STARS Q&A

STARS

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

PROPOSALS

Can anyone submit a proposal? Teachers? Parents? Board Members? Community Members?

Yes to all, but make sure you check with any staff included in your project (such as the teachers of the grades you wish to participate in the project). Especially for field trip projects. You can connect to teachers through STARS Primary and Intermediate Teacher Representatives.

What projects or activities have been popular in the past? What has gone well? What are some lessons learned?

  • Successful Projects
  • Art projects, books and art materials, in class projects, visiting artists, author days, school plays, field trips, curriculum enhancements, Science Expo, visiting science show.
  • Lessons Learned
  • Fun, activity-based projects are the best and most engaging.
  • Calculate costs carefully so that actual expenses do not go over grant amount.
  • Be sure to coordinate with staff/teachers potentially impacted by your project and check school calendar (work with Mrs. Bartlette in the office).

Does every project have to have a ‘champion’ at the school as a proposal contact or to help facilitate the activity?

Yes, the open communication between the staff, parents and community is what makes the grants work so well. Contact the STARS Primary or Intermediate Teacher Representative to help you find your school champion.

I have an idea for an activity, but am not sure how to go about getting a proposal together. Who should I contact? How can I find other parents or teachers who may be willing to help?

Contact the STARS Board, and/or appropriate Teacher Representative. You can also contact your classroom teacher. All of these people can help you find someone to help you. More information is available on the STARS website at www.edmonds.wednet.edu/EE.

What approvals, if any do I need from the school before submitting a proposal? Who should I connect with?

Since there are so many avenues a STARS project may take, always consult one of your STARS Teacher Representatives, or the front office, if you have an idea for a project.

When can I submit a proposal? How do I submit one?

There is a fall (November) and Spring (May) grant cycle when the board awards a majority of the annual funding for projects. However, if you have a proposal you wish to submit outside of these times, you may submit the proposal to the STARS board at STARSedmonds@gmail.com.

To submit a proposal, download the proposal forms from the STARS website, complete, and e-mail to STARSedmonds@gmail.com in by the proposal deadline stated in the Request for Proposals (RFP) announcement. Please be sure to follow the additional guidelines noted in the RFP.

How much is the average proposal (cost per student)? How do I create a proposal budget? How do I know I have included all the costs associated with the project?

  • For the Fall, 2013 funding cycle:
  • Total proposal submitted = 40
  • Total proposals awarded or partially awarded = 32
  • Average proposal $$ total = $625
  • Average funding per student at EE in this cycle (all projects) = $66
  • Average cost per student per proposal = varies significantly depending on type of project

Proposal budget tips:

  • Research and itemize each cost, including tax and shipping
  •  Include transportation costs, if applicable
  • Check with office on any potential janitor or other facility costs
  • Consider ongoing maintenance costs, if applicable, and how they will be covered after the end of the project period
  • Include any cost sharing (where costs from the project will be covered by a source other than STARS such as families, donations from businesses, etc.)
  • Chaperone ticket costs are an allowable expense and can be included in the proposal budget
  • Consider the parameters of your project to help identify potential hidden costs
  • Send a draft of your proposal to STARS and the office to ask for feedback on your budget, and to help ensure you have considered all costs.
  • Sometimes you may need more materials or money as the situation may change. You can request from STARS additional funds to cover where you under-budgeted, but please be sure to do this in advance of the expenses being accrued to ensure that you will be covered.

How do I find out if school or district policies prohibit certain activities, or require prior approvals?

Run your project idea by the office manager and principal.

What types of activities or expenses are not allowed?

  • Classroom furniture
  • Classroom parties
  • Food and beverages
  • Tickets for non-chaperone parent participants on field trips
  • For additional restrictions, consult the STARS bylaws found on the STARS website.

What is taken into consideration when considering if a project should be funded or not? Is there a scoring card with different weighted categories?

Considerations include:

  • Does it fit the STARS mission?
  • How many students will be involved in the activity? What is the cost per student?
  • Amount of money available for funding in a particular cycle.
  • Are all grade levels being equally represented in the approved proposals?

STARS discusses each grant completely and independently. There is currently not a scoring card with weighted categories for proposals. Some proposals are partially-funded.

GRANTS & ACTIVITIES

How do I pay for costs once I get a grant? Can I get a cash advance of funds, or do I have to pay for expenses up front?

Costs are either paid up front and reimbursed by the STARS treasurer; paid for by a purchase order and reimbursed by the STARS treasurer; or paid up front by the STARS treasurer.

For questions related to which scenario would be appropriate for your project, speak with the office manager and she will help you.

Are there any requirements once I get an award that need to be followed?

  • REQUIRED: Keep receipts (be sure to enter your grant number on each receipt).
  • REQUIRED: Turn in receipts with reimbursement form to the STARS treasurer immediately after the grant has been completed.
  • REQUIRED: Only expenditures approved in your proposal budget are allowable. If additional expenses are required, or rebudgeting desired, please contact STARS.
  • DESIRED: Take photos (if you can) and send to STARSedmonds@gmail.com.
  • DESIRED: Have the students make a poster or write letters to STARS.

What if I need additional funds to support my activity or project?

Immediately contact STARS at STARSedmonds@gmail.com about your need for more money. The Board may need to vote on the increased costs depending on the amount and % increase.

How do I connect with other parent who may be interested in volunteering for my project?

Attending school events and PTA nights is a very productive way to network for your projects. Additionally, connecting with your classroom teacher, the office, or STAR Teacher Representatives provides more resources. The school directory is yet another helpful way to contact many Edmonds Elementary families.

CLASSROOM REPRESENTATIVES

What does a classroom representative do?

Classroom representatives help with classroom auction baskets, additional representatives help with the classroom auction art project. Representatives communicate with classroom parents to create the classroom’s auction basket.

How do people become classroom representatives?

Volunteer to your classroom teacher at the beginning of the school year.

How do classroom representatives connect with the families of their class?

Since teachers cannot give out parent e-mails, parent letters are the most direct form of communicating with families. Send your letter to your classroom teacher, and the teacher can disseminate to the parents in the class via e-mail.

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