Henry M. Jackson High School Parent Teacher Student Assoc.: Going Green, Saving Green

Organization Name
Henry M. Jackson High School Parent Teacher Student Assoc.
Mission Statement

The mission of the JHS PTSA is to be a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child.

City & State
Mill Creek, 
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: In 2007, the Jackson High School Parent Teacher Student Association (JHS PTSA) was issuing its newsletter to the school community, over 2,000 families, by mail. The result was that the newsletter was printed in black and white, was limited in size due to printing and mailing costs, and required a sizeable amount of time to prepare, print, ready for mail and issue. The associated cost accounted for half of the organization’s entire operating expenses. These restraints resulted in a bi-monthly publication schedule that was not conducive to providing the reader with up to the minute news or reminding them of important events or deadlines; yet, required vast resources, such as paper and time. Our method of communicating with those we served was severely restricted.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: In late 2007, JHS PTSA began utilizing Microsoft Publisher 2007. The Newsletter Publisher used the new software to update the look of the newsletter and was surprised at how easy it was to obtain professional looking results. The application of Publisher 2007 served as the impetus to changing to a monthly publication schedule. To achieve this, the JHS PTSA implemented an electronic issuance of the newsletter, thereby saving costs, time and resources. The newsletter budget plummeted from over $3,000 per year to only $200. We could now more effectively communicate with the school community, providing more up to the minute information while freeing funds enabling us to grant more to the school, all while slashing the PTSA’s entire annual operating costs by 50% yet preserving resources.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: Electronic issuance, as prompted by Publisher 2007, resulted in being able to provide the school community with important up-to-date information, such as the Nick of Time Heart Screening for SCA or fundraising events for a student who needs a double-lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis. It also saved costs so that we could make larger grants to the school: RF Solution Clicker Systems; TI 84 Calculators; Portable Mimio Studio Technology; Flip Video Camera; partial funding of student International Economic Summit, etc. Publisher 2007 was the drive to these great changes. Also, Publisher 2010 has recently given the newsletter a fresh “e”ppealing look that has engaged the readers. Some students and all of the staff now receive the newsletter; it’s not just for the parents anymore.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: The cost savings of over $3,000 per year enabled the JHS PTSA to grant larger amounts to the school in pursuit of bringing technology into the classroom. Students participate more when the RF Solution Clicker Systems are used; students can better access notes with use of the portable Mimio Studio; the student newspaper is starting a website featuring video clips of school events using the Flip Video Camera. This was achievable while saving resources. This green approach took root: from meeting minutes to financials, everything was sent electronically utilizing MS Word 2010, Excel, and Publisher 2010. It also trickled down. Heatherwood Middle School PTA followed suit and realized the same benefits. Microsoft software allows us to be more charitable in an environmentally green manner.

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