The White Oak Elementary Parent Faculty Club (PFC) is the volunteer arm of White Oak Elementary School. Each family has a voice in the PFC's activities, and we welcome the input of all parents at our general meetings throughout the year. Our primary function is to raise funds for the enhanced education classes that White Oak Elementary offers to every student in grades Journeys/Kindergarten through 5th grade.
These classes include:
Fun, dynamic P.E. with Coach Ryan
Enriched Art with Ms. Stiles/Ms. Young
Creative Music with Mrs. Waldman
Attentive, thoughtful Library with Mrs. Westernoff
Additionally, the PFC provides the funds for the Reading Program, new computer supplies, classroom aides and support staff, classroom supplies, assemblies, disaster safety kits, instructional materials, and many other expenses that contribute to the success of our school.
The School Site Council (SSC) By Laws state that, "The council shall be constituted to ensure parity and shall have five members who are the principal, classroom teachers, and other school personnel, and shall have five members who are parents or other community members selected by parents."
The major responsibility of our SSC is to facilitate the adoption, implementation, and revision of our Single Plan for Student achievement and the use of non-PFC funds. The SSC also works very closely with the PFC president(s). The PFC president(s) acts as a liaison attending the SSC meetings to help ensure that there are shared goals and that both groups move in a similar direction.
Each year the executive board of the PFC prepares an annual budget. This year, we expect to raise and spend $206,500. The major expenses are:
Landscaping & Beautification
Art Program Support
Salaries comprise 79% of this budget. This is why we often sum up our fundraising efforts with a statement such as "Your dollars are directly supporting P.E., Music, Art and Extended Library Hours." We provide P.E. three times per week for grades 1-5, one time for Journeys/Kindergarten. For Music, Art, and Extended Library we provide this one time per week for all grades.
To cover our costs, we need a contribution of $425 per student.
Any donation amount is appreciated - really! And we understand that $425 is a lot of money, although when you break down the $425/student into monthly payments, it's approximately $36/month for 12 months. Hopefully, thinking about the payments in those terms seems a little more manageable.
We truly are very happy to have you contribute to our Cubs in any amount. And we have set up a process to make contributions online with a credit card - either one time or in installments. It's easy and convenient. The link is on the home page at www.whiteoakelementary.org. For monthly payments, just select "recurring payment."
ABSOLUTELY! The time you give makes a huge difference in your child's education. Our teachers and staff constantly look to parent volunteers to keep White Oak running smoothly. They recognize that our volunteer efforts make White Oak one of the top schools in the state. In fact, when filing for California state awards, the parent volunteers were cited as one of White Oak's secrets to success.
However, the PFC budget remains the same no matter how many volunteer hours we all log. It's the fundraising efforts that pay for the programs that enrich our children's education.
No problem! Come to a meeting and get involved. We welcome parent input and are always looking for fresh ideas. You can send an email to the presidents or another board member, come to a meeting, drop a note in the office, or meet with Dr. Irshay. We never want parents to feel like their voices can't be heard. Again, please join us and get involved!
It's completely understandable that parents want to get something for their money. There are many fundraising programs like this that contribute to White Oak's bottom line, such as gift wrap, clothing, the auction fundraiser, Scrip, eScrip, and even buying books through Scholastic Book Clubs or going out to dinner on our family dinner nights. Keep in mind, though, that White Oak receives only a portion of the money you're paying. For example, we receive 50% of the profits raised through our gift wrap fundraiser. Compare this to the fact that a full 98% of the funds raised through Cub Contributions are applied directly to the PFC budget, making it our most profitable fundraising program.
In the end, all the money adds up - so whichever fundraisers you support we thank you. You're fantastic!
Other schools in the area ask for less money per student, but their students attend fewer enrichment classes each week and often rely on parent volunteers to support their programs. Westlake Elementary in particular advertises the cost of their school's fundraising program in comparison to White Oak's. But what they don't tell their parents is that our children enjoy PE taught by specialist three times a week, a professional art specialist that the students work with every week, and a professional music specialist that the students see once a week. Westlake Elementary students have art taught by parent volunteers with a program overseen by a specialist and PE only two times a week.
Many families move to Westlake Village because White Oak is a highly respected school that continually dominates the API scores for schools in the area. In fact, the 2009-2010 scores are the highest we've ever seen - 961! This puts us in the top 1-2% of all schools in California as well as number one in the district and all neighboring districts. The best protection for your housing investment is to keep White Oak at the top of these API scores.
The Las Virgenes School District does not have funding to pay for these programs; it cannot be part of their budget. This enhanced education has always been parent-funded and has not been included in the school district's budget. California schools, including the ones in the Las Virgenes School District are in a dire budget crisis, which is why teachers have opted for furlough days to help balance the school district's budget and maintain average class sizes of 22 students in the primary grades.
Additionally, it is important to know that the money we raise for White Oak is not used to pay the district or the school administration. Withholding funds as a "punishment" for a bad experience or other issue does not punish anyone except the programs our children enjoy.
White Oak consistently ranks as one of the best elementary schools in the area, very often with the top API scores out of all the nearby schools. In recognition of this extraordinary school community's efforts White Oak has received the California Distinguished School Award and the National Blue Ribbon Award.
For the 2009-2010 school year, White Oak achieved an API score of 961, ranking our school in the top 2% in the state of California. We believe that it's the combined environment of top academics, caring, dedicated teachers and staff, plus our enriched education with fantastic specialists that gives our students a well-rounded education as evidenced by our outstanding test scores.
Research supports that art and music programs in education develop a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond. Additionally, students will nurture important values, including team-building skills; respecting alternative viewpoints; and appreciating and being aware of different cultures and traditions.
Numerous published studies analyzing data from approximately 58,000 students between 1967 and 2006 found that regular participation in physical activity is associated with improved academic performance. At White Oak, more than 30% of our graduating 5th graders said that PE was their favorite subject during their White Oak elementary experience.
Reading stimulates and develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills. Additionally, reading is the core requirement in order to succeed in all academics. Without strong reading skills, students struggle with all academics. Strong readers in the classroom keep up with the curriculum; weak readers need extra attention from the teacher and slow the class down as a whole. White Oak's Reading Academy offers additional reading support to students to help them stay on track with the rest of the class.
If the PFC doesn't raise enough money to fund our specialist programs, the PFC board must decide which programs to cut.
All elementary teachers have received training and are qualified to teach music, art, and P.E. Like all of us, teachers have different strengths and preferences. When these enriching classes are taught by a specialist, students receive lessons from someone who has expertise and a passion for their subject area.
While the teachers and staff of White Oak value the parent volunteers, it's difficult to ask a parent volunteer to commit the amount of time needed to manage and teach 20 different classes each week. Life often gets in the way, and for a parent volunteer, their everyday duties would have to come first. Our teachers, staff, specialists and PFC members always welcome more helping hands, so if you have a passion for volunteering in some capacity, please make yourself known!
Forms and brochures are available in the school office. Here is a reminder of your options:
1) CHECK - Mail or drop off a check to the school to the attention of the PFC. Be sure we have your name, child's name, and contact information.
2) CREDIT CARD - On the school website homepage, click on the "Just Give" box located toward the bottom of the right-hand column. This will bring you to a secure, non-profit site that helps collect funds for charities. Create an account for your family and enter your donation amount. It's easy!
3) MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS - On the school website homepage, click on the "Just Give" box located toward the bottom of the right-hand column. This will bring you to a secure, non-profit site that helps collect funds for charities. Create an account for your family, enter your donation amount, and click "recurring donation." Just $36 per student per month will do the trick! (Please note that after 12 months, you will need to log into your Just Give account and turn off the monthly charges if you so desire at that time. Otherwise, let it continue and you're all set for next year!)
You may also contact Tami Miller or Janice Liner or any other board member via email or phone to provide your credit card information/instructions, ask questions, or discuss other options.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SUPPORTING OUR WONDERFUL SCHOOL!
We definitely accept employer match programs. And yes, your family will get credit for any monies that your employer donates. Please contact one of the Cub Contribution Volunteers - Janice Liner and Tami Miller - with the information about your matching program.
The former name of this fundraising program Direct Donation seemed unfriendly, and we wanted a name that parents associated with helping their children. All of our White Oak Lions will be cubs in our hearts no matter how big they get.
Who sees the details of the contributions? For the most part, only the Cub Contribution Volunteers - Janice Liner and Tami Miller - see the contribution forms and website donations. However, checks and credit card transactions (not done online) are turned in to the Accounts Receivables Treasurer - Svea Knabe - and she tracks donation amounts by family and also helps verify our totals. Beyond that, the only numbers revealed to the board and administration are monthly totals of contributions. Per the tiered recognition program (Paw Print display in MPR) families who give $425 or more per student will be recognized. If you don't want to be included or have questions about this incentive program, please let us know.
Is there a master list of who donated and how much of that is reviewed/held by the board or the school administration? A master list is compiled for our tracking purposes, but we do not share it with the PFC board or school administration. As noted above, only the Cub Contribution Volunteers - Janice Liner and Tami Miller - see the contribution forms and website donations. However, checks and credit card transactions (not done online) are turned in to the Accounts Receivables Treasurer - Svea Knabe - and she tracks donation amounts by family and also helps verify our totals. Beyond that, the only numbers revealed to the board and administration are monthly totals of contributions. Per the tiered recognition program (Paw Print display in MPR) families who give $425 or more per student will be recognized. If you don't want to be included or have questions about this incentive program, please let us know.
White Oak Elementary School, 31761 Village School Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361; P: 818-889-1450; F: 818-889-5904; Click to Contact Us!