The St. Helena Public Schools Foundation created the St. Helena Public Schools Foundation Endowment Trust (a supporting tax-exempt organization) in 1992 with generous contributions from concerned citizens. The SHPS Endowment Trust is a permanent fund dedicated to providing significant annual distributions to the SHPSF for the purposes of making grants. The Endowment Trust is over $1,000,000 and tax-deductible contributions are professionally managed to earn a steady return and provide distributions to the SHPSF. The goal for this fund is to grow to over $3,000,000 and provided in excess of $100,000 per year to the St. Helena Public Schools for grants.
Long term funding provided by this trust will ensure continued support for the kinds of programs and grants the Foundation has supported in the past. Projects, programs and field trips involving art, music, technology, science, literature and math would not have happened without Foundation funds.
In 2005 The Endowment Trust selected The Napa Valley Community Foundation as our fund managers. By choosing to work with this respected organization we hope to increase our exposure, as well as financial gains, by being part of a larger investment pool. The ability of the Foundation to help our schools depends directly upon the generosity of its supporters. We hope you will help grow our endowment by making a lasting gift to enhance education in our community. Gifting possibilities include Life Insurance, Life Income gifts, Bequests, Cash, Stocks and Bonds and Real Estate.
WHAT DOES THE SHPSF DO TO ACHIEVE ITS GOALS?
The SHPSF seeks donations from community members through our Annual Appeal Letter once a year. In addition, we also have an email pledge drive that goes out to parents in all schools. Our recently revamped website gives those interested in supporting our schools the option of making an online donation.
HOW DOES SHPSF PROVIDE FUNDING ?
The SHPSF provides funding for innovative projects, programs, field trips, and materials through our Fall and Spring Grant Cycles. Previously funded grants have included author visits, science workshops, "being there" experiences (field trips), computers, books for district libraries, musical instruments, materials for Special Ed classrooms, and a variety of other much-needed enrichment materials. See our Grant Information page for a breakdown of innovative projects funded during the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to teacher requests, the SHPSF also provides funds for students to attend summer programs in the arts and academics, and for teachers to attend summer workshops in academic subject areas.
WHY IS SHPSF FUNDING CRUCIAL TO OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT?
It is no secret that funding for public schools is becoming more challenging with each passing year. Despite being a Basic Aid District, meaning the income generated by local property taxes exceeds the funding guaranteed by the State, our District still experienced reductions of nearly $1,000,000 during the 2013-2014 school year. These reductions, which have continued for several years, necessitated cutbacks in staff, materials, programs, and projects. In addition, unless the State’s income increases dramatically, the State will likely reduce our funding by an additional $400,000. The SHPSF helps fill the funding gap between what the state provides the district and what it costs to provide a well-rounded, high-quality education for students in our public schools.
With the help of funding provided by the Parent Groups and SHPSF, the district has succeeded in minimizing the impact on curriculum and preserving its academic programs. The local community has also done its part to support our schools by passing two bond measures in the last couple years. The funds provided by these Bonds will provide: renovations to RLS Middle School; new facilities for the High School Agriculture Department as well as its Career and Technical programs; a significant upgrade for the Special Education classroom, including new equipment and materials; significant funding for technology both in infrastructure and in the classroom; a new facility to replace the condemned high school auditorium; a new pool; and new baseball fields and play areas.
It is apparent that SHPSF plays an integral part in preserving the academic excellence of the district. Without our funding, it would be extremely difficult to maintain the high standards and varied programs which the district administration, parents and students have valued for so long.
HOW IS SHPSF DIFFERENT FROM THE DISTRICT SCHOOLS' PARENT GROUPS?
The SHPSF is made up of volunteers from different segments of our community who have come together to achieve our stated mission: to assist motivated teachers and others working in our schools to continue having the means to implement their original ideas that enrich each and every classroom in our public schools. To help us do this, we actively seek donations from members of our community through our Annual Appeal Letter.
The Parent Groups at the district schools also raise substantial funds for our schools, through their annual auction, PIE, and other fundraising campaigns. The Parent Groups are made up of parents from each site, who work closely with administrators and teachers to fund a variety of different department and school-site needs based on administrator and teacher decisions about priorities. Each of the Parent Groups in the St. Helena Unified School District does things a little differently, but the goal of each of them is the goal we all share – ensuring academic success for our St. Helena Public School children.
WHY DO WE NEED ALL THESE GROUPS?
The SHPSF and the campus-specific Parent Groups work hard to provide a quality K-12 education for all children. SHPSF Board Members attend PG meetings at each school to provide input and maintain good communication about funding goals.
The SHPSF’s focus is district-wide, providing funding for teacher ideas for classroom projects and materials that enrich the existing curriculum across the four school sites in the district.
Each Parent Group’s focus is to raise and spend funds each year on items specific to the campus it represents, and often provides block funding to school departments. Both the SHPSF, through its Swanson Grant, and the PG pay for many library books for our four district libraries. Therefore, despite their different roles, both the SHPSF and the Parent Groups work together to fund critical programs our schools wouldn’t otherwise have.
IS THE FOUNDATION TAX EXEMPT?
The St. Helena Public Schools Foundation is a California non-profit, public benefit, corporation. It is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Federal Tax ID number for the foundation (EIN) is 94-2891817/California Charitable Organization number is 1138130. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
When you give, we give.
The board of the St. Helena Public Schools Foundation recognizes that children thrive in an educational environment that promotes engaged learning and provides diverse opportunities to develop skills for self-expression and for navigating the 21st century world. We believe that vibrant educational programs are a vital part of each child’s educational experience.
Our VISION is to provide the funds necessary for a complete education, enhancing the core curriculum in supporting programs in art, music, literature, science, math, language, and history.