The Peirce PTO annual operating budget is funded primarily by Peirce families through an Annual Appeal and the Mystery Dinner, in addition to a few other smaller, revenue-generating activities. The PTO budget contributes to the Peirce experience in the follow ways:
CREATIVE ARTS & SCIENCES (CAS) PROGRAMS
The majority of the PTO’s budget is dedicated to bringing high-quality, highly relevant, and carefully planned arts and sciences programming to Peirce students. Each year, all students in every grade experience 3 enrichment programs plus a concert series. CAS programs are hands-on, cross-curricular, and culturally diverse. Presenters engage students by getting them involved in exploring, analyzing, and creating. They spark students’ curiosity and expand students’ knowledge. The Peirce PTO CAS Co-Chairs and parent volunteers work closely with classroom teachers to identify relevant programs and coordinate visits. Examples of recent programs brought to Peirce include: Bubbles (Kindergarten), Explore the Ocean World (1st grade), illustrator visit from Ralph Masiello (2nd grade), Techsploration (3rd grade), Potato Hill Poetry workshop (4th grade), and The World of Owls (5th grade).
The reality is that, while the Newton Public Schools (NPS) allocates some funding for technology in schools, that funding is not sufficient to meet their own minimum recommended level of access to technology, especially in the elementary schools. Instead, the NPS relies on PTOs to bridge the gap, and even includes PTO funding as a line item in its technology budget. Our Operating Budget includes an allowance for technology funding to cover the purchase of new devices. The PTO works closely with the school to identify and project the technology needs for Peirce.
TEACHER & PRINCIPAL DIRECT SUPPORT
Consistent with other Newton Elementary PTOs, the Peirce PTO provides stipends to the Peirce Principal and staff to support the school and classrooms. Staff, for example, often use stipends to purchase supplies and materials as they prepare their classrooms for the start of a new school year. The Principal funds support team-building expenses, the purchasing of speciality supplies needed by specific programs or initiatives, etc.
The Peirce PTO also helps fund a variety of other programs and expenses to further enrich the students’ experience in the classroom and beyond including library books, Child Assault and Prevention Program (CAP), Peirce Extended Day Program (PEDP), Community Impact initiatives, and Understanding Our Differences.
The Peirce PTO funds and organizes a variety of events throughout the year to strengthen our community of caregivers and students. Examples include: Back-to-School Picnic, Multicultural Night, Book Fair, Family Dance, Mom’s Night Out, Dad’s Night Out, Walk, Ride or Bus to School Days, and Incoming Kindergarten & New Parent Welcome events. Some of our community-building offerings are net expenses to the PTO and do not raise money for the school. The Mystery Dinner, however, is considered a hybrid event in that it is both a community builder and fundraiser. We rely heavily on this event to raise significant funds for Peirce and to support our annual operating budget.
The Peirce PTO supports the teachers and staff to accomplish their goals and enrich our children’s elementary school experience. As such, the PTO helps to fund and organize the following: teacher and staff appreciation initiatives, NewtonSERVES (the annual grounds clean-up), Principal Coffees, Color Day, and 5th Grade Graduation.
A new addition to the Peirce PTO operating budget, the Community Fund is money set aside to support Peirce families in need of financial assistance. This fund can help pay a monthly bill, address temporary food insecurity, support participation in summer programs, purchase a Peirce t-shirt or item from the Book Fair for a student, etc. The PTO works very closely with the school team, including the Peirce Social Worker and Principal, to allocate these funds in support of members of our community while maintaining their privacy.
While powered exclusively by volunteers, the PTO is an independent nonprofit organization and requires a small operating budget for accounting software, the website, insurance, and the like.