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Covid-19, Fundraising & Transparency

One key reason the OIS Parents’ Club helped create ONE (the new organization that combines both Parents’ Club and EFO) is to increase transparency and reduce confusion about how our school is funded. But we created ONE in a pre-COVID-19 world where school budgets, expenses and attendance were more certain. Then the world changed.

Nothing is certain in 2020-2021. How our students learn and attend school might change from quarter to quarter, season to season, or even month to month. More than ever before, as parents, as students and as a community, we have to be flexible and nimble so that we can respond and adapt to meet the needs of a world that may quickly change.

Realistically, that is the world we live in now. So here’s the bottom line:

First, it may cost a lot more to go to school safely this year. To operate safely and serve our students best, OIS may need more money than it would cost to run our school in a “normal” year, and OUSD may not have the financial resources to both keep our students safe and fund the level of excellence we want for our students. To be prepared, we need to aim for a fundraising goal beyond our approved budget.

At the same time, we know that some of our OIS families have been, or will be, financially impacted by COVID-19 or the response to it. And we will support you.

All of this means, more than ever before, that we need every OIS family who can afford to donate to contribute at least the per-student need for each of their students. We also need every donation that can be matched by an employer to be matched. And we need and appreciate our most generous donors more than ever before - if you can afford to donate more than the per-student need amount this year, please, please do.

On the other hand, it could actually cost less to fund the school this year. If, unfortunately, students are unable to be at school full time, that will have impacts. For example, there could be fewer field trips, fewer school events and a reduced need for science lab supplies. So it is possible that we could succeed in fundraising this year and end up with a surplus.

But we will not know until the end of the 2020-2021 school year whether our costs will be lower or higher. So we must raise at least $926,000 this year.

That is our commitment to OIS. Our commitments to you are: We will do everything we can to raise that money. If the costs go up, we will tell you. If costs go down, we will make sure that any extra money we raise this year is first applied toward reducing our budget need for next year. And we will work all year to be transparent and clear in our communications with you about the budget and our fundraising progress.