Below are some of the most common questions people have about the DMSEF, ESC and our fundraising efforts. If you don’t see your question please contact us at (858) 523 6007, [email protected] or contact your school’s DMSEF representative.

What is the DMSEF?

The Del Mar Schools Education Foundation (DMSEF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose sole purpose is to raise money to pay for the Extended Study Curriculum (ESC) teachers’ salaries for the eight elementary schools in our district.

The ESC program provides focused, hands-on instruction (outside of the homeroom class) by credentialed teachers in the areas of Science, Music, Art, Technology, and Physical Education for the eight elementary schools in the Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD).

How much money should I contribute?

We are asking for an $800 tax-deductible contribution for each enrolled child in order to reach our goal of raising $2 million for a fully-funded ESC program for all eight schools in the 2014/2015 school year. That breaks down to a little more than $20 per week during the school year for your child to have subjects like Science, Art, Music, Technology and Physical Education taught by credentialed teachers.

Our goal is for 100% family participation AND $800 per child. However, we urge all families to give what they can – contributions at all levels are appreciated, and your contribution is tax-deductible.

How do I make a contribution?

You can contribute to the DMSEF online or by mail. You can choose to make the suggested contribution of $800 per child in one payment or spread them out throughout the year, for as little as $67 per month.

• Contribute using the monthly payment schedule

• Make a one-time contribution online

• Mail a check to DMSEF at 13030 Ashley Falls Drive, San Diego, CA 92130. Contribution envelopes are available at every school; please check with the front office.

• Take advantage of matching contributions from your employer. Not sure if your company has a matching program? Check out our list of companies that match employee contributions or inquire with your HR department.

Where do the DMSEF funds go?

All contributions given to the DMSEF are restricted monies and can only be used by the DMUSD to fund ESC teacher salaries. Only 7.5% of contributions will be used for operating expenses, far lower than the 25% national average expenses for non-profit organizations. (source: Charity Navigator) The DMSEF board is committed to keeping expenses low. That means 92.5% of contributions go directly into funding the ESC programs for the DMUSD.

Does the DMUSD contribute to the cost of the ESC program?

Yes, the DMUSD covers a limited amount of contractual preparation time for homeroom teachers when the students are in the ESC classes. This prep time allows homeroom teachers an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about student needs, analysis of student work, and planning of future lessons and units of study.

Over the past four years, the DMUSD has financially supported roughly 60% of the total ESC program with the remaining 40% funded by the DMSEF through its parent contributions.

How are the funds raised by DMSEF distributed?

The funds raised by the DMSEF are combined and given to the DMUSD for disbursement to the school sites for the ESC program. The total number of ESC teachers that can be funded is calculated and divided between the eight schools based on enrollment. With sufficient funds, the ESC programs can be funded at all eight schools; however, limited funds means fewer positions can be funded, and school principals must then make painful decisions about which programs need to be cut at their schools.

I already give to the PTA. Do I need to give to DMSEF too?

Yes, parent support (through contributions and volunteering) is critical to both organizations. All contributions given to the DMSEF are restricted monies and can only be used by the DMUSD to fund ESC teacher salaries. Donations to the PTA support projects, events and expenses specific to each school.

In short, the DMSEF funds ESC “staff” and the PTA funds “stuff” the school needs.

Who runs the DMSEF?

The DMSEF is governed by a Board of Directors made up of school representatives (parent volunteers from each of the eight elementary schools in the DMUSD). The Board is responsible for all DMSEF business, including marketing/communications, finance/budgets, and administration.

School representatives are nominated by members of the DMSEF Board of Directors to serve 1- or 2-year terms. The Board meets at regularly scheduled, monthly meetings. The meetings are open to all members of the community and are generally held on the second Wednesday of the month at 7pm at Ashley Falls School. Interested people are encouraged to contact the office to verify time and location of future meetings.

Will the School Board control the DMSEF funds raised?

Contributions to the DMSEF go directly to funding the ESC program and are completely separate from the district’s allocation of other funds. These funds cannot be reallocated or used for any other purpose than ESC.

What are the benefits of a district-wide fundraising model?

The DMSEF uses a district-wide model to fund the salaries for our ESC teachers because we believe in a quality education for all our community’s children. The DMUSD Board of Trustees supports the DMSEF and this model.

Using a district wide model has many benefits:

• The district-wide initiative is intended to give DMUSD a more consistent revenue stream to cover ESC teacher salaries now and in the future.

• It provides more equality among the schools, which is key since most children in the district’s eight schools pool into the same two middle schools and then into the same two high schools.

• It consolidates fundraising at the district level and a community-based fundraising effort.

• It allows us to build synergy among our fundraising efforts and targets larger corporate donors.

• District wide fundraising allows for equitable disbursement while ensuring flexibility among the schools, so that individual sites can maintain programs that are unique to their site.


What is ESC?

The Extended Studies Curriculum (ESC) program provides focused, hands-on instruction (outside of the homeroom class) by credentialed teachers in the areas of Science, Music, Art, Technology, and Physical Education for the eight elementary schools in the Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD).

What do the ESC teachers do?

ESC teachers are both subject matter experts and trained, credentialed educators accountable for covering the state-mandated standards for their subjects. ESC teachers work together with classroom teachers to enhance the core curriculum; thereby supporting our schools’ mission to educate the “whole” child by providing students with opportunities for hands-on activities, problem-solving, teamwork, and exposure to the fine arts beyond what is possible in the general education classroom.

In addition, many of the ESC teachers provide our children with extracurricular opportunities, such as lunch-time clubs (eg, Zoology, Garden, Green, Engineering, Band, Strings, Chorus, Digital Video, Art, Math, etc.) and organize special events (musical performances, art shows, science fairs and competitions, problem solving competitions, photography shows, sport competitions, etc.)

What is the difference between Enrichment and ESC?

Enrichment provides optional classes offered as part of the DMUSD After School Program. Parents can pay an additional fee for each class they are interested in. Learn more at http://www.dmusd.org/domain/208.

ESC classes are taught by credentialed teachers and provided during the regular school day in all eight schools. Every student, including your child, receives ESC instruction (K-6 grade); no child is excluded from these programs. However, without the funding to pay for ESC teacher salaries, these programs will be eliminated.

Why do some schools have different ESC classes?

Each school (via their Principal) has the ability to customize their ESC program to include other specialties, such as Spanish, Band, Choir, Drama, Problem Solvers, Math, etc.

How can I find out what my child does in ESC?

Each school have has a unique program and its own process for sharing what your child learns in ESC and their accomplishments. These methods include newsletters, shows, art displays in school offices, school website highlights, etc. We encourage you to talk to your school’s ESC teachers or DMSEF rep to learn more about the specific programs in your child’s school. Please also check out the ESC teacher profiles for each school and see your school’s website for more information.

If the DMSEF raises enough money, will we continue to have the same ESC teachers as this year?

DMSEF funds supplement the DMUSD budget to secure ESC positions at all eight schools. ESC teachers are employees of the DMUSD; therefore, assignment of ESC teachers to a school is managed by the rules and regulations of the DMUSD and not something the DMSEF has any input on.

FAQs: updated 7/16/2014