1. What is the Annual Fund and who receives the proceeds?
The Annual Fund supports the KMS Teacher Retention Program by providing end of year bonuses to our well deserving teaching staff in recognition of their hard work all year long. The Annual Fund provides a mechanism for KMS families to recognize these teachers. 100% of the amounts contributed to the Annual Fund will be distributed to the teachers. Directors and administrators are not eligible for the Annual Fund bonuses. We strongly encourage all families to participate at a level that is comfortable for them – no contribution is too small and a gift in any amount is appreciated.
2. Are contributions to the Annual Fund tax deductible?
If so, how can I get evidence of my contribution for tax reporting purposes?
Yes, Annual Fund contributions are tax deductible! Open Mind is a non-profit 501c-3; simply document your contribution to our Tax ID# 94-3252640. Please make your check out to “Open Mind” and write “Annual Fund” and your Child’s ID on the memo line. You will receive a thank-you letter from Open Mind in January 2016, reflecting your donation to the KMS Annual Fund.
3. How are the Annual Fund proceeds disseminated?
100% of the amounts contributed to the Annual Fund will be distributed to the KMS teaching staff before the winter break in December. The money will be gifted to teachers on the basis of merit as determined by the team of Program Directors. Importantly, NO fees or other amounts are taken from the Annual Fund proceeds and paid to KMS for administrating the program. KMS teachers are the only eligible recipients of this program. Again, this program is not open to KMS administrators or program directors.
4. Why is an Annual Fund necessary, why aren’t these amounts simply included as part of the KMS annual budget and covered by our ongoing tuition payments?
Your ongoing tuition payments fund the standard KMS operating budget, which includes teaching staff and administration salaries and day-to-day operating costs. Tuition is not enough to provide end of year bonus recognition for our hard-working teaching staff. Rather than load up tuition costs, KMS parents facilitate the Annual Fund to provide a discretionary, tax deductible program – a receptacle for parent generosity that funnels directly to the teachers. Open Mind is proud to facilitate administration without charging overhead.
5. At other schools I’ve recognized individual teachers directly. Does the Annual Fund take care of that for me or should I do that at KMS?
Your generosity was no doubt appreciated! However, the Annual Fund allows each teacher to receive a large gift that represents the gratitude of ALL the KMS children and families. Instead of purchasing a gift, donate that sum to the Annual Fund. Of course, your child may choose to create a special card for each teacher as a holiday remembrance – you must know how much they love photos of your kids!
6. How can I ensure that the teacher(s) I believe should be recognized are rewarded appropriately?
The Annual Fund will recognize all teachers. However, your feedback is always welcome and we encourage you to write a formal letter to your teacher’s director so that the feedback can be included as a part of the Program Directors’ merit discussions. Please provide that feedback no later than December 3.
It is essential that all KMS teachers receive recognition. Unfortunately some parents choose to “tip” some teachers, but not others – “tipping” is for wait staff, not professional educators. A fair and generous bonus through the Annual Fund respects all KMS teachers.
7. This year it is particularly difficult for my family to contribute monetarily. Is there another way for us to participate?
We acknowledge that economic conditions have impacted many of us personally, including the teaching staff at KMS. We’d like to reiterate that no contribution is too small and encourage all families to participate at a level with which they are comfortable.
If a contribution directly from your family is particularly challenging this year, you might consider:
* Company donation or donation match program: many companies, particularly at year-end, offer a corporate donation or donation match program whereby they will contribute amounts to various non-profit organizations.
* If you absolutely cannot donate monetarily, we always value your involvement in the KMS Community. You can sign up for additional Parking Greeter days to spend some one-on-one time with the teachers and program directors to let them know how much you appreciate them. Or sign up to volunteer for one of our Facilities Improvement days. Your presence and participation at KMS is a great way to show your appreciation.
8. Is participation in the Annual Fund mandatory?
While participation in the Annual Fund is strictly voluntary, we are striving for 100% family participation and, as no contribution is too small, we encourage every family to join us in recognizing the KMS teaching staff.
9. Why is 100% family participation so important?
100% participation demonstrates our strength as a united community and provides a signal to our teachers that ALL families acknowledge and appreciate their efforts. Importantly, 100% participation is also vital in increasing KMS’ ability to obtain grants and support from outside sources.
10. I’ve read about the “Art Fest Fundraiser” in the Parent Handbook. Is the Annual Fund associated with that effort?
The Annual Fund is NOT associated with the spring Art Fest Fundraiser and raffle ticket sales. Information about the mandatory “Art Fest Fundraiser” is available in the KMS Parent Handbook. It is important to know that parent donations, fundraising and volunteerism directly inform the success of KMS to receive grant funding!
11. When are Annual Fund contributions due?
Annual Fund contributions are welcome at any time, but should be received by KMS no later than December 17. If contributing by check, please make it out to “Open Mind” and be sure to write “Annual Fund” and your child’s ID on the memo line.