Frequently Asked Questions

·        Why am I being asked to donate money to support the Science program? Doesn’t the school district provide this?
Northshore School District provides a Science curriculum for all elementary schools, which includes a comprehensive inventory of Foss kits.  In most other elementary schools in the district, science is taught in the classroom by the classroom teacher. The reason our program is unique is that we have a Science Lab, and a Science Specialist, who teaches 2 out of the 3 science units that students receive every year.  The unit that the Specialist does not teach is done by the classroom teacher in the classroom. While the students are in the lab, they benefit from having hands-on experience in a lab setting much like one they will experience in Junior and Senior high.  Both their classroom teacher and the Specialist teach together, providing a rich experience for students. The PTA provides funding for the lab, supplies, and the Specialist. To learn more, go to the Science Program page.

·        Why do I have to pay twice – once for a PTA membership and once during the fundraising campaign??
Joining the PTA and paying membership dues serves a different purpose than giving during the fundraising campaign. Membership dues are used to maintain our good standing in the local council, state, and national PTA organizations. The national PTA is credited with creating programs like kindergarten classes, hot lunch programs, public health services, and arts in education.  By joining the PTA,  you are pledging support to Sunrise and your student as well as becoming part of the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the country.  Giving to the fundraising campaign directly benefits students at Sunrise by funding PTA sponsored programs, events, and school needs that aren’t provided for by the district.

·        What does the PTA do with the money I give?
The Sunrise PTA has a wide range of programs and events that are designed to help build community, provide academic and social enrichment, and expand student’s learning experiences at Sunrise. We try to look for opportunities that will benefit all Sunrise students, and ways that we can support Sunrise teachers in the classroom. In 2014-2015, in addition to our usual budgeted expenditures, Sunrise PTA also purchased new music equipment, new PE equipment, new risers, new library furniture, and also funded a playground renovation. These were all necessary expenditures because the replaced items were in some cases over 20 years old. Northshore school district just does not have enough funds to provide for everything that can give Sunrise students the best experience possible. The PTA budget is reviewed and approved by membership vote at General membership meetings, and any changes to the budget throughout the year must be approved by member vote.

·        Other schools do different types of fundraising, like catalog sales and fun runs. Why does Sunrise PTA do a direct ask?
In the past, Sunrise PTA has done many types of fundraisers such as an every other year auction, catalog sales, candy sales, and reading marathons. The current fundraising plan is to directly ask for our yearly goal during a one time campaign. There are several reasons for this type of strategy: Cost
? there are no costs associated with a direct ask. This means 100% of your dollars goes directly to programs and events that support your students at Sunrise. All other types of fundraisers have an associated cost, which means fewer dollars benefits the students. ?Volunteer Time/Effort ? a direct ask involves very little volunteer time and energy. We are not asking people to donate huge amounts of time and energy to coordinate fundraising efforts for the PTA.  ?Simplicity ? a direct ask is simpler for parents. Rather than spending time and energy participating in other types of fundraising events, your time is free to do whatever else you would rather be doing.

·        Why aren’t events like the play and the dance fundraisers? I already pay to go to them?.
Increasing the cost to attend events would decrease the number of people who were able to attend. The purpose of these events is to build community and provide enriching experiences for our students, not to raise money. The money that is charged is solely to fund the event, making these events break-even for the PTA. The PTA pays for these events up front (for example, we pay the DJ who hosts the dance and provides lessons for students the week before the Dance well in advance,) and then the ticket price we charge just pays the PTA back.

·        How is the PTA different from the Northshore Schools Foundation?
The Northshore Schools Foundation is a 501 (c)(3)nonprofit organization
?that raises funds and builds partnerships to support ?district priorities ?of excellence and academic success for ?all ? Northshore students. Sunrise PTA is also a 501 (c)(3)nonprofit organization, but our focus is solely on ?Sunrise ? students.

·        How can I learn more about the PTA at Sunrise?
The best way to learn more about what the PTA does and how it supports your student is to come to PTA meetings. All of the meetings are open to the public and you don’t have to be a PTA member to come, although in order to vote you must be a current member. There are four PTA General Membership meetings a year – these are in the months of October, January, March, and May and are held in the evening in the Sunrise library. Dates of meetings are advertised in the Sunriser newsletter and on the PTA Website.