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The Foundation of Madison's Public Schools (FMPS) was founded in the year 2000 as an independent community organization dedicated to sustaining and extending the excellence of our schools. The Foundation pursues this mission by raising private funds and making grants for creative and innovative projects that connect and engage the community with our schools.

Within three years, the Foundation mounted a drive to establish an individual endowment fund for each of Madison's 46 schools. Within an endowment, we use only the interest on the account to support special initiatives at our school while the principal remains untouched and continues building through long-term investment and fundraising. It generates funds year after year.

students in the water at Upham WoodsThe endowment makes grants to teachers and other staff for programs and projects we wouldn't otherwise be able to do. While taxpayer support will and should always be the primary funding source for public schools, an endowment can be like the doting grandparents that help buy those "extras" that are outside the regular school budget.

Here at Sennett, we have two accounts through the Foundation: a general account and an account for the Upham Foundation. The general account funds are used for different things each year. Last year, the funds were used for two main projects: to improve the look of our Sennett hallways and to support our college readiness initiative. For the building poster project, student pictures were taken, enlarged, framed, themed and hung throughout the building. Many large framed posters were also created of worthy individuals who reflect the diversity of our student population. For the college readiness initiative, pennants were displayed around the building from colleges around the country.

This is the first year that we will be able to use the Upham Foundation money because the account reached endowment level just last year. Upham Woods is an outdoor environmental education center. Sennett students go once in their 3 years of middle school for 2 nights and 3 days. The Foundation money will be used for scholarships to support students who do not have the necessary funds to pay for their trip.

If you are interested in learning more about the Endowment Initiative, in making a gift of cash or property, or in volunteering to help to raise funds for our school's endowment, please contact Liz Reagan at 204-1920.