F.O.R.C.E. FAQ

What is F.O.R.C.E.?
A 501(c)(3) corporation is a non-profit independent entity that exists for specific charitable purpose and is governed by a board of trustees.

When a 501(c)(3) is created to support school activities it is called a foundation. Long Hill Township. Public School District has an education foundation called F.O.R.C.E., and was incorporated in November of 2004. F.O.R.C.E. runs an after-school program taught by in-district teachers, funds a mini grant program for the teachers, and has recently created a sponsorship program for sports, plays, and any activities associated with the arts.

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What is an education foundation?
F.O.R.C.E. (Focusing Our Resources for Children’s Enrichment), is a non-profit education foundation in Long Hill Township which aspires to enhance the quality of public education through private funding to support academic enrichment.
A board of trustees, who are nominated and elected, governs the foundation. Governance includes an understanding of the foundation’s mission, services, policies, and programs. There are bi-monthly meetings in which discussions are held regarding all matters; motions are made, and voting occurs. Quorums are needed to pass policy changes.

The annual meeting of officers is held once a year. F.O.R.C.E. consists of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and board of trustees. Our board of trustees is comprised of a group of volunteers from diverse aspects of a school community. This gives F.O.R.C.E a broad perspective on the needs of our students. There will be one scheduled meeting open to the public per year to keep the community abreast of the foundation’s goals.

The positions for the board and officers are for two and three year terms. All interested persons may submit their name to the foundation for nomination.

What is the F.O.R.C.E. after-school program?
The after-school program was created to offer all children in K-8 in the Long Hill Township. Public School District the opportunity to find their special interests through a variety of classes.

Currently there are two sessions of F.O.R.C.E. classes:
Fall Session
Spring Session
October to December
March to May
1 hr. for 8 weeks
1 hr. for 8 weeks

Class Days are selected based on Gillette, Millington, and Central school’s availability.

How is the after school program managed?
The after-school program is managed by the present Program Director, Susan Verdes, who
has tought at Millington. These are stipend positions. The F.O.R.C.E board determines the salary and pays the stipend directly from the tuition money. The duties include creating the grid of classes, registration, fielding questions, enrollment, and evaluating programs at the conclusion. The evaluations are presented to the board for future class planning.

How is the after-school program grid created?
The available classes for each session are outlined in a grid format which includes the class name, time and date, a brief description, teacher, and tuition for each class. Each grid includes a variety of subjects and classes that appeal to a wide range of interests.

F.O.R.C.E. maintains this program which includes classes such as LEGO robotics, science and nature, math olympics, painting, drawing, photography, etc. Classes may change with each session. The list of classes (grid) is completed several weeks before registration begins. Classes are obtained through several methods: In district teachers may complete a course application found on our website www.longhillforce.org and submit to Susan Verdes. Research of other district’s classes are reviewed and contacts made to out of district teachers to conduct interesting classes. Suggestions for classes by parents may be made at any time to longhillforce@gmail.com. For security purposes, all non in-district teachers are required to complete a background check.

Online Registration will begin with the Fall 2012 classes. It is approximately a two week period with some of the classes filling up immediately on a first come, first serve basis. A Code of Conduct must be reviewed and signed, then returned with the registration application, and a check. Confirmations are made to the parents immediately at the time of online registration. Notification of cancelled or closed classes is completed within one week after registration closes.

How is the after-school program funded?
The program is self-sustaining through its tuition. In LHT, the after school program teachers are paid a salary. Teachers in similar programs in the surrounding districts are also paid salaries. The tuition for each class is set based on teacher and director salary, materials, and supplies for the class. Every child has the opportunity to enroll in an after school class. Scholarships are available to any child that needs assistance to enroll in a class.

A scholarship can be requested by a parent or guardian, and should be submitted to the Program Director, longhillforce@gmail.com.

What is the F.O.R.C.E. mini grant program and how is it funded?
Teachers and administration may apply for grant money to be used during the school day, to creatively enhance the curriculum to teach our children with innovative methods through the mini grant program. Grant requests relating to differentiated instruction are encouraged. The mini grant program is separate from the after school program. F.O.R.C.E.’s annual fundraiser funds the program. Teachers, administrators, and staff are encouraged to submit grant requests twice a year on October 15th and on March 15th, to F.O.R.C.E’s board of trustees. The application is available on the website www.longhillforce.org. The grants are reviewed and voted on by the board of trustees and grants are awarded. Every year, all monies raised to support in-class enrichment will be awarded with the goal that children will be able to share in the benefit of the mini grant program annually.

What is the F.O.R.C.E. Sponsorship Program?
The sponsorship program is a newly created arm of F.O.R.C.E. which supports school athletic teams, plays, and activities associated with the arts. Fundraising for this new program will also be during the annual fundraiser event. F.O.R.C.E’s goal for the future is to seek grants from corporations or other foundations. We are currently looking for volunteers to help write the grant requests.

What are the benefits of having a separate foundation?
F.O.R.C.E, an education foundation is an independent, non-profit corporation, volunteer supported, charitable organization that supports young people by helping them to reach their potential. There is independence from rules and regulations of the school district. This does not alleviate F.O.R.C.E from enhancing all children’s education experience but allows launching of programs quickly and easily. F.O.R.C.E. will continue to offer classes that enhance the school’s goals and are in conjunction with school administration and curriculum. As a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation, F.O.R.C.E. is a vehicle that can accept grants from foundations, corporations, and individual donations.

Can I be part of the education foundation and the PTO?
Yes. You may volunteer to be part of both organizations and are encouraged to do so. Communities all over the country have moved to establishing education foundations to enhance the quality of education for their students; bring money other than tax dollars into the schools; and they are independent entities allowing changes to be affected quickly. Did you know that the surrounding communities have both education foundations and PTOs?
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For more information about Long Hill Township Schools,www.longhill.org

For questions or comments email us, longhillforce@gmail.com

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