Policy KCD: Gifts and Contributions to the Schools

The Committee is responsible for providing comparable educational opportunity for all students. The Committee will ordinarily accept gifts without condition or restriction, and subsequent use of the gifts will be at the sole discretion of the Committee or delegated to the Superintendent. Gifts should enhance and strengthen the ability of the schools to carry out their mission(s) and implement the curriculum and program objectives previously approved by the Committee. The Committee will be especially thoughtful about accepting gifts that result in recurring costs or "matching" provisions since these are situations that directly impact the annual school budget.

The Superintendent will recommend to the Committee the acceptance of all gifts after confirming that they are consistent with the goals and intentions of the district. Principals will recommend to the Superintendent the acceptance of gifts to their schools.

The following expectations apply:

  1. All gifts accepted by the Committee become the property of the district and are subject to the same controls and regulations that govern the use and disposal of other school-owned property.
  2. All gifts of services, equipment, and materials must meet the same standards of selection as those applied to the purchase of other school services, equipment, and materials.
  3. Gifts that would involve changes in school plants or sites will be subject to Committee approval.
  4. The Committee reserves the right to review proposed gifts (including money, services, securities, products, and other things of economic value) for appropriateness as to content and scale, and will decline gifts that it determines, in its sole discretion, would not suitably serve the best interests of the district.
  5. Any gift of cash, whether or not intended by the donor for a specific purpose, will be handled as a separate account and expended at the discretion of the Committee, as provided by law.
  6. All gifts to the district (including gifts to individual schools or classrooms) that have a fair market value in excess of $5,000 will be submitted in writing to the Committee for acceptance within one month of receipt.
  7. The Superintendent will maintain accurate records of all donations and report them quarterly to the Committee and in compliance with state law and regulation.
  8. Gifts from school support organizations must be reported by the school principal to the Superintendent for reporting to the Committee.
  9. Gifts and contributions invited and accepted through online sites (including but not limited to DonorsChoose.org) are the exclusive property of the Melrose Public Schools and are subject to the same disclosure, acceptance, and reporting requirements as all other gifts and contributions. Any requests are generic and will not overtly or otherwise identify individual students or a group of students.
  10. School principals and librarians may accept library books, without regard to the $5,000 threshold noted in (6.), that they deem educationally appropriate.  Principals and/or librarians will gratefully acknowledge receipt of those gifts from donors.
  11. No advertising or promotion may be involved in any gift to the district unless specifically approved by the Committee.
  12. The Superintendent will ensure that an appropriate expression of appreciation is extended to donors on a timely basis.

The Committee recognizes that any policy statement on this topic will not be comprehensive in its resolution of all questions and solutions. The Committee expects, from time to time, to render specific decisions, including policy exceptions, when it deems circumstances so warrant.

MSC first vote: 2/18/15
MSC second vote: 2/24/15