What is the difference between the PTAs, PTSAs, and the Issaquah Schools Foundation?
Many parents and community members seek to understand the differences between these different student support systems and why we need so many to provide, what appears to be, the same function. While it is true that each of these organizations provide student support, they are each have a separate focus, function, and area of focus.
Our Issaquah PTAs and PTSAs aim to increase family engagement and inclusivity in singular schools within the Issaquah School District. Some of the programs that these organizations provide include, but are not limited to, Art in the Schools, Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Outreach, ParentWiser, Reflections, Special Education, and Volunteers for Issaquah Schools (VIS). The PTAs and PTSAs also fund extra-curricular activities such as curriculum nights, family-school events, and other community engagement opportunities.
The Issaquah Schools Foundation is an 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization able to support district-wide opportunities that help bridge the gap between state and local funding, and what it really costs to provide each of the 20,000 students in all 26 schools with the highest possible quality education.
Through donation-funded programs, the Foundation ensures that all students, from those that are struggling to those who excel and every child in between, have the resources they need to navigate their unique path to success. The Foundation provides myriad programs, including those that fall under the umbrella of Academic Enrichment, Academic Support, Mental Health Support, Funding for Basic Student Needs, and Programs Providing Community Outreach.
There are also instances where the Foundation and PTAs/PTSAs objectives overlap, and they enter ventures together. However, these two organizations are governed differently with respect to how they raise and spend money. PTA, as a national organization, is bound by strict by-laws which dictate how fundraising is achieved and how funds are implemented into programs. The Foundation, on the other hand, can pursue as much fundraising as is necessary to achieve its goals. Funding decisions are guided by the Foundation Board, as representatives of parents, together with teacher and administrative input. Decisions can be made, or changed, as the Foundation sees fit.
Our Issaquah PTAs and PTSAs are wonderful, and our schools are enriched due to their efforts. Our Foundation will continue bridging the gap between what public education offers and what a competitive, 21st-century education ideally should be. Thank you for your ongoing support of both organizations!
Fueling Success for Every Student, Every School