The following comes from the Jefferson Township High School Parent Teacher Student Association and the Jefferson Township Middle School Parent Teacher Association:

The JTHS PTSA and JTMS PTA will hold their final general membership meeting of the school year on July 15 at 7 p.m. at Lakeside Field, 15 Swan Lane, Lake Hopatcong.

This meeting will include all the usual communication about both PTA’s happenings. In addition, after much consideration, both PTAs have decided to bring to the membership a plan to reorganize by cancelling their charters with NJ PTA. Once the PTAs have dissolved their charters they will merge with the dedicated individuals that make up our current Jefferson Township Education Foundation.  A NJPTA Representative will be in attendance to discuss the value of maintaining a PTA charter.  Members will also be able to ask questions before voting.  In the meantime, here are a few points to consider.

What does cancelling a charter mean? All of the local PTAs have a charter with the NJ PTA. we are supported by them with a county liaison, we are governed by them with by-laws to follow and we pay dues to them.  In fact, last year both PTAs paid over $2,000 in dues to NJ PTA.

We believe that at the higher grade levels the PTAs are very different from what we see at the elementary levels.  We have never been able to entice students to participate because they are heavily involved in their own activities, extracurricular activities run by the students, which we love and would not want to change. This means our role in our schools must evolve. We believe that by joining efforts with the Education Foundation we will be opening up our volunteer base and giving us new and innovative ways to fundraise. We are looking toward a future of continued budget cuts and if we can save programs with our efforts we at least want to try. Every organization in this town relies heavily on our business’ to support us; by merging we are easing the burden.

 What does this mean for us?  The re-organized Jefferson Township Education Foundation, Inc. will provide the Jefferson Township teachers and education community with grants and funding to support technology, before/after school programs, facilities, and co-curricular programs. We will continue to provide Senior Scholarships and support community events such as Pasta and a Program.  We look forward to bringing fundraisers such as the Carnival, The J-Town Derby, The Staff vs Student Basketball Game, Middle School Book Fairs and maybe some other fun additions as well.

At the high school, we will continue to support programs and speakers, Red Ribbon Week, The Graduation Reception and After Prom Breakfast.

At the middle school we will continue to support programs and speakers, dances, end-of-year picnics, Grandparent’s Day and other PBSIS-driven events.  As a Foundation, we will most certainly continue to honor our teachers with Welcome Back and Teacher Appreciation Activities.

The support you have come to expect from the PTSA and PTA will not change, but by reorganizing, we are expanding our reach and gaining more resources. We see this as an exceptional way to increase our contribution to the community without taxing our volunteer base.

Just as we have in the past, JTEF (Jefferson Township Education Foundation) will be asking for your support through memberships.  We are creating a larger village of members. We will keep you all informed and up to date on high school, middle school and district happenings.  This is also how we will be able to call upon our volunteers to help us support our students and faculty through donations and volunteer time.

We know you have a lot to think about.  But for now members should plan on coming out on July 15 to vote in favor of the reorganization.  This will be a ballot vote and we do need to have a quorum. Please bring some form of identification with you and please remember that you must be a member of the JTHS PTSA or JTMS PTA in order to vote.

Please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions or concerns.  We would love to ease any worries you might have to get us to a positive outcome.

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