With donation, RSF Association becomes school district ‘Community Partner’

Rowe students and RSF Education Foundation volunteers at last year's Red Envelope Day fundraiser.
(Rob McKenzie)

The Rancho Santa Fe Association is a new gold level Community Partner sponsor of the Rancho Santa Fe School District. On Sept. 9, the board agreed to make a $5,000 contribution to the RSF Education Foundation to help them meet this year’s fundraising goal of $1.1 million, benefitting all students at R. Roger Rowe School.

During her donation request at the board meeting, RSF Education Foundation volunteer Kerri Hinds said she was surprised that the RSF Association had never been a Community Partner before. “I personally believe the school raises the values of the homes out here,” she said. “It is operated like a private school but it is a public school.”

Contributions to the foundation keep class sizes small at a 20:1 student-to-teacher ratio and provide for enrichment offerings and expert instruction in literacy, math, science, technology, physical education and the arts. The foundation also hosts events throughout the year such as newcomer pool parties, the Father Daughter Dance, Mother Son Event, the Creative Affair Art Auction and the upcoming Halloween Carnival.

In her comments, RSF Association Director Lorraine Kent noted that while the Association may have not contributed directly to the foundation in the past, they are a community partner of the school. She referenced the $134,000 sidewalk improvement project the Association completed last year on La Granada and Avenida de Acacias to help children get to school safely.

Kent said that while she supported the donation, she does have a responsibility to represent all members, including those who do not have kids in the school—she did hear a comment that member dues should not be used for donations when there are so many other needs in the community.

Director Scott Thurman said, whether or not residents have children in the school, people do move to Rancho Santa Fe for the school—in fact, many on the board said they did. “We talk about as a board being in favor of things that add value so I think the least we could do is be a gold sponsor,” said Thurman.

At the $5,000 level, Director Jeff Simmons agreed that the partnership with the school was a worthwhile one: “Why wouldn’t we want to be a partner of the community? The school is part of this community.”