Oh the Places we'll go...
Tue, Apr 2 5:21pm

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Dr. Suess took us on a magical journey in Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and Nea has been (and will be) taking our children on some wonderful journeys outside of the classroom. While COVID shut so many things down for a few years, Nea is back on track, and the kids are doing some really fun and interesting activities in and out of the classroom. Having recently learned more of the ins and outs of field trips at Nea, I wanted to take a few moments and share!

While not all field trips cost Nea out-of-pocket expenses, most do. Did you know that, on average, Nea spends $20,000 - $25,000 on field trips annually? I didn’t!! The PTSA gratefully contributes $8,000 towards this, but the school pays for the rest out of its general budget. Next year, the PTSA hopes to give Nea additional funding towards the field trips budget line item.

Occasionally, a grant has been written to off-set costs. This year, the PTSA helped the school write field trip grants for over $8,000 (monies each of us parents would have had to contribute instead!). There are no extra monies given to Nea for this purpose (same for all AUSD schools). Because of this, parents are generally asked to contribute towards each class field trip and to chaperone.

How are funds used for field trips?

At our recent Nea PTSA meeting, we were fortunate to have Ms. Charlotte with us to answer some lingering questions about field trips from some of our members. For instance, one member asked if we could use their personal family annual memberships during a field trip. Answer: Most locations, like the CA Academy of Sciences, do not allow this.

Another member asked for clarification on whether families need to contribute towards field trips, as they had heard differing things. Answer: Families are asked to contribute towards field trips in order to mitigate costs to the school. A reminder: each field trip consists of around 60 kids, 2 facilitators and 10-15+ adult chaperones. So, that’s about 70-75 heads per field trip. It adds up quickly.

What does the PTSA contribute?

Each year the PTSA cuts a check to Nea to help offset their costs to provide all of the wonderful things our kids enjoy. Besides a contribution towards field trips, the PTSA pays for the majority of the Art & Music classes and supplies. When our family was at Edison, the parents were the Art Docents and led the entire art program there. We are extremely fortunate to have dedicated staff here at Nea. Your Nea PTSA has a goal of raising $135,000 this year. Funds are used in the school calendar - meaning, contributions you make this year go towards this school year 2023-2024. A majority of this is a whomping check we cut to Nea at the end of the year, and the rest goes towards requests we receive. This year your Nea PTSA has funded requests including: helping the 8th graders go on the DC Trip; a makers cart for UV requested by a learner; and the UV sports coach. Last week, we funded a senior’s application to SFSU as the application fee was out of reach for their family. How wonderful to help this young person, part of our Nea community, take the next steps in their life journey! We hope they get in!!

How does the PTSA fundraise and how can I help?

Your Nea PTSA fundraising program is a three-legged stool: Support Nea Now (we ask each family to contribute $500 - or any amount they can); Walkathon; and Nea Night Out. While Walkathon almost hit our goal, Support Nea Now has not. Your Nea PTSA Board wants to say yes to every funding request and to increase our annual contribution to our wonderful school. But we need your help. If you haven’t yet contributed to Support Nea Now and can, please click HERE. Our whimsical steampunk journey at Nea Night Out is coming up on April 27th. You can get your tickets HERE. Also, we need your sweat equity. None of this gets done without people-power. Please consider volunteering at Nea Night Out. Click HERE. Broader than that, we need help at the Board level, and we need event and committee chairs for 2024-2025. Please email me at neaptsa@gmail.com and I’ll tell you more!

Some of the places we’ve gone (we’re going)!

Now back to the fun stuff. I recently asked the facilitators to share with me field trips their class had gone on or will go on this year. While this list isn’t comprehensive, I think it really shows the diverse, rich and wonderful journeys our kids are going on outside of the classroom.



Asian Art

Alvin Ailey

Farmers Market

Bay Bridge

Coyote Hills Regional Park

Alameda Farmers Market

Oakland Museum of California

Adventure Playground

SF Moma

Kids For the Bay (Beach Workshop and Clean Up)

Crab Cove 5th Grade Graduation Party

Speers Pumpkin Patch

Oakland Museum

Tilden Little Farm


Oakland Zoo

Farmer’s Market 





Walking Community trip to Library, Farmer's Market and Fire House


California Academy of Sciences


How cool is all that?! As always, reach out - we’d love to hear from you neaptsa@gmail.com.


Juliette Bleecker (3rd grader Axl’s mom)

Your Nea PTSA President