Education Matters—Sanford School's Private School Blog

Janice Payne

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Janice Payne is the Director of Development at Sanford School in Hockessin, Delaware.

Recent Posts

School Traditions: Building Community in Schools

Posted by Janice Payne on May 9, 2017 at 4:08 PM

Unity and understanding, both in families and societies, are created through traditions. Schools are both large families and small societies. School traditions bring together unique students, staff, and families to create a strong and cohesive community. Traditions remind us of the history that defines our past, molds who we are today and shapes who we are likely to become.

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Topics: Community

'Tis the Season-The Tax Benefits of Charitable Giving at Year End

Posted by Janice Payne on November 25, 2016 at 1:10 PM

The holidays bring a rise in giving for most non-profit organizations, including schools. Annually, about one quarter of all charitable gifts are made from Thanksgiving to Christmas, due both to the proximity to the end of the tax year and the altruistic tendencies brought on by the season. Most non-profits invest a great deal in holiday solicitations and efforts such as Giving Tuesday, immediately following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What are the benefits to the donor of making a gift at year end?

If you itemize deductions when you pay your income taxes, your charitable gift qualifies you for a tax deduction.
The amount of the deduction is based on your tax bracket. In some cases, up to 85% of the gift is deductible under current tax laws.

Gifts of appreciated securities allow the donor to avoid capital gains.
If an investor has held an appreciated stock or mutual fund for more than one year, they can donate those securities and receive a tax deduction for the fair market value of the securities, and eliminate any capital gains assessments.

Gifts of depreciated securities are also tax deductible and the capital loss can offset capital gains in the current year and possibly into the future.

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Topics: Parenting Tips

How to create a stress free morning routine for you and your child

Posted by Janice Payne on September 6, 2016 at 5:00 PM

By the time your child arrives at school, are both of you already exhausted? Rushing, tears and raised voices in the morning create negativity that lasts well into the day. Starting the school day off in a peaceful, well-planned manner will make everyone feel in control, creating a positive mindset for what lies ahead.

A great morning starts at night! By creating a pre-bedtime routine, most of the morning’s tasks will already be complete.

  • Lay out clothing for the day ahead, including coats and shoes. End scrambling for lost items or early-morning disagreements over outfits. Involve your child, so they do not balk when it is time to get dressed.
  • Put items to be taken to school in a convenient location. This includes homework, backpacks, musical instruments, sports gear, permission slips- anything that they will need the next day. Consider creating a checklist and hang it by the door-and following this plan yourself.
  • Prepare lunches and plan out the morning’s breakfast. 
  • Discuss any schedule changes for the day ahead. Include after-school plans and pick-up times.
  • Have your child bathe before bed. One less task for the morning.
  • Get to bed early. This means parents, too. We are all at our best with plenty of rest!

Create a morning routine that is as simple as possible.

  • Rise before your child and do something for yourself. Take time for a spiritual reading, exercise, snuggle or get yourself dressed in peace. You will start the day feeling more in control and emotionally centered, allowing you to deal with your child from a positive place.
  • As age appropriate, create a morning schedule and list tasks to be completed by your child. Allow them to feel in control by making decisions on how they will get themselves ready. Try posting a timetable in a conspicuous spot. 
  • Electronics remain off. Televisions, games and social media can become a distraction for children, as well as parents.
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Topics: Parenting Tips

Understanding Private Schools: Philanthropy 101

Posted by Janice Payne on April 26, 2016 at 6:00 PM

When you choose a private school for your child, you’re not only investing in a rigorous and broad education. You’re also choosing to be a part of a community that will develop your child’s character and leadership qualities. The financial commitment is a serious one, yet it comes with a unique opportunity—the chance to give back to the school and the community. Students and parents, as well as alumni and their families, all participate in “paying it forward” to the school and the greater community.

Community service is part of a strong private school’s curriculum. Students at all age levels benefit from age-appropriate service learning.

Parents and alumni also become involved in the life of the school, with many benefits for all involved.

  • Volunteering in the classroom and at all-school events strengthens the school community.
  • Dynamic and inclusive volunteer programs assure there are opportunities for all interests, abilities, and availability.
  • Drives for clothing, food, school supplies, and other items encourage collaboration.
  • Community service activities lead to natural discussions about philanthropy.
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Topics: Community

Parent Involvement Improves Your Child’s Educational Experience

Posted by Janice Payne on April 19, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Students with parents that are involved in their schools are more likely to be successful.

When looking for educational options for your child, it is important to select schools that welcome and encourage parent volunteerism. Look for options that meet your own schedule, whether you are working outside the home or are available during the school day. Schools should share their expectations of parents, as well as opportunities for them to become involved.

Research collected over the past decade by the National Education Association on parent involvement found that, regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to:

  • Earn better grades
  • Score higher on tests
  • Pass their classes
  • Enroll in higher level programs
  • Attend school regularly
  • Have better social skills
  • Show improved behavior
  • Be more positive in their attitude toward school
  • Complete homework assignments
  • Graduate and continue their education

Student achievement is boosted when parents can talk to their student about what is taking place in their classroom. Seeing that their parents are invested in their education creates an atmosphere where education is a priority. Expectations that the student will achieve educationally, as well as in extracurricular activities are reinforced through parent involvement.

When schools build partnerships with families that respond to parent concerns and honor the parent’s contributions, they are able to create the relationships that improve student achievement. In addition, faculty and the school receive significant benefits from parent involvement in the school.

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Topics: Community