• FOB still needs to raise $130,000 by the end of the year
  • There are 3 ways you can help
  • If we don’t get there, next year could be different
Since the beginning of the school year Friends of Burley funds have done real things. They ensured every student had stable and updated technology. They purchased remote art and steam supplies which every student to learn with matching materials which let teachers focus on teaching. And, importantly, they gave the Burley School Administration the ability to quickly and efficiently make important purchases beyond the scope of what CPS provided to help the school get ready for reopening. Past support of Friends of Burley has made Burley School an essential and amazing resource for every child in our community and has made the school especially well positioned for this difficult year. Our school is full of talented teachers and staff with extensive training in best practices on technology use in the classroom (and now at bringing the classroom into homes), a 1:1 technology program that meant, even in this extreme time, our school was well positioned for a successful pivot to remote learning at a moments notice, and, in a typical year, a school that has a robust and well-rounded curriculum that educates the whole child.
Some good news. Friends of Burley’s year-to-year goals are always based on the real needs of the school. And, as with many things, this year was a bit different which means there will be some savings. We opened the fall with an ambitious goal knowing that Friends of Burley funds would be, as always, needed to cover essential staffing costs above and beyond what CPS budget provides (over half of year-to-year funds raised go toward teacher and staff salaries) and not knowing much more.
We have currently raised 53% of our original goal of $375,000. We knew this year funds would be needed for atypical expenses - some that we could anticipate (quarterly remote learning kits) and others that would arise throughout the year (plexiglass dividers for lunchtime, technology supplies, protective pouches to protect the significant investment in FOB-funded devices going to and from the building during hybrid learning, recess kits to keep students occupied within their pods and more.) We knew we would have savings from a temporary pause to Merit Music – our K-8 music program 100% funded by Friends of Burley donations. Now that the end of the year is in sight and plans for reopening have been set, Friends of Burley and the school administration have been working to map out remaining needs for this year, reserve a pool of funds for any needs that arise and make sure we know what we need for reopening next school year. 
Although our community has been very generous with donations to FOB so far this year, we still are not where we need to be. And if we don’t get there, next school year could look different. If we don’t raise the remaining $130,000 left to our revised goal of $330,000 by spring, we will be unable to commit to bringing back the school-wide K-8 Merit Music program for the 2021-22 school year. And the school administration will have to look to find other savings as they work on planning for next year.
How You Can help:
  • Give – or give again – to the Annual Fund. This campaign is still running and relies on your support for its success - so far 62% of families have given. 

  • Engage in the Virtual Winter Party and Raffle. Dedicated volunteers are at work as we speak making this event amazing. Look for this event to launch next week!

  • Help your kids participate in the spring Walkathon. Watch for details on this event in the months to come. 

With our sincerest appreciation and positivity for the future,

The Friends of Burley Board
Catherine Plocher, Burley School Principal
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