Is my contribution tax deductible?
Yes! The HSA is a registered 501c3 and 100% of your Bear Fund donation is tax deductible. You should receive a tax statement as part of your receipt of donation.
I have already bought supplies, why are you asking for more money? Isn’t this a public school?
We know, it’s a lot! However, Lafayette receives fewer DCPS funds per pupil than most schools in the city. We are a fortunate community, and most Lafayette parents choose to donate to give our kids a Peace Program, to ensure teachers do not have to self-fund any supplies, as well as other initiatives.
All those amounts suggested on the payment system seem really high. I can’t give that much.
That is totally ok! Just give what you can! Though the HSA spends $400 per student, many families generously give more than that knowing that every family’s budget is different. We also offer monthly installment plan for families who wish to spread their donation out over 10 months. And if you can only give a few dollars, that’s just fine. Some families give $25, some give $2500. The important thing is that you participate at whatever level works for you — we want 100% of families to give! If everyone gives what they can, all our kids benefit.
How does Lafayette’s fundraising compare to schools with similar profiles?
Lafayette actually raises less money per student than nearby schools with similar demographics. Part of the reason for this is our philosophy. Unlike nearby schools, we don’t believe in asking for a fixed amount per student. We are a public school and think everyone should feel welcomed here, and we welcome all donations. We want families at all budget levels to give what they can within their comfort level. That said, we ask that families who are able, to donate at the $1000+ level to benefit all our Lafayette cubs.
How do teachers benefit from my donations?
Nearly half of the HSA programming budget goes directly to teachers. The HSA reimburses teachers for classroom supplies they purchase and use throughout the year, provides professional development grants, and pays for credentialing courses and exams.
My main interest is to support additional teachers throughout the school. Does the Bear Fund help fund teachers?
Yes! The HSA covers much of Dr. B’s non-personnel spending as well as programs such as the Peace Program. By covering costs such as teacher supplies and supplemental programs, Dr. B can spend more of her DCPS budget directly on hiring teachers.
Where do Bear Fund donations go? Can I direct the use of my contribution?
This is an unusual year as we won’t have our other traditional fundraisers. The Bear Fund helps support supplemental programs, community support and teacher supplies among other things. We urge anyone who wants to get involved in developing the budget to come to a HSA board and general meetings. The HSA begins budget planning in December.
Will I be asked for more contributions throughout the school year?
The Bear Fund drive is the only time during the year when you will be asked to donate directly. While we have historically held additional fundraisers throughout the year, we are not sure we will be able to hold those events this year. As a result, we encourage you to donate what you can now to help ensure that the school and its activities are funded throughout the year.
Can I donate by check instead of credit card?
Due to school closure we are encouraging donations to be made online. Any donations by check should be made payable to the Lafayette HSA. All checks are to be mailed to Lafayette Home & School Association, c/o Lafayette Elementary School, 5701 Broad Branch Road, NW Washington, DC 20015.