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JIN
04-25-2004, 11:26 AM
Our school administration is really constricting our team at the moment. The school insists on controlling and holding all our money (to keep it safe from greedy opportunists I guess). Unfortunatly, to get any of it out requires days of paperwork and a 30 or so day waiting period after the papers are done. We simply cannot work with that delay, imagine waiting a month to buy a box of screws :( !
We made a separate banking account to avoid these delays. However, the school found out and demanded the account be shut down, and to give all the money to them.
In addition, insurance policies require us to have a school staff present for ANYTHING we do. We thought this wouldn't be a problem at first. However, no staff member volunteered to have a permanent presence with us. We designed a sign up sheet so staff can volunteer to sit in our room. This gets us past the policies, but the teachers don't do anything but sit, and convincing them to even come is beyond tedious! To make things worse, we're getting complaints for "making them come". This was completly volunteery and we forced no one to come.
To approach this issue we asked the principal to hire someone new who could commit his/her time to the team. The principal told us the school didn't have the money (though I've recently found out they spent thousands on a bowling party or something of that nature).
The school just seems like it's trying very hard not to cooperate with us, though it may be the administration itself giving us the hard time. I also hear rumor that our team will be shut down if we don't solve this. Hopefully it's ONLY a rumor. Please, Our team has ran out of ideas and I simply can't live without robotics (literally), any help? Thanks.

JakeGallagher
04-25-2004, 11:44 AM
Our school is being dumb like that too. There's a new policy starting up next fall that a teacher MUST fill out a 5-page form to use his or her room after or before school hours, or during their fpanning period. These are the times when we usually work on the robot!
As well as this policy, we can't update our team's website from anywhere but at school, WHILE logged in as a network manager or administrator...and I think there's a grand total of ZERO team members who have that, so we need to give the updates to our coach, who then sends the update to the server, and *hopes* it will work.
Another problem we have had is one that makes me really mad. Last year, we were on the winning alliance at the Chesepeake Regional in Annapolis. When we got home, our coach asked if we could hang our banner in the gym, as every other team in the school does that if they win something. Guess what the answer was? NO! Imagine that! Do you know what their rationale was? "The FIRST Club is not a team." They called us a club. A CLUB! Even though we're Team #134, they called us a club. We fought with them for a few months, and in september they finally hung our banners, but they were hung off to the side, so that when they drew the curtain to make the gym two basketball courts, the banners would be easily hidden.
What is with this? Are our schools ashamed that they have smart people attending?

Kevin Sevcik
04-25-2004, 11:47 AM
I'll get the person who's good with money on our team to talk about that bit later. To address the last issue first, you just really need to hunt in your school for a teacher or staff member that's actually interested in the program. That's really the only way you'll get them to come and be interested, and that's the only guarantee you have that they'll stay. On the other hand, there's no rule that a team HAS to be school sponsored. I recall atleast one team that was sponsored by a community instead and had no school support either, so your team could move in that direction. It would make it a pain to miss classes for competitions, but it's an option.

I can't explain all the details on the money issue, but I do know that we had a similar problem at our school. I believe the answer was for our team to set itself up as a 501(c3) tax-exempt organization. I'm certain this was a painful process, as anything IRS related would be. At any rate, once you have the organization set up, you collect donations and sponsorships for it and your team specifically, and put it in a team bank account, and the school can't say anything about the money.

If you find an enthused teacher sponsor and get the money squared away properly, and the school school is actually threatening to shut down your team for some odd reason, I think your best bet is to bring parents up to the school to complain to the principal. Point out that robotics students are smart and dedicated, and losing them to another school would hurt your current school. Calling someone higher up in the chain of command than the principal could also be productive. A cadre of parents bugging the school board could be helpful.

Also, I think schools have to allow you to set up a club if you have a teacher sponsor and enough people interested. Something about equality and such, but you should ask a legal expert in your area about that one.

So there you are. If you're interested in the 501(c3) thing, PM me and I'll hook you up with our resident financial wizard and she should be able to explain the process.

Joe Matt
04-25-2004, 11:52 AM
384 has the same problems too, we must have a teacher/admin with us at all times, and all that stuff. Yet we have people who contribute, but for your circumstance, why don't you go to a school board meeting and bring the issue up, and if they start to go to their 'teacher must be there' stuff, bring a sign up form and ask them if they'll do it, then ask them if they'll personally watch all your finances, and what makes it saffer to have your money watched by someone at school instead of a qualified bank that's job is not to run a school district, but to watch people's money.

JakeGallagher
04-25-2004, 12:01 PM
I don't wanna sound cranky here or anything, but I know our team has been working ourselves into the School Board meetings and such for about 5 years or so, and that hasn't helped us a whole lot >.<

greencactus3
04-25-2004, 12:34 PM
for the FIRST season, the school was decently cooporative with us but during OCCRA, the robot was basically built in my garage because the school rushed us out and didnt open during the weekends and holidays. and buying a box of bolts... we just bought them from pocket money and took the receipt to school, and hoped the money would come back to us. we got all of our money back i think. well, the cheap stuff we bought on our own and didnt even bother to get the money back.

misterfoo
04-25-2004, 12:57 PM
[QUOTE=JIN]Our school administration is really constricting our team at the moment.

Stuff deleted..


On team 811, We are at a private high school so it raises some other issues, for example all teams and clubs at Bishop Guertin cannot do fundraisers or door to door..This makes it very difficult. In fact I believe our students are also prohibited from contacting businesses in the community to be sponsors. Which is difficult in its own way. SO the mentors solicit the donations from the companies that we work for.

For our finances we have to take the donations from our coroprate sponsors and give them to the school to hold. However we have our own budget committee and we monitor the funds to the penny. The school, also being a tax exempt entity, is also helpful to us.

SO for the funds being given out, we work with the school financial office to pay dirrect bills that are large, such as the FIRST entry fees.

For other things like the parts etc, the mentors put them on our credit cards and fill out expense forms. We monitor this spending weekly with each department of the team having a sub-budget. For example controls on our team gets a budget of ~ $2000.00 each year.

For additional expenses we have to vote as a team on what infrastructure we will be building up. For example we get a large piece of machining equipment each year. This year it was a miling machine and a Mig welder. Next year we will invest in a metal lathe or a sheet metal brake.

As for the banner issue, I feel for you. I am 42 and have seen this type of thing go on for years, if you are not a sports team, forget a letter on your jacket or a banner in the school gym. Do I agree with this, absolutely not. But unfortunately this prejudice towards non-athletes exists.

At BG we made a case for letter jackets for the team 811 seniors and won. So stick to your guns and enlist the help of adults, the more people you have speaking out, the better.

FIRSTwill teach you many more things about life than how to build a robot. Intelligent peple like ourselves are creative, persistent and persuasive. Keep working the issues and you shall overcome.

Good luck.

Ken Leigh
Team 811 Mentor

Spaztik Duck
04-25-2004, 01:36 PM
We have the issue about having to have staff in the room at all times as well. We got around that though, some of our parents are either teachers in other schools or have gotten certified through the county. You might want to look into what it takes to get certified through your county... getting parents certified really helps.

JIN
04-25-2004, 01:59 PM
Wow, I didn't realize so many other schools were holding robotics back too.
Thanks for replying so quickly, I'll take these ideas into account... :D

RoteAugen
04-25-2004, 02:15 PM
Wow, I didn't realize so many other schools were holding robotics back too.
Thanks for replying so quickly, I'll take these ideas into account... :D

Oh, i think you'll find that this is a pretty rampant problem. I know at my school, they refused us any funding or assistance other than being able to use our school name at competition. It wasn't until this year that we got noticed, but when we brought home a trophy from the regional, the principal refused to put it into the trophycase, he just put it on his desk.

they still have not allowed us to work on school grounds, and still have not given us any teachers or money to work with. That's the main reason I am coming back as a mentor next year... because they sure as heck aren't going to get any help from SHS. :(

the big thing you want to remember is that most school administrations do not understand the full implications of the task we are set to accomplish every year in FIRST. Whether it be the money aspect, or the tools required, they simply don't understand how taxing it is to do what we do.

keep your chin up and your hands busy- life could be much worse

Joshua May
04-25-2004, 02:55 PM
We haven't had many problems with our school. Last year, we had a few, being that we had no campus facilities and no faculty advisor, however, our principal is interested in our team so our founder from Lockheed just had to go through a ton of paperwork and became our advisor. This year, we were able to secure the woodshop thanks to the industrial tech teacher at school. We also got the support of a very dedicated math teacher who has done lots for us. The only problem we ever really had was an incident where the principal's secretary said she hated the team because they always had to move our shipping crate, however, we never had it moved at all...

team222badbrad
04-25-2004, 03:19 PM
We dont really have any problems like this. However I would suggest you talk to your superintendent and ask for a public demonstration at a school board meeting.

We have been doing meetings like this for years. We have not had many problems with our school. Our school district backs us up 100%

I would have to say our team is the most successful thing our school has. They even pay for the first entrance fee.

The only problems we had with them were minimal. We planned on taking private cars to the Philadelphia regional this year and the school said no. We told the school we didnt have enough money for a bus so the school dug some $$ out of their funds! :)

Show your school district what you CAN accomplish and what you have accomplished!

BlueByte
04-25-2004, 03:27 PM
I feel lucky now.
Our school has been very supportive. Of course our situatin is somewhat unique. Team 647 is sponsered by Shoemaker High school. General Shoemaker (the man the school is named for) is very supportive of our team and fights for use at the svhool board meetings. For some reason the school board has a hard time saying no to him. :)
We have had money problems too. As a club we have to do our finaces through the school and are even restricted who we can get donations from. We have managed to get around this problem by creating a booster club. Similar to those many athletic teams have, the school district places no restrictions on their finaces. We have a problem with membership though, one parent is largely responsible for it. we consistantly have problems getting parents to particapate in the program.

Ryan Dognaux
04-25-2004, 03:28 PM
the big thing you want to remember is that most school administrations do not understand the full implications of the task we are set to accomplish every year in FIRST. Whether it be the money aspect, or the tools required, they simply don't understand how taxing it is to do what we do.

It's hard for those who aren't familiar with FIRST to know anything about what it takes to run a team, and that's why it's so very important to do as many demonstrations as possible. Tell everyone in your school about FIRST, get the word out, and make robotics a cool thing that people want to do. When you earn the respect of your students and peers (it does take a lot of effort and time), that's when things starts to run smoothly. Sports and other clubs that have been around for 10 or 20 years often do take precidence over robotics, but it's a challenge the team has to work around. My suggestion would be to just do as many demos as possible, especially in your school. Have open houses and invite anyone, especially teachers and staff. That's what we've been doing for the past few years, and it's working. :]

RoboMom
04-25-2004, 03:31 PM
JIN-I know there have been other posts about these issues, which are common for many schools. FIRST is a hard sell. I think many of the problems arise from miscommunication. WE all realize how great this program is because we are in the middle of it. But we need to make it easier for others to understand. Changing the culture is hard work. It seems like the school is ďagainstĒ the team, but really itís they are overwhelmed with running a school and juggling everything that goes along with that.

RE: teacher support. It is vital to have at least one teacher ďin chargeĒ if you are a school based program. Is there one teacher who was more involved than the others? Who is your main team contact on the TIMS for all the information?
We have one teacher/advisor. The team canít work unless a teacher is present. We would love to have more, but every teacher is stretched so thin already. You have to realize that FIRST has a high burnout for teachers. It is an enormous commitment that lasts all year. BUT the team wrote a plea letter and does a presentation at a faculty meeting before the build, asking for teachers to sign up for ONE evening (4-8p) or weekend shift. They can do their own work. They just need to be there and we get teachers from every department. This year we asked the teachers to write their impressions in a logbook. They were amazed at what was happening. Some signed up for another night. They all wrote wonderful things. These testimonials can be used in your chairmanís entry. I know that it will be easier this year to get more to sign up. And then more will help out in other ways. Itís baby steps but that is how change happens.

RE: money. Our major donations were moved to a 501©3 at the school board to allow for oversight. We wanted that! But we have the same issue in that there is weekís turnaround time. So for the major things, we have to plan ahead. But we also have a business checking account with 2 adults as signers. We went through the frustration of having to submit receipts AFTER we bought stuff. So I met with the comptroller and based on previous documented receipts, laid out in a spreadsheet, we asked for advances for the build period and competitions, to be able to buy stuff in short time. I made it easy for them to see that was the best system and they agreed. The money was still being monitored (which is their concern) but in a timely manner (our concern.) Forming a "booster club" is another method and then they could monitor the checking account.

RE: your school board. Our school board (160 schools in our system) is a huge supporter of the team. This has taken hard work. The team just got an award from them and we were honored last week in a ceremony. They feel part of the team. They get an emailed newsletter each month on what the team is doing. They were invited to our local competition (Chesapeake) and the superintendent surprised us and came to the Chesapeake last year. They have to deal with so many problems that they are DELIGHTED to hear about a team of students that are doing so many great things.

We try to make it easy for them to understand. The head of all the school boards in Maryland wrote us a testimonial that I would be glad to mail to you. He talks about the team but also about FIRST. PM me with your address. I did this with another team.

RE: your school administration. Again, they want to hear that you are organized and on the right track. My suggestion would be to request a meeting with the principal or assistant principal. Make an agenda. Do a presentation on all the wonderful things you are doing (raising money, developing a plan and building, CAD,) Donít forget the $4 million in scholarship money. That always interests administrations. Donít complain, but do lay out what you want help with, how you can be better partners.

Iím interested to hear about other teams that have jumped these hurdles.

gburlison
04-25-2004, 03:35 PM
We have had some good luck and bad luck in our relationships with the school system. Our first year, we were a class project at one school. After the season was over, our teacher felt overwelmed and our principal felt that a small number of students benefitted from a large amount of money raised to fund the team. As a result the second year was very stressful. We had a new teacher who really didnt want to be involved. The principal decided to shut us down before the kickoff. We decided to continue without the school support. Before the build season was over, we had gained support of the School Board and interest from a teacher at a different high school in our school district. Needless to say with all of the distractions, we were not very competitive in our second season. Since that time we have been a District Team. We have students from three of the five different high schools in our district. We have become the model by which the school district creates district based teams instead of high school based teams.

Being part of the school district requires that we deal with their buracracy concerning paying bills, holding meetings, travelling, etc. On the whole I think we get more positive than negative from our relationship with the school district.

Pierson
04-25-2004, 05:11 PM
Have you thought about finding an off-campus build sponsor? Take your funds back to an off-campus account. Maintain very loose ties to the school.

That way they can't "really" hold you back.

Other than recruiting students from the school, you won't really be a school entity!

OTOH: We used to build off-campus, but it was much easier to move everything onto our school's campus.

Joshua May
04-25-2004, 06:10 PM
Hey, I actually just remembered a big problem that we had with our school once. Last year, on the day of our media event, it rained (we live in the desert) and many places were flooded. Schools were subsequently closed. We ahd everything set up to go with the LA Times and the local press, but the school wouldn't allow us in. Therefore, we called all of the media and cancelled on them. We then found out that Team 399 (a local team and our mentors last year) were allowed to have their media event. So our mentor gave the superintendent an earful and then he yelled at our principal. Now that he was in trouble, they let us into the school and we had the event, however we were only able to get one local paper to come on such short notice, so we ended up with a little blurb at the end of Team 399's frontpage story.

OneAngryDaisy
04-25-2004, 06:29 PM
We have an alliance with the North Montco Technical Career Center, which is like this school where kids from 6 disctricts go to if they want to learn more about hands-on careers- if you have one nearby that could be a solution.. We love NMTCC, even though it's a good 30 minute drive, because there we have many machines and never have to worry about not being able to make something. I'd suggest looking around for a potential sponsor or place to build away from school where you could be able to work whenever you need to.. good luck

Jay H 237
04-25-2004, 07:32 PM
Here's a link to a similar thread dealing with different issues with schools.
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26255
This is a thread I mentioned issues in and didn't want to retype or post twice. One thing I will say is after reading all these different threads is that more teams have issues with their schools than I originally thought.
To answer one of the original ideas of becoming 501c3 in this thread, our team has been a 501c3 tax exempt organization since shortly after we formed the team. I'm not familiar with all the rules governing 501c3 status but I do know that we applied for it when we formed our team in the fall of '98. We had to be an organization for at least six months before getting that status. We recieved it in early '99. Because we are 501c3 and get no funding from the school or board of ed they can't touch or tell us how to use our team account. This account is for the team only and gets drawn on for team money issues only wether it's for registering for events, buying material or parts, paying for team travel, lodging, ect. Being 501c3 has been a huge benefit for our team. When a company our idividual donates money, equipment or services it can be taken as a tax write off. It's a win - win situation, the team gets something it needs free and the donator gets to claim it on thier taxes. Now the downside, having this account requires keeping accurate bookeeping. All donations must be listed and a value given to them. Also with any account all withdrawls and deposits must be kept track of. Every year there's paperwork for the 501c3 that has to be filled out and given to the IRS. A 501c3 account should be handled by an adult mentor on the team with possibly some students helping out. This account should never be left to a student solely, losing paperwork or failure of keeping track of the account or not filing the paperwork every year could cause serious problems.

JIN
04-25-2004, 09:54 PM
JIN-I know there have been other posts about these issues, which are common for many schools. FIRST is a hard sell. I think many of the problems arise from miscommunication. WE all realize how great this program is because we are in the middle of it. But we need to make it easier for others to understand. Changing the culture is hard work. It seems like the school is ďagainstĒ the team, but really itís they are overwhelmed with running a school and juggling everything that goes along with that.


Thanks, sorry if I was ranting at the school system. I didn't really mean to. My mother had spent months in a thrift shop earning funds to the club. This was the only fundraising money that went to the school directly, and not into our teams "secret account". My mother asked to take the money out, the school staff wanted to know why. Mother wanted to put the cash into our account so we could access it easier. Eventually mother had to tell about our account separate from the school. Now the school won't give the money to us till the account is closed and they have all our earnings. My mother got stressed and felt it was her fault, and that our money source was ruined. I tend to get emotional when my family gets upset and I guess I'm blaming the school system for upsetting my mother. Again sorry, I'm certain the staff had it's reasons, I just needed an outlet to release my frustration at.

Thanks for the advice.

Winged Globe
04-25-2004, 10:32 PM
A guess why the school wants the money may be the whole tax-deductible issue-- namely, donating to a public school is usually a tax-exemption, but unless the money goes to the school, there's no accounting for it on the receiving end. You may be able to keep a separate account if you expressly state that the donation is not going to the school, but that may make some less inclined to donate, and you may have to pay tax on the account. (Note: I am in no way a tax lawyer)

One idea, short of making your team into its own 501c3: are there any non-profit education/community groups in your area? If so, and you're persuasive and they're nice, you can try to approach them about being your fiscal agent and a non-profit umbrella for your team. This could be useful if they're quicker and more accessible than your school. It's a stretch, but there's one in my district (http://www.edfundwest.org). Just an idea.

JakeGallagher
04-26-2004, 02:02 PM
Oh, i think you'll find that this is a pretty rampant problem. I know at my school, they refused us any funding or assistance other than being able to use our school name at competition. It wasn't until this year that we got noticed, but when we brought home a trophy from the regional, the principal refused to put it into the trophycase, he just put it on his desk.

the big thing you want to remember is that most school administrations do not understand the full implications of the task we are set to accomplish every year in FIRST. Whether it be the money aspect, or the tools required, they simply don't understand how taxing it is to do what we do.

We get no funding whatsoever form the school or the SAU. We have applied for grants, and on a couple occations, a town-affiliated group, PEEF (Pembroke Education Endowment Fund) has loaned us money to go to competitions. The school won't give us money because to them we're a club--not a team--and as a club, we don't fall into the same catagory as the football team, who needs $10,000 worth of new equipment every season.
Our school refused to allow us to put our trophies in the main trophy case for years, and just last year they let us put a couple of them in the "auxillary" trophy case...the one that is tucked off to the side of the school in a corner where no one can see it.
I'm sure there are still more problems that I haven't even heard about from our school's administration...I just hope the teams who haven't posted are having better luck wherever they are.

Edit:
Thanks, sorry if I was ranting at the school system. I didn't really mean to. My mother had spent months in a thrift shop earning funds to the club. This was the only fundraising money that went to the school directly, and not into our teams "secret account". My mother asked to take the money out, the school staff wanted to know why. Mother wanted to put the cash into our account so we could access it easier. Eventually mother had to tell about our account separate from the school. Now the school won't give the money to us till the account is closed and they have all our earnings. My mother got stressed and felt it was her fault, and that our money source was ruined. I tend to get emotional when my family gets upset and I guess I'm blaming the school system for upsetting my mother. Again sorry, I'm certain the staff had it's reasons, I just needed an outlet to release my frustration at.
Believe me, if my school did that to MY mother, I would have done a lot more than just posting on CD. I'm proud of your self-control.

RoboMom
04-26-2004, 04:14 PM
It's ok to rant and get it out of your system. But then it's time to move and decide what you're going to do about it. I know my previous post was too long, but this is an issue I feel strongly about. It's so much easier to work with somebody than to have an "us vs. them" mentality. We've been through so many of all the problems listed here. Team 007 gets no cash from the school system, but we do "use" the school and we have a teacher who cares. Otherwise there would be no team. Period. Each team is dealing with their own set of hurdles and it's part of what this is all about.

I'll say it again. Try to make it easier for them to understand what FIRST is about. Do a presentation. Talk about scholarships. Talk about volunteer hours. We spent 11,000 last year. Make sure someone keeps track of things like that. Be calm, be organized, be professional. Keep your sense of humor. Give your mom a hug for caring so much.

Paradox1350
04-26-2004, 08:22 PM
Our school, despite currently building a new science building, tried to act like we didn't exist until we won the Rookie All Star Award. That's right, they ignored a ROBOT TEAM despite building a new building JUST FOR SCIENCE.

They really should brag about how we, as students, secured 10k, a partnership with an Ivy League school, and ran, on our own, such a highly intensive program as FIRST.

But they don't.

Fact is, FIRST is a LOT of work, that only select students are into, and is relatively unknown. The only hope is that 30 years from now, over half hte nation is involved, and our kids won't have to fight their schools.

Honestly, Dean is right. We need to spread FIRST. Our team alone is aiming to get 3 new teams running next year. What with various people going off to various colleges, it's more than possible. By getting more people involved it makes it more mainstream and makes it more normal and more respected.

Aside from that, all you can do is never give up. There is always a way. We hit eveyr possible sang this year, and we kept on going. So always keep on going. The only way is contant perseverance. And we all know it's worth it.

Eric Bareiss
04-26-2004, 08:40 PM
Here's an easy fix:

While on team 64 we had the same problem, took too long to get the money from our account. You can't have an outside account in your teams name. So we had our parent organization set up a checking account at a local credit union.

We would raise money through car washes and silent auctions and candy sales, etc. All of the checks would go into the school bank account and all of the cash went into the parent group's bank account. Now all you need is for your teacher to call one of the parents who's name is on the account and have them write a check. Simple as that.

There is also a process in which your parent group can become a non-profit group but it involves a lawyer and costs hundreds of dollars.

Billfred
04-26-2004, 09:47 PM
I'm pretty sure I read this elsewhere in the thread, but here's one trick I read about earlier...buy the parts out of pocket, then fill out the forms for reimbursement. I'm pretty sure ROTC does it here. There's no way we could get the smaller stuff we need otherwise.

Marc P.
04-26-2004, 09:57 PM
If it makes you feel any better, our school district cut our entrance fee ($4k) from the school budget due to financial difficulties. However, they had no trouble ponying up $20k to send our cheerleading squad to a national competition.

The problem with most schools is they are so used to accomodating athletic programs, they have trouble acknowledging "that club that tinkers with battlebots" can be educational. What you need to do is ensure your district understands what exactly FIRST is all about. Show them your robot, ramble off some gear ratios and pneumatic pressures, and trace your electrical system for them. Let them know you learned more in the 6 weeks of FIRST than you have in your entire school year (without saying it like that of course :) )

They can't give a program either a monetary or educational value until they realize what the program is all about. Invite some board of education members to your build sessions, invite your mayor or selectmen, your superintendant, and principal. Invite them to competitions, make them know it's a lifechanging experience, in a very positive way!!

Pat Chen
06-19-2005, 08:02 PM
To echo RoboMom's reply: do a presentation to the school board, superintendent... the administrators to get them on your side......tell them about scholarship opportunities.....invite them to your regional..... once they are there.....it is so easy to be caught up in the excitement.

Getting teachers - if your team participate in the Chairman's Award.....ask an English teacher for help ..... you may be able to interest this teacher ..... most people have no idea what FIRST is all about or even how it is not just building robots....and touches other academic areas......if your school has an affiliation with the Kiwanis Club or business type organization .....interest those people by learning how to write a business plan.....run a business....and in order to run a business..you control your own accounts...that may solve your money problem.

It is hard to interest teachers to give up personal time to "sit" with the team....but have you thought of support personnel? Sometimes you can interest a non-instructional person to be the team adviser.....we are allow to do that in our school district.....our rules are the team adviser has to be a district employee ....so check on it.

I hope this help...if not email me ....I can try to brainstorm again.

Pat Chen

slickguy2007
06-19-2005, 09:32 PM
I agree with RoboMom's reply. If the school won't listen to the students (which sometimes they don't) then you might want to get some parents involved too.

Our team went through the same problem last year when starting out as rookies. We ended up having to approach the board of education. I suggest that you gather students and parents , then approach the vice principle(or whoever it may be) in charge of extra curricular activities. They can't ignore you if you do it that way. If you have a legitimate organization with a legitimate purpose, they cannot deny you. If they are effecting your performance as a team, they cannot do that. They will be forced to find you an advisor. Just remember to approach the school as gracious professionals (you don't want to make anyone angry). Also, remember that you are not limited to only teachers in the high school.... Good luck and keep us posted on what happens!


GO 1403!!!

KORN_lover_2007
07-21-2005, 11:04 PM
Our team does not have too much problems with money that I know of. If the money is donated directly to us, like a check is written out to our team, then we do not have any problems. But if it is written out to our school with a memo to the robotics team, then we have to go through a bunch of stuff to get it. But I find it really sad that so many teams have all these problems with their schools. I am really proud of the fact that our trophies are put on display in our trophy case right next to all the sports trophies and such. But we do not get letters for robotics, yet anyway. I'll be working on that one next. The thing about the school administrators, well a lot of our mentors are school administrators, so we do not really have much of a problem with that unless they are all too busy to go on a trip with us, like to an elementary school or something like that. We have to make sure we have a school administrator with us for things like that.

plutonium83
07-22-2005, 12:24 AM
Setting up your team to be 501(c)3 is the best idea. We have that set up, along with our own account. Everything related with donations and expenses is managed within our team and the school can't touch our money.

Regarding the supervision issue, our school also requires that we have certified technology teachers with safety training, making it even harder as we cannot interest any teacher in supervising us. This is understandable because the district doesn't want kids working in a room with lots of power tools and machinery like the lathe, drill press, mill and welder.

We have solved the problem by interesting all the tech teachers we can find in "running shifts" to supervise us. If you need supervision, I would suggest bringing some interested people to an offseason and show them how exciting it can be. Or show them some videos or pictures of last years build season and competition.

If you need a video to show your interested people, I can produce a short "promotional" video for your team if you need it.

mechanicalbrain
07-22-2005, 12:32 AM
we had our team started by a teacher but he seems to need another becuase of the strain... but im curious about your school taking your money? our team has its own credit card. it seems your school iis being extremely unwise with handling of money but then im one to talk our school bought smart boards for all off the math department (their like interactive chalk boards)

Pat Chen
07-22-2005, 07:47 AM
Our team does not have too much problems with money that I know of. If the money is donated directly to us, like a check is written out to our team, then we do not have any problems. But if it is written out to our school with a memo to the robotics team, then we have to go through a bunch of stuff to get it. But I find it really sad that so many teams have all these problems with their schools. I am really proud of the fact that our trophies are put on display in our trophy case right next to all the sports trophies and such. But we do not get letters for robotics, yet anyway. I'll be working on that one next. The thing about the school administrators, well a lot of our mentors are school administrators, so we do not really have much of a problem with that unless they are all too busy to go on a trip with us, like to an elementary school or something like that. We have to make sure we have a school administrator with us for things like that.


Don't give up in trying to get letters......it is terrific that your mentors are your administrators.....on our team...we rely on our teachers/mentors.....sometimes we are stretch thin. I hope your are successful in your quest for letters...it will give hope to other teams who are trying to the same.

Pat Chen

Pat Chen
07-22-2005, 07:52 AM
we had our team started by a teacher but he seems to need another becuase of the strain... but im curious about your school taking your money? our team has its own credit card. it seems your school iis being extremely unwise with handling of money but then im one to talk our school bought smart boards for all off the math department (their like interactive chalk boards)

Try to interest other teachers ....it is hard for one teacher to do all.......to be a good mentor.......it takes the same amount of work whether you have a small team or a large one.....then with the added responsibilities of the job.....it is an "overload"......I know because I am a teacher......we are lucky on our team....we have 3 teachers from each of our high schools.......I was the backup to these 3 teachers.....it made a big difference. Good luck in getting more help!

Pat Chen