Most people know that there is an individual personal gift limit of $50, but there are also some limitations on class gifts for personal use. Gifts from the whole class for personal use (ie. a gift card to a restaurant, the movies, a spa) cannot total more than $150 for the entire year. However, there is no limit on how much a whole class can spend toward classroom materials. All families are invited to participate in a class gift, but it is certainly optional. The gift should be presented as from the whole class, not only the individual contributors.
As an example: A class may choose to give a $75 personal gift card to the teacher for the winter holidays, plus another amount toward a classroom supply gift card and/or items from the new Wish List (more on that below). They may then choose to do the same amounts at the end of the year: $75 as a class for a personal gift card, a gift card for classroom supplies, and an ACE Award. This set of gifts would fall within appropriate guidelines.
(the full description can be seen here)
If you are a room parent, please ship them to yourself so that you can present the gift to your teacher. All other purchases can be shipped to the Loring Wish List Collection address and the PTO will festively wrap and present the items!
The Loring Wish List is a project in its second year designed to enable teachers, specialists, and grade-level teams to list specific classroom requests that may be fulfilled through anonymous donations or classroom (group) gifts. This list gives us an additional way to support teachers/classroom needs while providing anonymity for the giver, keeping us in compliance with state and district policies around gifting. Although we are launching it around the holidays, our vision is that this becomes a year-round list that can be used at various points throughout the year. Although the wording is similar, this Wish List is designed to be in addition to (not instead of) the larger item “Wish List” requests some teachers/teams submit as large requests to the PTO at year-end.
ACE stands for Appreciation of Champions in Education. When an individual or classroom “purchases” an ACE Award, it honors a special teacher/educator while contributing to Sudbury Education Resource Fund, which gives out grants for innovation and enrichment activities throughout K-12 in Sudbury. ACE Awards are tax-deductible, the honored educator receives a certificate, and the principal receives a list of honorees. ACE Awards are not just for classroom teachers; they can be for specialists, administrative staff, the nurse, the custodian – anyone whose contributions to the school community you wish to recognize. ACE Awards do not count against the class gift or individual gift limits because they are a donation for educational enrichment. Donations can be in any amount, which makes it an easy add-on if you have an odd amount of classroom money collected. Teachers/principals do not know the amount donated (the average ACE Award donation is around $25, but any amount is welcome).
No! The Wish List is totally optional. Class gifts usually reflect a combination of a personal gift for the teacher and a gift for the classroom. The Wish List is one way for the “classroom” portion of the class gift to be spent. However, a class may choose instead to get a “classroom” gift of a gift card to a store such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., and let families individually (and anonymously) purchase specific classroom items from the Wish List.
Some teachers may have well-stocked classrooms from years of teaching or from utilizing their annual classroom allocation from the PTO. Teachers who don’t have individual lists (and teachers who do!) still have classroom needs that can be met easily by a store (ie. Target, Amazon, craft store) gift cards for books or materials, or iTunes gift card toward educational apps for their classroom technology. These kinds of gift cards are still welcome and appreciated as part of the “classroom materials” portion of a gift.
There are a few additional benefits to the Wish List. One is anonymity. A parent may now choose an item for their child’s classroom without the parent or teacher feeling like there was any kind of effort to unduly favor the giver. Another benefit of the Wish List is giving specialists, who don’t typically receive gifts for their classroom, a way to receive special items on top of their annual allocation from the PTO. The Wish List is not meant to replace traditional forms of giving to teachers; it is meant to supplement it, providing more options for parents and room parents and diversifying the ways we support our teachers and staff.
Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ and type in Loring Parent Teacher Organization (Sudbury) in the charity text box. Login to your Amazon account as usual (if you have a Prime membership, all benefits still apply), and then when you make a purchase Loring receives 0.5% of anything you buy (from the Wish List or for yourself!) This even works for online purchases of Amazon gift cards.
No, you don’t! Just make sure to select “Loring Wish List Collection” at checkout and any purchase through the Amazon wish list will ship the item to the PTO, who will deliver everything to teachers. All you need to do is select the item and make the purchase - the PTO will take care of the rest!
Thanks for all you do to show teachers support on special occasions and year-round! Please feel free to direct Room Parent questions to our PTO Room Parent Coordinator Shana Kaplan and any wish list questions questions to Jen Morrissey and Shana Kaplan.