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Finding money to support our school

Naomi Asrir, Staff Writer

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With over 30 elective options, Carlmont High School does not lack class variety.

Each spring, students of the Sequoia Union High School District meet with their appointed guidance counselors to discuss available classes for the coming year. Performing arts and career technical education courses are among the choices, yet most students do not consider that funding is necessary to pay for them.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, America’s recession and a slow economic recovery have led to declining state revenue and a reduction in California’s funding of schools. The state does not supply a budget big enough to support roughly 2200 students with seven classes.

Ralph Crame, Carlmont’s instructional vice principal, said, “We are funded to provide six classes to all students so they can meet the UC A-G college requirements. Extra funding is needed when students want to take seven classes during the day.”

Public schools within the Sequoia Union High School District have established organizations that help fund teachers and classes on their individual campuses, yet a community foundation has not been formed.

“Each of the schools in our district have foundations that receive money from various families to help enhance programs at their specific site. The district itself does not have a foundation, but each school does,” said Sue Denney, mother and vice president of campus and community outreach for the Carlmont Academic Foundation (CAF).

CAF is the only fundraising organization that supports academic needs at Carlmont, similar to Belmont’s School-Force and the San Carlos Education Foundation.

“The Carlmont Academic Foundation has set a goal of raising funds to pay for 13 additional sections for next year. Approximately 220 students were able to take a seventh class this year thanks to the seven sections they funded,” said Principal Lisa Gleaton.

CAF contributes to the maintenance of Carlmont’s classes and teachers.

Denney said, “We supply teachers with classroom supplies and help directly fund between seven and 13 additional class sections. We do this so the student to teacher ratio is as small as possible. It also gives more flexibility to the overall schedule, allowing the administration to offer students more options for course variety and AP classes.”

With events such as the annual Dash for Dollars race, CAF raises the money needed to fund elective classes in the following year. The members of CAF try to make this large scale event as family-friendly as possible with fun activities, tasty food and great music.

“Our goal is to raise between $10,000 and $15,000 [with Dash for Dollars]. All of the money goes directly toward the Carlmont Academic Foundation,” said Denney.

CAF President April Carlson said, “Last year, CAF raised approximately $340,000. This year, we are aiming for $500,000.”

Carlmont students have also gotten involved with the foundation.

“I joined CAF so that I could be a contributing part in raising money for Carlmont students and allowing them to have a rich variety of classes to choose from,” said sophomore Sage Shamsai. “I enjoy benefiting the Carlmont community.”

As Carlmont’s population continues to rise, the foundation will likely grow to support its expanding financial needs.

Denney said, “As the population increases, we hope more families will consider giving money to support our school. Although Carlmont is public, many of the outstanding programs are funded by donations from families and the community. We cannot have a strong quality public school without the financial support that we get through CAF.”

Families that regularly donate to the foundation support Carlmont’s staff and its class sections.

Shamsai said, “My family has donated in the past and will continue to donate in the years to come.”

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Finding money to support our school