Why fundraising is so important at Oregon Trail Academy and where our money goes…
Fall is a very busy time and we are in the midst of the crazy fundraising season. As we move from one to the next, I thought it would be a good idea to give you all a little extra info about fundraising, the Parent Teacher Club and our school. I know this is long, please bear with me.
We all know that OTA is a special place. We love our small class sizes, community of families, amazing teachers and super staff, right? But there are other things that make us special too- being our districts only Charter School, our International Baccalaureate (IB) Accreditation and curriculum, and Mandarin instruction with teachers from China, just to name a few!
Did you know that since we are a Charter School, we fall into a special category with the Oregon Trail School District? We are a public school and we do receive money for students that are enrolled at OTA. But we have expenses unlike any other school in the district. For most schools in OTSD, their general expenses are covered (like building usage, monthly bills and even busses to and from school), but we have to pay for our own! The district also buys curriculum (math, language arts, etc.) for the other schools, but we have to purchase ours and it’s not cheap! The new math curriculum alone was around $1,500 per grade!
In addition to all of that, we are an International Baccalaureate Accredited school and to maintain that status costs us roughly $30,000+ yearly. Part of IB is learning a foreign language and that comes at a cost as well.
The money that we receive per student is not enough to cover these expenses. Therefore we rely heavily on fundraising to stay operational and cover our schools basic needs.
A typical school PTA has their own bank account and is in charge of where their money is spent. They raise funds for extra things like assemblies, field trips, t-shirts, bounce houses, etc. While all of that is fun, we currently don’t have that luxury. (Our only exception is our playground fund, which has been building slowly over the years with donations from the Auction paddle raise).
Our Parent Teacher Club works hard to reach our fundraising goal each year and the money we raise goes directly back into OTA. We don’t even have our own bank account! All money goes into the school account, which is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization. Our goal this year is $75,000! This cannot be reached without participation from all grades; from kindergarten through 12th grade (our first graduating DP class!). Your contributions are essential to reaching this amount.
We fundraise so that our school stays open and because Oregon Trail Academy is a great place to be!
OTA Parent Teacher Club President
- Harvest Festival
- October 20th- a fun family & community event. Purchase bracelets to play unlimited carnival games. Grab snacks at the concession stand. Sit, relax and get a chance to socialize with other OTA Families
- MooTown Plop Down
- A favorite OTA FUNdraiser! Kids sell tickets to a plot of land in a pasture. If your plot is where MooTown Mabel decides to “plop” you win the jackpot! Great prizes available for the students to win for ticket sales as well!
- Jingle & Mingle
- End of November. Our version of a Holiday Bazaar. Vendors with handmade and other goods come together for a shopping night. A percentage of sales from each vendor is donated to OTA. Booths are available, priority goes to handmade items and student booths. Contact us for more info!
- Mt Hood Roasters & Timberline Meats (both special fundraisers for the playground!)
- November/December. New this year! We have decided to add a couple fundraisers to go directly towards building up our playground fund! Students can sell coffee & meat and it will be delivered in time for Christmas. Our goal is to break ground next summer!
- Penny Wars
- March 11-15. Classes battle daily to see who can win the Penny War! Pennies and bills are positive points and silver coins go to opposing grades to subtract points! We introduced this last year and it immediately became a student favorite!
- Spring Auction
- April 6th. The annual Spring Auction is our biggest fundraiser of the year! Held at the beautiful Mt Hood Oregon Resort in Welches. Months of planning and seeking donations turns into an amazing event.
- Monthly dine-out nights
- Scheduled at different restaurants throughout our local area. Each one offers a different percentage of sales to be donated directly to OTA.
- Ongoing Fundraisers
- Spirit Wear- order through the office. OTA earns a small kickback with each sale.
- Fred Meyers Community Rewards- link your rewards card to Oregon Trail Academy. You still receive your rewards and everytime you shop OTA earns a donation.
- AmazonSmile- Link your Amazon Prime account to OTA through smile.amazon.com and a donation is earned each time you shop.