Dr. Tom Deighan

With a lot of people feeling the financial strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, Duncan Public Schools administration decided to look at ways to make sure families won’t have to spend much on fundraisers.

In the June Board of Education regular meeting, Dr. Tom Deighan brought up the discussion of new guidelines for the 2020-2021 school year in his superintendent report.

The discussion began in the May board meeting after a memo was sent to staff to have them prepare for fundraising requests as usual while asking sponsors to be sensitive to pressure on businesses and families and considering the number and nature of fundraisers and most critical needs.

Deighan and the administrative staff hosted separate formal meetings and said most everyone shared the same viewpoints when it came to fundraisers — to keep the community in mind during these hard times.

“I had a board member who is actually the board president in Chris Schreckengost who came in and said, ‘Hey, we need to look at what we can do to kind of pull back on fundraising,’” Deighan said. “It is because families are hurting and businesses are hurting so we have had businesses that haven’t been able to do much business the last three or four months. The beautiful thing is I got with the parents, coaches, sponsors, teachers, principals and all of our booster club parents — they all feel the same way.”

Presenting to the board some key points of consideration, Deighan said these guidelines will make it to where fundraisers will be approved by administrators with the community in mind.

“We are going to be extremely sensitive and try to pull back as much fundraising as we possibly can so we can give families a break,” Deighan said. “We can’t control what other school districts do because other school districts sometimes come to Duncan and do fundraisers, but we just want everyone to know we are really trying. It is just a new world so some of our clubs do need to do fundraising but they are being extremely selective about what they do.”

Currently, no fundraisers have been approved for the new school year, according to Deighan. After board feedback, they look to approve some early in the school year for the whole year.

Deighan is thankful for the support of the community and specified after feedback from the board, this is not a policy and is thankful for the district’s support.

“We are just trying to be sensitive so those are the guidelines that everyone talked about and this is the process and this is the feedback from the board,” Deighan said. “I just want the community to know that this board, the principals, the coaches and sponsors are sensitive to what they have gone through. We are thankful to be working here and thankful to have the jobs we have but we want to take it easy this year. The sponsors and principals have gotten together and say this is not a good time and I think that is commendable and that makes me proud to be here.”

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