Voluntary Donations and Contributions - from our T1, W3 newsletter, 2016

This year you will notice some changes in how we seek to cover the costs of providing the learning activities and experiences that our children enjoy. This is because rules around requests for fees and donations have been clarified and we want to ensure that we adhere to both the intent and letter of the law.

Parents, according to the Ministry of Education, cannot be required to pay for any compulsory aspect of the curriculum. We are all aware that, despite the ideal of a 'free education', this is not a reality. As a high decile school, Ridgway receives less government funding per pupil than many other school. This means that there is a real need to raise funds from our community through voluntary donations in order to offer the learning opportunities that the Board and community expect.

Compulsory curriculum related Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) and learning activities offered this year include swimming, Mathletics, small sticks hockey, golf, Art Splash and St John's First Aid. For us to provide the rich and varied curriculum that we do, we need parents to contribute to the cost. We greatly appreciate that in the past parents have been happy to pay a contribution to these curriculum related costs as you understand that without such voluntary contributions we would not be able to offer the activities.

The Board of Trustees also asks parents to make a Voluntary Donation towards the general costs of running the school. This donation helps to pay for the curriculum resources that students use on a daily basis such as, library books, art supplies and ICT equipment.

You will receive a notice this week outlining the compulsory curriculum activities that we will be providing to our students and you will see that the wording on this notice clearly states that any payment you make towards these compulsory curriculum activities is a voluntary donation. As you are making a donation you will be also be able to claim 33.3% of this amount back when you file a tax credit claim. www.ird.govt.nz/income-tax-individual/tax-credits/dch-taxcredits/.

Where an activity is not compulsory, and a parent chooses to allow their child to participate (knowing about the cost and agreeing to pay it) then the school charges for the activity as a "fee" There will be some EOTC options offered in 2016 that are not compulsory, and children who participate will be expected to pay the relevant fees before they participate. Examples of optional EOTC activities this year include the Mightly Maui Puppet Show, sports at ASB, Chess Club, Netball, and Miniball. When we are sending out information about such events, we will be careful to make it clear that participation is optional and that payment must be made prior to participation.

There are various payment methods available to you for making both voluntary donations and paying fees. Eftpos is available at the office but if you prefer to make payments online our bank account details are 03 0510 0741239 00.

Please speak with Raelene Sloper in our office if you need further information, assistance or advice.

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