SES Go Fund
Paying for Overnight Trips
One of the unique aspects of the Sunnyside Environmental School curriculum is the opportunity for students to participate in field studies and overnight trips. These place-based learning experiences are an integral part of the SES curriculum.
These day and overnight trips are essential for student learning at Sunnyside--we highly encourage 100% student participation and work closely with families to make sure that each and every student attend field studies and overnights. As you may expect, these trips do come with a hefty financial expense for our school community. Our school’s philosophy is “no one goes unless everyone goes; ” the trips are only beneficial to individuals if they benefit the entire student community. In short, this means that we expect that all students will participate in all trips, and also expect that the school and parent community will make sure that each and every student is able to attend each trip. We fund our trips through a combination of direct contributions from families, PTSA fundraising, school wide and grade-specific fundraising:
Direct contribution from families. Most of our expenses for overnight and day trips are paid through direct donation/contribution from families. Prior to each trip you will receive communication from the school, outlining the specific cost of each trip per child, with a contribution total for each student and a due date for these funds. We ask that each family contribute as much as possible. We are grateful for the financial support of our SES families, and in truth, we would never be able to provide these amazing experiences for children without direct funding from family contributions. For this school year, we have changed/improved our internal processes for tracking donations and communicating with families about trip expenses. Each trip will have a set date that serves as a deadline for financial contributions. We will carefully examine our collected funds prior to the trip, and will communicate with families (and return money) if we find ourselves in the unfortunate position of not being able to travel due to insufficient funds.
PTSA scholarships. If your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch through PPS, the PTSA will fund ½ of the family contribution for each trip. PTSA funds are raised via the SES Read-a-thon, the Run/Walk/Move, and other school-wide PTSA fundraisers. If you believe your family may qualify for the lunch program, please fill out the attached form to submit it to PPS (even if you choose to pack a lunch from home for your child you can still complete this form).
SES Go Fund. The SES Go Fund exists so that ALL SES students are able to participate in overnight trips regardless of ability to pay. For some families, the PTSA scholarship (½ of the trip cost) may not be enough to cover trip costs, or some families may need financial assistance even though they do not qualify for free or reduced lunch. The Go Fund provides financial support for families who can not contribute the full amount for trips. It is intended to be used sparingly and with discretion, and is available upon request through SES administration. We have found that maintaining a sufficient Go Fund for families is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, the Go Fund is intended to be accessible and available for anyone who needs it. On the other hand, it is important that families only access this fund when it is truly necessary. The application process for the Go Fund needs to be completed in advance of each trip to ensure accurate planning and budgeting. Accessing the Go Fund is not a passive process. While we do not require any sort of financial disclosure to access this scholarship fund, we respectfully ask families to complete a Go Fund Request form prior to each trip (see attached form).
To summarize, here are the ways SES families can contribute to the cost of overnight trips for your student:
1. We ask that all families pay/donate what they can toward the cost of the overnight and day trips. There are many options:
● Contribute/pay in full for each trip (a) via check or cash to SES, (b) credit card payment directly through Kristy in the office OR (c) online credit/debit card payment via the PTSA website (a new way to pay!)
● Contribute/pay in full for your child’s expenses, donate additional money to cover the cost of another child (Go Fund or PTSA scholarship contribution).
● Contribute/pay a portion of the trip cost, whatever you are able. Every single dollar makes a difference!
2. Apply via PPS for Free or Reduced Lunch(https://district.ode.state.or.us/apps/frlapp/default.aspx). Even if you do not wish to access the lunch program, qualifying means you can access other cost-saving opportunities:
● The SES PTSA will pay half the cost of all overnight trips for any student that qualifies for free or reduced lunch.
● PPS waives the entire cost of Outdoor School for any 6th grade student that qualifies for free or reduced lunch.
3. Apply for SES Go Fund support, using the Go Fund Application form (attached).
Go Fund Application
Parent Name (the parents who should be contacted about payment):
Parent email address:
GO Fund Statement of Understanding: The Go Fund is intended to provide assistance to families unable to pay the full cost of a student’s overnight trip above and beyond any other financial assistance available. I understand that, before accessing the Go Fund, SES asks all families to apply for Free or Reduced Lunch as, if they qualify, they can access the PTSA overnight scholarship fund to cover 50% of trip costs.
Parent signature: ______________________________________________
1. I have submitted the application for free/reduced lunch through PPS (circle one):
2. I am able to contribute partial payment toward to cost of the (Fall) (Spring) overnight trip. I request funding from the Go Fund to cover the additional balance for my child’s trip (circle one):
3. I would like to set up a payment/contribution plan to cover a portion of my child’s trip expenses (circle one):