Dear Fellow Bay Farm Parents,
We are very lucky to live in a neighborhood in Alameda where it is anchored by such an excellent school as Bay Farm School. In addition to the excellent elementary grades at Bay Farm, we also offer an excellent alternative to Lincoln Middle School to meet the needs of the students who prefer a smaller environment and yet equally challenging curriculum to continue their education journey. Bay Farm School is an excellent school in part, due to the drive of our active parent community and the common goal we share towards the educational excellence for our children. We fill the gap where the state education system’s funding falls short.
The strong community that we have here has been demonstrated over and over again in the past 25 years of the school’s existence. I’m very proud and honored to be a part of that rich tradition. A few year’s ago, the parent community really pulled out all the stops and raised tremendous amount of money for the school and enabled us to buy Smart Boards, Chromebooks, Tablets, and make other technology that are used everyday to help our children learn and be successful in their academic careers. We did so well in those years that we sometime forget that we fundraise every year, not because we want to but because we need to, in order to maintain the level of support the Bay Farm School have enjoyed year over year.
August and September are important fundraising months for us as majority of our annual donations come in during that time frame. The amount of donation we receive drives many of our decisions about our budget and the programs that we can support.
Without the financial support from our parent community, we won’t have the necessary funds to help us fund the Outdoor Leaning center where our kids learn so much from Garner. We also won’t have the music program for Kindergarten where Ms. Linny is beloved by all the Kindergartens and parents alike. We won’t be able to refresh the technology as they age or the PE/recess supplies. We won’t be able to support the excellent field trips like having SF Zoo, SF Opera, and the Lawrence hall of Science coming to us. Or off campus field trips to Roberts Regional Park, California Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, and transportations services for the overnight trips that enriches the learning experiences for all the kids, K-8. Not only are we lucky to have the funding for these field trips, we are also lucky to have the teachers we have at Bay Farm who are willing to go the extra mile for our kids to give them the best education possible, public or otherwise. To me, that’s what makes Bay Farm special, the community and the teachers working together to achieve our common goal.
I want to share with you something that was said by one of our Bay Farm School Teachers during our first PTSA meeting that struck a cord with many in attendance. I’m paraphrasing here but the main point is that this teacher realized that we have experienced downward trend in our fundraising efforts and wants to help the PTSA reach our balance budget goal. Thus, this teacher will reduce some of the programs and spending that previous classes have enjoyed in order to help us achieve our financial goals. I want to say that this teacher’s efforts are very much appreciated but if we can hold up our end of the bargain, then teachers wouldn’t have to make cuts in their classrooms.
Most of you are experienced Bay Farm parents so you know the type of programs that the PTSA help support so I won’t belabor the point. Please help us continue this rich tradition by donating to the PTSA. We are currently at 44% of our fundraising goal of $80,000 by October 6th. While our recommended donation is $500 per household this year, any amount is greatly appreciated. There have been many questions about why the steep increase in the recommended donation amount. The reason is simple. We did a deep dive and analyzed the budget last year and we found that over the past 3 years, our average PTSA operating budget is around $180,000. We have roughly 650 students. Assuming the average household having 2 children, then we arrive at approximately 325 families. Therefore, 180,000/325 = ~550 per household. I hope that helps explain the reasoning behind the increase in the recommended amount. If you would like to speak more on this subject, please feel free to reach out anyone on the executive board. My door is always open and available to answer your questions and concerns.
Donations can be made through Konstella by clicking HERE or by completing the attached form and returning it to the school office’s PTSA corner.
Thank You for reading this and Thank You to those who have already donated.