money Go?
Our biggest ticket items are Instruction Support and Student Support, which each represent about 40 percent of our allocated budget. Instruction Support pays for things like teaching and classroom management equipment, technology support, specialty consumables for the science department such as dissection supplies, training courses, conferences and certification costs for teachers and staff. These expenses come to us as requests from teachers and staff, and then are processed by our Grants Committee, in addition to a $100 stipend available to each teacher and staff member. Student Support pays mainly for AP testing discounts for test takers (expanded this year) and tutoring. It also covers smaller expenses associated with orientation activities and mental wellness support. The next biggest chunk—12 percent—helps pay for Student Celebrations such as Coffeehouse and Senior Salute and other much smaller celebrations. Here is a graphic we shared at our first PFLASA meeting this year to give you a visual.
If you are interested in being more involved with how PFLASA spends its money or plans its scope of work for the year, consider volunteering to be on the board next year. We know that time and availability may be a concern, but we do have members who work full time and still manage their board duties. We are always available to talk to parents about what the board does (or what any particular committee or committee chair does), so hit us up!
Successful Trustee Forum
On October 23rd, PTSA sponsored its 2022 LASA Trustee Forum. A big THANK YOU to Sarah Romo de Vivar, Jayne Rosso and many other volunteers who helped make this happen. Special thanks to Brendan McInerney who stepped in to facilitate at the last minute and time-keeper Summer McInerney. Special thanks also to LASA staff, including Mrs. Switek and Ms. SiFuentes, along with our tireless (but tired) principal, Ms. Crescenzi, who managed to make it to the recruiting events held last Tuesday (Oct 18) evening at LASA, as well as the district-wide high school fair on Saturday, and the forum on Sunday.
The forum was very interesting! If you missed it—you can find some of the candidates’ written responses to questions here: https://www.lasaptsa.org/trustee-forum. LASA was well represented and we are grateful to all the parents and students who came out.
Now … don’t forget to VOTE!!!! Early voting has already begun. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, which also happens to be a student holiday!
Looking ahead, we have so many other things underway. In terms of recruitment of new LASA students for next year, there are several more opportunities for parents and families to learn about LASA on Oct 26 (at LASA) and Nov 3 (virtual). Spread the word! Mentoring is also ramping up and mentors are still needed. In addition, our Wellness Committee is meeting this week to begin planning some activities for parents. Chairs for these activities are, respectively, Virginia Jones, Jayne Rosso and Nina Miller.
In other news, our Showcase Dinner for teachers will happen on November 16 and our hospitality chair, Olga Ovcharenko, will be planning that event. Our Giving Thanks Pie Event is set for the last day before Thanksgiving break—November 18—and is being organized by Rebecca Cook.
Please email us at email@example.com to be connected with any of these wonderful folks or just look for a volunteer sign up on the main LASA website. These are usually posted at least a week or so before the event at https://www.lasahighschool.org/signups.
Latino Student Support
Are you interested in getting more involved with the LASA Latino community (or do you have questions that others in the group may be able to answer?) Reach out to Lina Porras or Maria Cristina Hernandez, co-chairs of our Latino Outreach Committee, for more information about upcoming events and ways to engage. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you.
Have a Spooky but Happy Halloween, y’all!