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Foundation for Saline Area Schools – Looking to the Future

June 7, 2009

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend and present at the Foundation for Saline Area Schools retreat.  The session kicked off with Bill Lavery providing a history of the organization.  The Foundation started in the late 80’s in response to the increasing needs of the district to maintain a high quality education for all students.  Some of their initial goals included development of teacher grants, establishing an endowment and training the community that financially supporting their district was a noble purpose.

Next, Michelle Lange from Silvertree Marketing shared the results of her study to establish benchmarks for K-12 Foundations. She  has determined what were “best practices” in education foundations.   Her study found that communication – frequent and using various methods – was the main key to success.  She noted that in the area of communication, a Foundation must be able to connect with their supporters and create awareness of their mission.  In addition, she noted the need to tap alumni for support and to focus funding efforts on high impact initiatives.
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Lisa Slawson, our board president, and I wrapped up the presentations with a discussion that centered around our efforts to establish Saline Area Schools as a leader in preparing our students for the 21st Century.  We discussed our limitations (mostly funding) and our strengths (students, staff and community).  It was exciting to get feedback from the members of the foundation on their impressions of how students learn today.

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The group discussed the impact that access to information has had on public education.  The above picture illustrates where many of our students are spending a great deal of time…. are they learning there too?  It was a lively discussion that ended with a shared understanding that there is a great deal of work ahead for the district and there are ways the foundation can support that work.

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We all agreed that our students deserve the best education possible.  With the Foundation for Saline Area Schools as a partner – I know we can meet that goal.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Deb permalink
    June 8, 2009 12:14 pm

    It was a great meeting! It is exciting to see how Foundations in Michigan are helping their schools. We got some real advise on how we can be more visible and helpful to our schools.
    For the past few years we have been working really hard to make a greater impact. We have strategies to just do that.
    I am excited about the real possibilities that we can accomplish together as the Saline community. We are currently working to update our website at http://www.foundationforsalineareaschools.org. We welcome any ideas, thoughts, input and questions you may have about the Foundation.
    Thank you,
    Deb Brow
    Foundation for Saline Area Schools

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