POLARIS EDUCTATIONAL FOUNDATION (PEF)
Who are we?
Polaris Educational Foundation (PEF) is the parent teacher organization representing Polaris Charter School. Polaris is a free public charter school located on the west side of Manchester, NH serving students in grades 1-6.
Under the current NH law, student aid for public charter schools is $5,561.21 for grade 1-12 students. This annual amount is less than 50% when compared to what other public (non-charter) schools in our district receive.
PEF is very active and works closely and collaboratively with the Board of Trustees and several school based committees to ensure current and future students are receiving the best possible education that aligns with the customized, project-based curriculum.
Polaris and PEF together serve and support ~ 75 families and 107 students. PEF actively supports Polaris throughout the year to raise additional monies required to run the school. As an example, the following programs/events have been successful in closing this financial gap:
- Annual read-a-thon fundraiser
- Annual dinner/dancing event with silent auction fundraiser
- Annual “Pennies for Polaris” classroom fundraiser
- Annual “100 Envelopes” fundraiser
- Donation jars at free school events
- Gift card SCRIP program
- “Stars of Polaris” – automatic monthly contributions from families/friends of Polaris
2016-2017 school year Enrichment Programs
After School Enrichment – Facilitated fourteen (14) after school clubs or enrichments to reach a wide variety of students including Pokémon Club, Art Programs, Lego Creations, Destination Imagination, Yoga and Dance Programs to mention a few.
These after school clubs or enrichments are paid for by student families with scholarship opportunities available for those in need supported by PEF.
In School Enrichment – Enhance the classroom experiences with real world, hands on interactions by providing special resources to the classroom and/or to the school population at large. Enrichments are intended to broaden the scope of learning and engage children in ways that reach beyond the daily classroom routines. In School Enrichment might include unique & interesting visitors from our surrounding community, enhancement of short term projects with extraordinary materials and additional resources to support teacher led projects.
Projects, visitors and facilitators associated with the In School Enrichment mission support the current curriculum and educational opportunities by enhancing daily activities/learning with a diversion of sorts from the daily school routine. While there is no set time restrictions on how long an In-School enrichment program will last, enrichments are not intended to be long term capital expenditures or school supply drives.
Other ways PEF is helping
We are happy to report this past school year PEF helped to facilitate a visiting author, an end of the year field day for students located in a safe off site location and an expert in Rube Goldberg Machines. PEF is also pleased to share that although this program is just getting started, families of Polaris students in 2016-2017 raised ~ $5,000 to support existing and new programs in 2017-2018. Thank you!
Extreme Makeover for Polaris teachers – 12 parents volunteered over 100+ hours of their time to secretly transform the teacher breakroom into a relaxing and inviting space where our teachers can refresh and relax. Many contributions from the Polaris community (including students) made this a most special day with lunch being provided on the big day.
SAFETY – PEF works hard with Polaris leadershp
This past school year ~ over $5,000 was donated by PEF to the school to install safety bollards around the school playground to ensure children are always safe from potential car crashes and vehicle mishaps.
PEF provided monies for bus transportation supporting two (2) field trips per class/per year.
Back to School Celebration – Please mark your calendar for August, 26th from 3-6PM at Polaris
Thanksgiving Pot Luck
Thanksgiving Basket Giving
Christmas Teacher Appreciation Gifts
Annual North Star Dance
All The Extras
There are many things the PEF does to support the school that really add up. The PEF works to arrange school volunteers, pays for sturdy communication folders for the classroom, the movie license for the school so teachers can legally show films in school, and many other behind the scenes things that keep the school moving forward.