FUNDRAISING AND COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY IN SCHOOLS
R.I.G.L. 16-38-6 prohibits certain commercial activities in schools and restricts student participation in fundraising activities, except as authorized by a School Committee policy addressing the subject.
In connection with the EdNets program, the School Committee hereby adopts this policy to govern the scope of commercial activities on school campuses, and the extent of student participation in fundraising activities, including carrying home information to parents about the EdNets program.
Commercial Activities – On-Line Purchases
A web service used by the Smithfield Public Schools may include a directory of businesses for which on-line purchasing of goods and services is available, provided that on-line purchasing feature be in a clearly designated section of the website and the actual purchase transaction be conducted at the website and on the server of the vendor selling the goods or services.
Student Transport of Commercial and Fundraising Materials
Commercial and fundraising materials (flyers, literature, advertisements, commercial materials, or solicitations) may be sent home with students from the Smithfield Public Schools provided that:
- No public school employees or public school officials engaged in distribution of commercial materials in connection with commercial or fundraising activities for the benefit of Smithfield Public Schools shall receive any compensation from such fundraising activities;
- The commercial or fundraising materials must be contained in a sealed “neutral” envelope bearing only the seal or logo of the Smithfield Public Schools, the Smithfield Education Foundation or the sponsor of the commercial material, which is approved by the Superintendent in advance;
- The commercial or fundraising activity and the associated distribution of materials is approved in advance by the Superintendent.
Commercial Activity – Fundraising
Students and employees of the Smithfield Public Schools may participate in a fundraising activity for the benefit of the Smithfield Publics whether direct or indirect through the Smithfield Education Foundation provided that:
- Such participation is voluntary and participation may be refused by any student or employee
- No public school employees or public school officials engaged in fundraising activities for the benefit of Smithfield Public Schools shall receive any compensation from such fundraising activities
- Any fundraising activities involving door-to-door solicitations or sales by students must be limited to high school students and will be approved by the Superintendent on a case by case basis in advance and conducted during daylight hours to maintain student safety
- The fundraising activity is approved in advance by the Superintendent
Commercial Activities – Event Sponsorship
Sponsors in the EdNets program may sponsor school events on a school campus upon prior approval of the Superintendent and where the Superintendent makes a finding that sponsorship will positively contribute to the event and encourage greater participation, and the event sponsorship involves only availability of marketing materials and presence of a banner.
Commercial Activities – Presentations
Sponsors in the EdNets program may make a presentation on a school campus where the Superintendent makes a finding that information provided in such presentation fulfills the mission of the Smithfield Public Schools, the presentation contains information generally of benefit to the families served by the Smithfield Public Schools, and the Superintendent approves of such presentation in advance. As an example, more than 90% of students graduating from the Smithfield Public Schools attend institutions of higher education. An important element of advancement to higher education is the financial planning required to pay for such education. The Superintendent may find that the Smithfield Public Schools serve the interests of families by hosting presentations involving Sponsors in the EdNets program that relate to financial planning for higher education, including 529 Savings Funds (information on tax treatment of such funds, calculating anticipated college financing requirements, and differences between state-sponsored and private plans), student loan programs (including different qualifications for federal, state and private loans), scholarship programs and financial aid programs.