Since 1981, the Williamston Schools Foundation has worked to enrich and enhance the quality of the educational experience of the children of the Williamston Community Schools. The foundation advances this ideal by making private funds available to the Williamston School District for specific projects.
The foundation focuses its resources on programs which will significantly improve education in mathematics, languages, science, social science, reading and writing skills, computer science and the arts. The foundation provides resources to facilitate this goal through development of innovative programs and the acquisition of new materials. Projects are initiated by administrators and the professional staff during grant cycles and reviewed by the WSF Grant Committee.
We do not support programs that are non-academic in nature, have significant support through other public or private sources or which are part of the expected responsibility of the publicly funded educational system. Examples of the kinds of projects the foundation is willing to support are the testing of experimental programs and materials in the schools, especially those focusing on STEM education; providing access to new resources such as computer and library additions; funding special programs for uniquely talented students; expanding course offerings by accessing new technology; and studying alternative means of learning improvement.
A. You can support the foundation in many ways:
A. Broad categories of projects have received support from the foundation, including integrated arts, STEM, technology, elementary literacy, special needs reading, life skills tools, and blended learning, where different classrooms and disciplines come together to study a topic that touches the entire curriculum.
A. No, although the superintendent (or his/her designee) is a trustee. We are a separate 501(c)3 with its own governing board, financial structure and bylaws. Our partnership with the district is extremely valuable, however, so that we can maintain a mutually beneficial relationship that ultimately benefits the students.
A. Williamston currently has two millages in effect: (1) Recreation, which maintains the community pool and its operations, and (2) the Sinking Fund Millage passed in 2014, which funds roof repair and replacement, boiler and air exchange replacements, safety measures, and the purchase of maintenance equipment for all buildings. Neither millage may be used to support academic programs. The Williamston Schools Foundation helps ensure that funding exists to continue to supplement the unique, innovative academic programs that have become some of the hallmarks of the district’s excellence – programs that often aren’t able to be covered by the district’s general fund budget.
A. Boosters raise money for band or sports activities and scholarships. The PTSA often helps fund day-to-day needs, field trips and special events, among other things. WSF focuses on funding projects that provide high levels of innovative educational opportunities and academic excellence throughout our schools. The foundation also typically only funds projects that are not covered by the general fund budget.
A. A grant committee oversees the granting process. Teachers apply per established criteria, and the committee determines if the requested project is a fit with the foundation’s mission and budget. Close communication with the school district also helps WSF to know where needs are greatest.
A. We are run by a voluntary board of directors made up of administrators, teachers, parents and business representatives from the community. We also have a part-time foundation coordinator who handles day-to-day needs.
A. WSF receives no tax dollars as part of its revenues. We are a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. But with increasing demands for school support, coupled with steady decreases in state funding, revenue from taxes barely covers day-to-day operational costs. Unfortunately, we know this trend will continue and places an even greater burden on our schools. Whether a student’s imagination is sparked by a visit to the Detroit Institute of Arts, the planting of seeds to create a community garden, joining peers at a model United Nations summit, or learning life skills by using iPads to research recipes and grocery prices, we have the ability to make a difference. If we want to continue to provide innovative and diverse programming that has been the hallmark of WCS for current and future students, we must develop a consistent method of supporting educational initiatives.
The Williamston Schools Foundation began as a small non-profit organization of community members dedicated to the help, service and financial well-being of the Williamston Community Schools. The Williamston Schools Foundation is the oldest public school foundation in the state, established in late 1981.
Since our inception, the foundation has progressed toward the goal of being able to provide significant funds for the school to use based upon want and need. We feel the future of our age lies within the education of our youth and more emphasis must be placed on the quality of education if our culture is to survive and prosper. It is to this end all our efforts and work are dedicated.
The growth, improvement and continuation of a high-quality educational process is our aim and desire. Through the strength and leadership of our foundation, we expect to assist the Williamston School District for generations with funds and support created by our efforts. What began as an effort to build an auditorium for the high school has resulted in a successful non-profit dedicated to enriching and enhancing the education of the children of today and tomorrow. Learn more at our Grants History page.
The Williamston Schools Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors made up of administrators, teachers, parents and business representatives from the community, along with the help of Secretary & Foundation Coordinator Casey Bahle. The coordinator participates on all committees to assist committee members.
Norm Jolin Jr.
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Adam Spina
WCS Board of Education Representative
Dr. Steven Delp
Education Wins! Raffle Committee
Lasagna Dinner Committee
Pancakes With Santa