By John Verduin, Ballard High School PTSA President
Looking for that last tax deduction as the year ends out?
Here’s a great one to consider: “Bridging the Gap” Ballard High School (BHS) PTSA’s fall Direct Appeal fund raiser. As you have undoubtedly seen, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) continues to face budget cuts as our state government faces lower revenues. This past year alone SPS has had to cut over $30 million from their budget. These cuts follow more than three consecutive years of budget cuts. BHS, like most schools, has adapted, becoming lean and efficient with our allocated funding. But being lean does come at an expense—BHS has had to cut nine staff positions over the last few years and BHS departments basically have no money set aside for materials.
Last year, through the Direct Appeal fund raiser, the BHS PTSA awarded $30,000 in 20 grants to teacher and staff. Money raised goes directly to supporting BHS teachers and staff. Here are a few examples illustrating how money has been spent in the past:
• Purchased microscopes, centrifuges, hot plates, electric scales, vacuum pumps, dissecting scopes, skeletons, fish tanks, complete an electric car (to list a few items) for the science programs
• Sent students to The Law and Society Mock Trial, a hands-on, real-world application of the legal education
• Purchased new sets of books for the photography class
• Purchased Formative Assessment Monitors (aka “clickers”) to assist teachers in assessing student knowledge during class
• Purchased additional chairs and uniforms for the music department
Our goal again this year is $30,000. Right now we are about $5,000 short of our goal. Please consider donating this year. Ballard High School has a lot to offer its students—we have the highest HSPE Reading scores in SPS; the Class of 2012 has 11 students who qualified as National Merit Scholars; our performing arts departments are becoming leaders in the field; our video production department is nationally recognized—to note just a few accomplishments. Your contributions can help us keep the momentum going. We begin awarding grants in January. To donate on line click here.