Effective February 1, 2016
On November 20, 2015, the Q300 PTA established a Financial Aid Fund (“FAF”), for the purpose of providing financial assistance to Q300 students, when needed, in order for them to participate in class field trips, participate in other school-related activities which require fee payment (for example, school team competitions) or for the purchase of school-related materials and supplies required for class lessons. The FAF was established in the spirit of ‘inclusion’ – one of the core values of Q300. The initial FAF was established at $1,000 and will be re-assessed on an ongoing basis, and at a minimum during the annual budget process. The FAF is funded by the Q300 PTA Direct Appeal and other fundraising initiatives and is approved annually (via the budget process) by the general membership of the Q300 PTA.
Purpose of the Financial Aid Policy:
The purpose of this Financial Aid Policy is to document the procedures for the administration of the FAF. The FAF is intended to be objective and available to all students of Q300, on an ‘as needed’ basis. Confidentiality is to be maintained whenever possible. The FAF is available only for Q300 school activities and items, and is not available for after-school classes or programs.
Q300 students or parents/guardians of Q300 students may request financial assistance under the FAF directly with the students’ teacher, with the Q300 Social Worker, the Q300 Guidance Counselor, the Q300 Parent Coordinator or the Q300 Assistant Principal (collectively referred to as “Q300 Staff members”) or directly with the Q300 Principal. All requests should then be discussed with the Q300 Principal, who will determine eligibility and then bring approved requests to the attention of the PTA President on a confidential basis, meaning that no student, parent or family names will be disclosed. The Q300 Principal may authorize a trusted staff member to perform this function (review of application, authorization and request to the Q300 PTA) on his behalf, including (but not limited to) any of the Q300 Staff members.
Eligibility under the FAF will be determined on a strictly confidential basis. The Q300 Principal, or his authorized representative, will use their judgment and knowledge of the student’s personal and family situation to determine need for financial assistance for school-related items and activities.
Q300 students or parents/guardians may request financial assistance for the full cost of the field trip or activity, or may request partial assistance (for a portion of the cost only), depending on the need. Financial assistance may also be requested for payment of the field trip or activity upfront, with a pledge to repay the cost at a later time, or on an instalment basis. Students and parents requesting financial assistance must understand that the requests will be processed in the order they are received and there is no guarantee that the request will be fulfilled. The Q300 Principal, or his authorized representative, may also take into account how many FAF requests each student has received during the year, in order to more fairly distribute the available FAF funds across the school community in need.
Once a case for financial aid has been determined, the information to be provided by the Principal, or his authorized representative, to the PTA President should include:
- Name or description of field trip, activity or school-related item
- Cost of field trip, activity or school-related item per student
- Number of students requiring financial aid to participate in the field trip or activity
- Total amount requested from the PTA from the Financial Aid Fund
- Payee information (that is, vendor name or the name of the individual who is requiring reimbursement – NOT the names of the students/parents seeking financial aid). Invoice or receipt documentation should also be provided for record-keeping purposes.
The PTA President will assess, in conjunction with the PTA Treasurer, the remaining budget for Financial Aid and determine whether the request can be fulfilled, based on availability of funds. The PTA President and PTA Treasurer may discuss the request with the PTA Board, if necessary, but this is not a requirement.
Subject to exceptional circumstances, payments under the FAF should generally not be made to individual students or parents of Q300 students who are applying for assistance under the FAF. Payments should be made via check to the vendor providing the field trip or excursion/activity/materials; or to a Q300 teacher or staff member as reimbursement if they paid the costs upfront, or in special circumstances, to an individual (which may include a student or parent of a Q300 student) who requires reimbursement for paying the costs of another student upfront. Once the request for financial assistance has been approved by the school administration and the Q300 President (on a confidential basis), a check request should be completed in accordance with the Q300 PTA’s Financial Policies and submitted to the Q300 Treasurer.
Teacher-Collected FAF Funds:
While not a requirement, teachers may choose to include a note on field trip permission slips (or any other correspondence requesting payments), to request families who can afford to do so, to contribute a few extra dollars to assist with paying for other families who may not be able to afford the field trip/activity/materials. This can be done at the teacher’s discretion based on their knowledge of the needs of the students in their class. The extra funds collected would be used by the teacher to pay for any students whose families have requested financial aid for the field trip/activity/materials in question. If excess funds are collected under this Teacher-Collected FAF Funds process that are not used for financial assistance immediately, these could be given to the Q300 PTA Treasurer to deposit into the Q300 PTA bank account, which would serve to increase the general FAF fund for use in the next FAF request.
 The intention of the FAF is not to provide funds for the main school supplies requested by teachers at the beginning of the year as these are not mandatory, but to provide funds where ad hoc supplies are needed during the course of the year in order for the students to participate fully in all lessons.