The money donated to YES this year goes to THIS school year’s Ross Valley School District (RVSD) students.

What happens if YES funding goals are not met? Does the state cover some programs?

If YES fundraising goals are not met, programs for this year will be supported with YES reserves because commitments to teachers and kids have been made, but those programs will be cut next year to return to a zero-based budget.

The state covers no part of elementary arts funding and hasn’t for more than 40 years. YES contributions pay the entirety of the elementary art and music programs, including teacher salaries, equipment and supplies. Because the elementary programs are entirely dependent on YES funding, if revenue declines, programs will be trimmed to meet the budget. The state also doesn’t pay for library books, which are funded almost entirely by YES in most schools. The only other funding is birthday book clubs and some small amounts from district funds, but 90%-95% of library books are purchased with YES contributions, and YES has worked hard the last few years to bring library spending up to national standards for school libraries. Additionally, YES supports an outstanding eight-week poetry program that was developed for the Ross Valley School District for grades two through eight and integrates into the classroom curriculum. And, YES Theater is subsidized by YES to keep tuition low and provide scholarships to any family who needs one.

YES “Family Giving” vs the Wade Thomas Lap-a-Thon fundraiser – what’s the difference?

Family Giving is 73% of YES revenue with a focus on district-wide participation. While it’s suggested that each family gives $750 per child, YES seeks to see as many families participate by donating what they can.

The lap-a-thon is the primary Wade Thomas Parent Association (WTPA) fundraiser and funds items like campus improvements and PE equipment (see specifics here). In accordance with the district Round Table agreement, the WTPA keeps $125 per student raised. Once expenses are taken out of what remains, the overage will go to the Round Table. The overage funds are equitably used across the district for purposes decided by the Roundtable. They do not defacto go to YES. For example, they could be used for sunshades across the district or YES could advocate for the funds in the case of a shortfall. In 2016-17, overages are being used for several areas including gaps in Yes funding for an Elementary STEAM Pilot.

What happens when and if the Ross Valley Charter is ready to open its doors?

YES affirmed its vision that “Every child in the Ross Valley School District will have access to a complete education that includes meaningful and sustained exposure to the arts and other vibrant educational programs as an essential part of the student’s school experience,” as well as, its mission, “The YES Foundation secures the necessary funding and advocates for programs that provide all children access to a complete education, including meaningful and sustained exposure to the arts and other vibrant educational programs.” Thus YES programming remains exclusively for RVSD students. Learn more here.

As a reminder, given YES raises funds for the year in progress, the charter had no bearing on this school year. Additionally, Family Giving participation varies between the schools. We always have some families who don’t contribute and their children still get YES-funded programs.

How can community members provide input on the decision?

YES welcomes feedback, comments, and thoughts on  the YES Foundation from any community member. Send emails to Julie Quarter (Managing Director of the YES Foundation) at or reach out to your campus liaison and YES Board member, Nihal ElRayess at

YES FAQ: Funding THIS Year’s Programs and More Answers