What is the education foundation and what purpose does it serve in Estes Schools?
The Estes Park Education Foundation (EPEF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation that will work to inspire community investment through exemplary student learning experiences today to develop our citizens tomorrow. With the support of our community and a high quality education, all Estes Park school District R-3 students will graduate as thriving, successful, responsible citizens. (Mission and Vision Statements).
The Estes Park Education Foundation provides supplemental funds for innovative educational ideas, which otherwise may not be supported due to lack of state funding (Estes Park School District is currently ranked 108 out of 178 in Colorado for per-pupil funding) and/or other constraints for the district, including more flexibility in acquiring and dispensing funds. Funds raised by and for the Foundation enhance the school district revenues provided by taxpayers, state aid, and other public funding sources. Additionally, the EPEF generates community involvement and highlights the many accomplishments of the Estes Park School District and its students.
Why does the district see a need for this foundation to support its schools?
An education foundation compliments and supports the work already being done in a school district by bringing in the community stakeholders, educating them on what the district is doing, and drawing support in funding pursuits to allow for grants and scholarships to the students and programs in the district. The Foundation is intended to enhance and complement rather than replace funding for the Estes Park School District. The Foundation realizes that there is an intense gap in state funding for Colorado schools and looks to help fill that void.
How will the foundation further help the development of students?
The EPEF will look to community and financial support of the district’s mission, vision, beliefs, and values through the EPEF’s established education pillars (values):
- Experiential Learning Opportunities - to give students knowledge, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
- Innovations in Learning - to support new teaching ideas and strategies to strengthen learning
- Building Community - to promote a culture of seamless unity between the schools and the rest of the community to optimize learning
- Support of District Teachers and Staff - by providing supplemental assistance as well as appreciation for the work that they do for our students
- Student Support - to ensure that they have the resources needed to participate in public schooling and extra-curricular activities, as well as support for early childhood education and transitioning after graduation
- Wellness - as an integral part of learning and being successful in school and life, including physical activities, youth sports, and outdoor recreation
What will the relationship between the district and the foundation be?
The EPEF is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Board of Directors will work closely with the Foundation Liaison Director, Sheldon Rosenkrance, Superintendent of Schools. The current steering committee is recruiting board members now to help align what that big picture looks like.
What oversight is in place to determine how the foundation's funds are appropriated?
Alignment with and advancing the EPEF Mission and Vision shall be driving force for appropriating funding. Estes Park School District employees and students are eligible and encouraged to apply for grants and/or scholarships from EPEF. Requests should include integration through one of the education pillars or values as outlined in the EPEF bylaws. Overall, the students enrolled in the Estes Park School District exclusively benefit from EPEF grants, either indirectly or directly. Indirectly, the community at large will benefit from the improved educational experience of Estes Park School District students.
The EPEF has included a financial oversight policy and procedure in their policy manual on their website at: https://www.epeducationfoundation.org/policy-manual (page 46).