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Watch your funding: A recent update with the Foundation Board

Informational Data Infographic by Emily Hitchcock

On Dec. 4, the Redwood High School Foundation (RHSF) had its last meeting of the semester, where their efforts to allocate funding through their fall cycle and for the future were discussed. The RHSF is established as the primary funding organization for Redwood High School, where the donations gathered from families and the community “directly support programs, equipment, activities and supplies across the areas of Academics, Arts, Athletics and more,” as stated from the RHSF website.
Jennifer Sicklick is the president of the current Foundation Board. As a Redwood parent, she demonstrates the commitment she and her fellow members have to enhance the public school experience and their appreciation for donations supporting this effort.

“The same [appreciation] letter is sent out whether you donate 10 or 10,000 dollars,” Sicklick said. “Public education is free, but exceptional public schools are not. We have to participate and give if we want our public schools to stay at the level that we demand for our kids.”

The money that the RHSF raises directly enhances public education and provides opportunities. By supporting the various programs provided, they facilitate their primary goal of helping students and staff.

“We’re working with the administration, teachers and student leaders in every realm, whether it be [Student-Led Anti-Racism Movement (SLAM)], the [Associated Student Body (ASB)], Leadership, Drama or any of the students that have these big programs that need to be funded. We’re trying to make it more equitable,” Sicklick said.

The support of student initiatives extends to student-advisor-led clubs, which the RHSF is trying to make funding more equitable. Such intentions were seen at last Thursday’s president-advisor meeting, where they reviewed norms with the 50+ current clubs, including an annual budget report, which Sicklick commented on.

“We’re fully happy to support student clubs by way of aid, and they are our fiduciary responsibility. We hope they will come back to us and let us know how they use that money and for what club,” Sicklick said.

On grant allocations from the RHSF, Sara Ryba, the chair of the three members of the Grant Allocation Team, gave an allocation review of the fall semester and a briefing for spring and how they are committed to aptly allocate funds.

“The biggest change is that we will be pushing out our grant process from March to April. Most of the money that we give in the spring is actually for the following school year, so it allows everybody to really think through what the grant requests are going to be,” Ryba said.

With the understanding of just how committed the RHSF is to collecting money, it is also essential to recognize where that money has gone that may be overlooked.

“Something in the classroom has been funded by the Foundation, whether it’s equipment, furniture, teacher field trips, whatever they need, has a star. If you look at the stars on the campus, that will tell you what was something we funded,” Sicklick said.

Furthermore, Barnaby Payne, Redwood’s principal, discussed recent examples of where those stars would go.

“Just within the last day, I went on a field trip with our English Language Learning (ELL) program to the San Francisco Exploratorium, and the Foundation paid for 100 percent of that, which was an amazing adventure for 30 ELL kids at Redwood,” Payne said.

The recent allocations from the RHSF can be seen in new school supplies and events that make Redwood’s public education and experience notable.

“Last week, I observed a math class, and the teacher was using the geometry kits from the foundation,” Payne said. “On Thursday evening, I went to the Advanced Performance Workshop concert. Our students are just as talented or productive because the foundation has provided them with resources, [such as] equipment and arrangements with the visiting artists and guest artists that help all aspects of the program.”

The most explicit message from everything discussed in the meeting was equity and what the RHSF has done to increase opportunities and enhance the Redwood experience.

“It’s really neat what kids can do when they have time, coaching and access to resources. The sky’s the limit in terms of that equity when giving students an opportunity to do something special,” Payne said.

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About the Contributor
Emily Hitchcock, Web Designer
Emily Hitchcock is a junior and a first-year member of the Redwood Bark as the web designer. She enjoys running, spending time with her friends and listening to music.