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Please help us complete Project Impact and have a Smart Board in every classroom for the fall of 2018






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The Rumson School District is ranked as one of the top schools in New Jersey and our students are thriving. However, the educational experience of our students is limited because our teachers are not equipped with the added instructional benefits of Smart Board technology that other local and regional school students have enjoyed for a decade or more. Smart Board technology enhances learning and teaching experiences by providing innovation in learning modality for students. With Smart Boards, visual, auditory, and tactile learners are all engaged by the delivery of information through this technology. In real-time, teachers can rapidly assess every student’s progress and lesson comprehension with Smart Board technology, allowing for immediate feedback and lesson adjustment.

The Rumson Public School District’s outstanding academic reputation has been the driving factor in private school families choosing to transfer their children to Forrestdale or Deane Porter. New families moving to Rumson are also making this choice. But we have a unique problem - a successful, growing school system combined with the lack of State funding to support the needs of our students. How did our District deal with a lack of State funding all of these years? In the past, one source of revenue that helped to offset our school budget gaps was the ability to accept a substantial number of tuition students from outside of Rumson. Today, because of our increased enrollment, the District has stopped accepting tuition students for most grades, cutting off a vital revenue source for the schools to the tune of $120,000+ per year. Our District’s budget is further strained by the enrollment increase because funds that would normally be set aside to purchase technology like Smart Boards must be reallocated to pay for new teachers to accommodate the increased enrollment. There are some grades where two additional classrooms in the last two years had to be created and staffed because of increased enrollment. Dr. Bormann and our Board of Education have made teacher hiring their top priority to keep class sizes in check and to ensure our children are receiving the highest level of instruction from top-notch educators. This is why the Rumson Education Foundation’s mission of funding grants to our schools is so critical and why WE need YOUR support.

Dr. Bormann has expressed “enough is enough” – it is time for us to catch up and to put technology in our classrooms that most other schools in New Jersey already have, including our neighboring peer districts of Little Silver, Fair Haven, West Long Branch, Middletown, and Shrewsbury. We stand alone as a district without Smart Board technology. If we want Deane Porter and Forrestdale to continue their upward trajectory of excellence in preparing our kids for higher education, we need to put Smart Board technology in every classroom.

The REF proudly funded the $498,000 Chromebook Project in 2013-2014 to bring a one to one student to Chromebook learning environment to every student in grades 2 through 8 (The lower grades received tablets, as was needed to support their academic growth). A Smart Board in every classroom will link students and teachers through true interconnectivity by syncing every Chromebook and tablet to each other and the Smart Board through the proprietary SMART amp software. SMART amp is specifically designed for use on Chromebooks. This software connects students and their devices to a unified workspace. SMART amp brings the whole class, groups of students or individuals together in a shared space to work on projects, add multimedia content and contribute in real time. This is all done using student devices, and while tracking contributions from each student, teachers are better equipped to develop lesson plans that meet their students needs. Students will have access anytime anywhere to their teachers’ lessons, so your student can learn anytime anywhere. Teachers can quickly and easily access the student’s progress and learning to ensure that new lessons and information are being accurately assimilated. Teachers can evaluate students throughout the day and receive immediate feedback, share SMART lab game-based learning activities, and formative assessments directly with students using Chromebooks.

The Smart Board’s brilliant 65-75 inch LED flat screen serves as the teaching hub, the nexus for every student to contribute and engage with their teacher and peers. The Smart Board maximizes the Google suite of learning that has benefited our students with the Chromebooks for the past several years. And the Smart Board brings learning to another level with its proprietary SMART Learning Suite. We all know our students learn best when the activities are fun. You will be seeing lots of monster, outer space, and underwater themed games being played. Just like more of our homes have wireless technology, our classrooms will be moving in that same direction with SMART’s iQ Technology. Students will be inspired, engaged, and motivated by this new technology in their classroom. Your student may be the next Steve Jobs.

About ten years ago, Rumson lost nearly $1 million dollars in state funding. Today, on annual average, we receive approximately $300,000 in state funding from the New Jersey Department of Education, making our school budget nearly 99% municipal tax-based. So, every year, our District is left to find a way to close the ever-increasing gap of this annually compounding deficit. This large decline in funding changed everything for the Rumson schools. The Rumson Board of Education can only receive an annual increase in their budget of 2%. Yes, you read that right! This minimal yearly increase barely covers the annual rising cost of medical benefits for our teachers.

The financial gap is made even bigger by the ongoing increase in our student body over the past few years, due in large part to the well-deserved excellent reputation of our schools. But, this increased enrollment has caused the Rumson School District to stop accepting tuition-based students who reside out of district and were a revenue source of $100,000+ annually. The District is struggling to meet the basic needs of the school, as well as to accommodate a growing admissions. The bottom line, even though our students would benefit from Smart Board technology, there is little room for a costly technology project in our budget. If the District was left to fund Smart Boards, it would be a multi-year effort with small increments of Smart Boards being purchased a school year at a time, with little opportunity for all but a few students to experience their benefit. Every student in our District deserves access to Smart Board technology. That is why REF is asking for your help to get a Smart Board in every classroom in Deane Porter and Forrestdale by this Fall. With your help, the REF can and will move mountains. We did it when we funded the one to one Chromebook Project, getting a Chromebook in every student’s hands, and we can do it again with the Smart Board project to get this indispensable technology into every classroom in our District.

While the REF funds individual grants for teachers and students on an annual basis, it only takes on large scale projects every few years. These large-scale project years are called PROJECT IMPACT, aptly named because your donor dollars supporting REF’s large-scale projects have had a MAJOR IMPACT on the education of countless students over the years, including the $250,000 Forrestdale Science Lab, the $498,000 Chromebook Project, and now the $370,000 Interactive Whiteboard Technology Project.

Can you imagine your child’s classroom experience without a Chromebook? Just ask your child about their Chromebook and you will get all the feedback you need - Chromebooks are essential technology to their daily learning experience. The 2013-2014 Chromebook Project was REF’s last Project Impact year where REF called upon our parent community to raise money so our students could have this essential piece of technology. Three years have passed and a Project Impact year was undeniable. When Dr. Bormann arrived at the Rumson School District, he was shocked the Rumson Public Schools did not have Smart Boards, while every neighboring school district and peer school district throughout the State did. In the 2017-2018 school year, REF embarked on our latest Project Impact: The Interactive Whiteboard Technology Project. REF kicked off the fundraising in high gear with our October 2017 “Film & Food Festival” at the Two River Theater in Red Bank. The event featured Deane Porter and Forrestdale student-made films centered around the theme “How do you make a positive impact on the world?” And boy, did our students answer with heartwarming and inspiring films, three of which were selected by The Garden State Film Festival to be a part of their event. REF’s “Film & Food Festival” raised $140,000 to put Project Impact into high motion. REF continued fundraising efforts with March’s “REF Fest” featuring a concert with Brian Kirk & The Jirks and May’s “Rumson Kitchen Tour.”

To date, we have raised over $250,000, but we need your help to completely fund this project by reaching our goal of $370,000 to install a Smart Board in every classroom in Deane Porter and Forrestdale. We need your help to get this technology into every classroom so every student can experience the immediate benefits.

The REF and the PTO have a shared common goal of supporting our schools through financial support that serve two distinct needs of the District. The REF solely focuses on granting tangibles - tools, technology, musical instruments, books, physical education equipment, a greenhouse, gardening kits, aquaponic gardens, teacher laptops, 21st Century classroom flexible seating, S.T.E.M. equipment, project based learning resources, and so much more, ALL OF WHICH benefit a multitude of students year after year. The PTO applies their fundraising dollars primarily to programs and activities, like assemblies, visiting authors, and more. When needed, they too, will fund items for the school that fall outside REF’s grant funding periods. The following example perfectly illustrates the REF/PTO synergy: The REF granted a state-of-the art potting kiln to the Forrestdale art teacher many years ago. To enhance the benefit of this REF grant, the PTO funded a professional potter to teach pottery and show the teachers and student how to use the kiln. This is the REF/PTO partnership at its best!

The other major difference and very reason why the REF was founded in 1995, is that the PTO can not hold an endowment fund year over year. They must spend down most of their fundraising before the end of the fiscal school year. The REF’s founders saw that this created a problem because there was no opportunity for multi-year fundraising that would support large-scale projects. So, when REF was formed in 1995, our charter was framed to permit REF to hold and grow an endowment fund that could reap the benefits of long-term fundraising efforts. This philanthropic model has been mirrored by public schools across the State and it was REF’s founding board members who were called upon by other school districts to help them launch their own education foundations.

Many corporations offer matching programs and these programs have helped fund similar projects in other school districts. REF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so your donation is always a tax-deductible event. What better way is there to utilize your company’s matching program than one that directly impacts your children’s education?


The SMART Board is the hub of today’s classroom.
The technology combines
teachers, and students in a
fully integrative and
collaborative classroom.

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The Rumson Education Foundation
PO Box 395
Rumson, NJ 07760

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