FAQ

General

What's the difference between Partners in Education (PIE), the PTSA and the Vashon Island Public Schools Foundation?
Partners in Education (PIE) has only one agenda – to leverage the efforts of committed teachers by funding materials and activities they identify as improving and enhancing the classroom experience. While the PTSA also donates funds to the schools for curriculum and PTSA events and programs, it also provides a forum for parents, students, teachers, and politicians to effect change within the school system. The Vashon Public Schools Foundation raises funds to spend on teacher salaries and avoiding cuts in classes, to make up for budget cuts in state funding. PIE has no political agenda, and does not affect staffing—instead it strictly focuses on grants to teachers, to be used in the school year that the funds are donated.
Who may submit grant proposals?
Anyone may submit a proposal but the grant must be for the benefit of Vashon public schools and have a teacher’s approval.
Where do I submit my grant proposal?
Grant proposals should be submitted in writing to your school office, our mailing address, or to one of our board members.
Why are grant proposals only evaluated in the fall?
Grants are typically evaluated only once a year in order to keep overhead low and to encourage proposals which have strategic impact over the entire school year. Additional grant sessions occur on an as-needed basis.
What percentage of donations are actually spent on grants?
Partners in Education has historically spent around 85%–90% of all donations on grants. The difference is used for PIE’s business licenses, tax preparation, postage, database software, website, PayPal and credit card fees and the annual phonathon. Vashon Partners in Education has no paid employees or board members. We are a 100% volunteer organization.
What's the endowment fund?
Donors may earmark their gifts for either the current year’s grants or to be placed in an endowment fund. Endowment fund monies are conservatively invested in socially responsible mutual funds. Endowment fund earnings are spent on grants at the discretion of the board of directors.

For Grant Recipients

How do I get my grant funds?
Complete a grant reimbursement form and mail it along with your receipts to:
Vashon PIE, PO Box 1645, Vashon, WA 98070
If you prefer, you can email the form and scanned receipts to: Treasurer@VashonPIE.org

Please be sure to fill out the form completely, including a complete address (not just the name of the school.) Don’t forget to indicate who the check should be made out to and include your receipts (or invoice if we are paying the vendor directly).

Where do I get the reimbursement form?
The grant reimbursement form is available on this website under the “Forms” section.
How long will take to get the funds?
Generally you will receive a check within 1 to 2 weeks of when you submit your request. Please remember, the PIE Treasurer is an unpaid volunteer position and sometimes the treasurer has to take care of his or her day job before having time to write checks. If you have not received a check or heard from a board member after several weeks, please let us know. If your reimbursement requires board approval, expect the process to be delayed by several weeks.
When do I have to submit my reimbursement request?
Grant reimbursement forms are due by January 31st.  (This is to help ensure grant monies go to work in the classroom as early in the year as possible.)  If there are delays that prevent you from submitting your form by the deadline, you need to contact the Treasurer prior to January 31st

An exception to the January 31st deadline is made for field trips, since the exact cost of transportation and admittance fees is often not known until the day of the trip.  In these cases, the reimbursement form is due ASAP following the trip.

In all cases, unless special arrangements have been made well in advance, all grants must be paid out prior to the last day of school.

What if my grant has several different parts to it that take place at different times?
It is OK to submit multiple grant reimbursement forms over time. Just be sure to indicate on the form that additional forms will be forthcoming.
Since PIE is non-profit, do I still have to pay sales tax on items I purchase?
Yes, sales tax is still required. Non-profit status only means PIE doesn’t pay taxes on the money it raises but the state still gets its share of the sales tax on items we pay for. If you are ordering online or from out of state, please be sure the proper WA state sales tax is added to the bill.
What if my grant goes over or under the amount requested?
PIE realizes that it is often hard to know the exact amount of shipping, etc. in advance.  Small variances (less than $25) are generally not a problem and the Treasurer is authorized to make these adjustments to grant funds. Larger variances (more than $25) require board approval, which will delay funding of your grant.
What if I want to change my grant after it has been approved?
Small, inconsequential changes (such as substituting one book for another or ordering from a different manufacturer because you found a better deal) are not a problem; just be sure to note the reason on your reimbursement form.

Large changes that affect the scope or content of the grant require board approval. It is not OK to make major changes to what you have requested without seeking board approval ahead of time.

What if I’m not going to be able to use my grant?
If something prevents you from using all or part of your grant, please let the Treasurer know ASAP. It may be possible for the funds from your grant to be redirected to another grant in the same year if we know early enough.
Is there anything else I need to do for my grant?
Don’t forget to submit your grant evaluation. The Grant Evaluation Form is available on this website under the “Forms” section—you can print out the form or take the evaluation survey online. The board appreciates hearing about what worked well (and what didn’t). PIE is also always looking for good photos, videos and quotes to use in our brochures and promotional presentations.