What is FMPS?
Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools (FMPS) is an independent, community-based fundraising group that raises money to enhance the quality of education in all Marblehead public schools, including Marblehead Charter Community Public School, in grades K-12. This year, we are proudly celebrating our 25th anniversary.
Why does Marblehead need FMPS?
Our schools’ operating budget is level funded, meaning that to cover basic salary increases for inflation, there is a squeeze on everything else. It’s important to realize that money raised by FMPS does not reduce or otherwise impact the town’s responsibility to support its public schools: FMPS funds do not go toward salaries or core educational materials. Instead, the money FMPS raises is used to enhance existing school programs, and fund new programs and activities.
How is FMPS different from the PTO?
FMPS is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and we run separately from any of the PTOs. We have a working Board of about 25 parents and professionals, several of whom are current or former school employees. While there are some areas of overlap in terms of the types of grants we may fund, in general FMPS grants are broader in scope, more long term, and often more innovative in nature. School PTOs tend to fund more immediate needs for schools, so it’s important to support both FMPS and your school’s PTO.
How does the FMPS funding process work?
FMPS supports the Marblehead public schools by funding grants. Every year, FMPS invites teachers, parents, and community members to submit grant requests for activities and equipment that will directly enrich the educational experience of Marblehead public school students.
What is the FMPS grant process?
The grant process starts with teachers, parents and community members who come up with a great idea. After doing some research and getting the approval of the building principal, they complete and submit the FMPS online grant application for consideration.
This year’s grant submission deadline is Friday, February 24, 2017. The FMPS Board of Directors vote in April on which grants will be funded, and the approved grants are implemented in the following school year. FMPS gives priority to grants that will impact the most students, as well as grants that pilot promising new programs. Please visit our website to read about the grants we’ve funded.
Where does FMPS get the money to fund these great grants?
FMPS has two major fundraising efforts. Our fall Friends Drive is a town-wide direct mail campaign. Our Summer Soiree is held each June at a generous local family’s home. For the Summer Soiree, we engage both business and family sponsors, as well as sell tickets for a fun celebratory evening.
I’m interested! How do I get involved?
There are lots of options! FMPS is completely supported by individual and business donations, so we welcome and appreciate your contributions to our Fall Drive and our Summer Soiree.
Another way to support FMPS is to help a teacher write a grant for your school, or write a grant yourself! Every school has a Friends Representative who you will see at some PTO meetings and who communicates with your principal and teachers. Also, please feel free to reach out to us if you’re interested in joining the board.