The board encourages parent participation in all aspects of student life in the district. Parents and others who wish to support school programs are encouraged to participate in the various school-supporting organizations, hereinafter “SSO(s)”, including, but not limited to, booster clubs and other parent organizations that play such an important role in supporting, encouraging and advancing school programs.
The following rules and regulations have been established by the board as basic guidelines for the establishment and operation of all SSO(s), that support the district.
1. The sole purpose of an SSO is to support a school and its programs. Accordingly, all SSOs must be approved by the superintendent. To operate as an independent SSO, the supported school or program must have a minimum of 50 students or student participants. Those individuals looking to form an SSO with fewer student participants must join an existing SSO.
2. A copy of each SSO’s: (1) bylaws, (2) annual approved budget, and (3) listing of officers and board members (with contact information) must be submitted to the appropriate principal or administrator before September 1 each year. It is recommended that each SSO include as part of their bylaws a written purpose statement with clearly defined objectives to be implemented by the SSO.
3. As required by board policy 506.07, all fund raisers, projects and activities to be conducted by an SSO must be planned in conjunction with, and have the prior written approval of the principal and the Executive Director of Business/Human Relations, evidenced by signature on a completed School Fund Raising Application (exhibit 506.07E1). SSOs must follow state law and all applicable district policies, including board policy 1005.10. All questions by SSO members concerning policies of the district should be directed to the principal or the superintendent.
4. The principal, or a designated representative, is strongly encouraged to attend all SSO meetings of the general membership and may attend other meetings at his/her discretion. The “school sponsor”, or his/her designated representative, will attend each organization meeting. The “school sponsor” is the person on the staff of the school who has been identified and named by the principal to work with an SSO in some capacity. The principal, the school sponsor and the SSO will work together to ensure that all meetings are scheduled at a mutually convenient date, site and time.
5. At least thirty days prior to the election, the SSO will announce to its general membership, the principal and sponsor, its election for officers. The school district strongly recommends that, at the time of his/her election, each officer of an SSO is a parent or guardian of a student currently enrolled in the school that the SSO supports.
6. SSO activities must not conflict with, or detract from, instructional time.
7. Each SSO will develop a written yearly budget, with input from the school sponsor and the principal. The SSO’s budget will be designed to support the program needs that cannot be met by the school.
8. Each SSO will obtain, at their own expense, an annual audit of their accounts by an independent auditing firm. At a minimum, the principal and the SSO members will receive from the SSO a written copy of the SSO’s quarterly financial reports. The superintendent may order, at any time, that the SSO’s financial records be audited, at the school district expense, by an independent accounting firm or accountant designated by the superintendent.
9. All organizations are required to join an organization who can provide the SSO with 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable status in accordance with IRS regulations, or become incorporated and attain their own 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable status. No SSO may use the federal employer identification number (EIN) of the district. The district recommends that prior to funds being collected at the start of the school year, all SSOs that handled funds in excess of $1,000.00 during the previous school year must ensure that its officers and employees are adequately bonded. Deficit financing and deferred payments are not allowed.
10. SSOs must ensure that they comply with all state and federal requirements for tax filings and accounting. SSO funds must never be commingled with student activity funds or other school or school district funds. All funds collected from an SSO fundraiser or otherwise obtained by the group must be deposited into the SSO’s bank account. Disbursement from the SSO’s bank account will be by check only and all disbursements will be properly documented, i.e., receipts, invoices, etc. Each check written by an SSO must contain two signatures of individuals who are authorized in the organization’s bylaws to act as a signatory for the SSO. SSOs may donate funds to a school or to the school district. When these funds are deposited in a school or school district account, the SSO relinquishes all control over these funds.
11. All gifts given to the school by an SSO must be accepted by the board (or the board of the district foundation, if the district prefers), at the superintendent’s recommendation, with a signed statement, a copy of which shall be given to the SSO, indicating that the gift has become the property of the district (or the foundation), with the school becoming the custodian of the gift.
12. No member of the school or school district’s faculty, administration or staff may appear on a signature card for any such SSO bank account or sign checks for the SSO. Any financial obligation incurred by such an SSO shall be solely that of the SSO.
13. The superintendent, at his/her sole discretion, may publicly disassociate the school and district from any SSO that does not follow these guidelines, including, but not limited to, those that exhibit serious financial irregularities. Furthermore, the Board of Education, or their designee, may refuse to accept any contributions from any disassociated SSO unless such contributions are given as part of the dissolution of assets in accordance with the bylaws of the organization and the laws of the State of Nebraska.
Cross Reference: 506.07 Fund Raising Activities
506.07E1 School Fund Raising Application
1005.10 Distribution or Posting of Materials
Policy COLUMBUS PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Adopted: 09-17-12 Columbus, Nebraska