Recently, many Rancho Santa Fe parents have joined together to request that a committee be formed to discuss bringing a PTO, or parent teacher organization, to R. Roger Rowe School in Rancho Santa Fe.
This PTO is not just about toy drives and bake sales, either. The parent group that has formed in favor of a PTO at R. Roger Rowe wants a platform to discuss and collaborate on school issues.
While the group does not have any specific issue(s) in mind that it wants to solve at the moment, the parents of Rancho Santa Fe do want to feel that their opinions and contributions are valued by the RSF School District.
At one point in time, R. Roger Rowe did have a PTO. However, in 2007, that organization merged with the Rancho Santa Fe Endowment Fund to form the RSF Education Foundation.
The reason for this merger was to encourage parents to donate money to the school district, as raising funds had become quite difficult.
The PTO used to fundraise for small amounts for things such as classroom supplies and salaries, while the Endowment asked for larger, long-term gifts to achieve objectives like keeping class sizes low.
Many RSF parents feel that their opportunity for input and engagement with the school district was lost in this merger, and they’re hoping to gain this back by reinstating a PTO.
Alexia Bregman, president of the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation, said that the concerns of the parent group are similar to the concerns her foundation has recently voiced, as well.
There have been plans to reorganize the structure of the Foundation to include five different capacities; the parent organization, an annual fund, finance, marketing and the endowment.
In the past, the Foundation required that a parent donate a minimum amount, or take over a Foundation leadership seat, in order to be a part of the Foundation.
This rule will now be revised to allow parents to participate in the Foundation as long as they have a child that goes to school in the Rancho Santa Fe School District.
RSF parents, however, do not feel that this is enough. They feel that as parents, they need a specific venue to come together, gain input and share experiences, as well as provide feedback to the school.
Bregman hopes that Rancho Santa Fe’s parents will give the Foundation a chance to change, and see how that turns out, before insisting on starting an organization of their own.
One of the reasons the PTO and Endowment merged in the first place was to speed up decision making, and there’s a fear that the decision making process will be slowed down again, if a PTO is reestablished.
Ultimately, the decision is up to the RSF Education Foundation’s Board, and what they feel will benefit their organization.