Endowment

Your Vision Sustains Our Excellence

Gifts to the endowment are a long-term investment in the financial health of Community School. Endowment funds are permanent funds that provide the school with earned income. Thanks to the generosity of individuals over the school's history, our endowment assets totaled approximately $3.6 million as of June 30, 2017. Each year, a portion of the earned income generated by the school's endowment is used to support the operating budget, and these funds are essential to what the school is able to accomplish. We welcome and encourage contributions to core endowment funds and existing named funds. Opportunities also exist to establish new, mission-appropriate named endowment funds. Please contact the Development Office for more details.

Ways to Support Community School's Endowment

Unrestricted Endowment

Community School's unrestricted endowment provides the school with earned income each year to support annual operations. These funds give the school maximum flexibility to accomplish strategic priorities and sustain the excellence of its programs. Opportunities exist to create named unrestricted endowment funds. To discuss making a gift to the school's unrestricted endowment, please contact the Development Office.

Restricted Endowment

Community School's restricted endowments provide the school with earned income each year to support specific school needs. These funds enhance educational programs and student and faculty initiatives. Gifts to the school's core endowments, listed below—or to any of the school's named restricted endowments (that accept additional contributions)—may be made at any time at any gift level. Minimum gift amounts, however, apply to creating new named restricted endowments to ensure that the objective of the endowment can be realized. To discuss making an endowment gift, please contact the Development Office.

Core Endowments — Educational Programs

College Counseling Endowment

Community School’s college counseling program helps students navigate the college application process with the personalized attention of dedicated college counselors. Many Community School students attend colleges and universities that are geographically distant from Sun Valley, and the school seeks to inform students about the broad range of possibilities that exist, as well as maintain relationships with as many of these institutions as possible.

Creative Arts Academy (CAA) Endowment

Founded in 2016, the Creative Arts Academy aims to unify and strengthen arts programs, PreK-12. The program encompasses the visual, performing, musical, and digital media arts and allows students to pursue in-depth their passion for the arts in order to foster and grow their potential as artists and performers.

Outdoor Program Endowment

The Outdoor Program is a founding hallmark program of a Community School education and an essential component of the school today. Outdoor trips, PreK-12, foster personal growth, teamwork, and leadership and strengthen the strong student-faculty relationships that are the cornerstone of a Community School education. By stepping outside their comfort zone, students grow in ways impossible in traditional classroom settings.

Outdoor Leadership Academy (OLA) Endowment

Founded in 2011, the Outdoor Leadership Academy builds upon Community School’s vaunted Outdoor Program and enables students to take their outdoor leadership expertise to a higher level by developing the skills, experience, and certifications needed to lead in the outdoors. The OLA teaches skills that can be transferred to any endeavor, from the outdoors to the boardroom.

Learning Support & Educational Enhancement Endowment

Community School realizes that students learn differently. The school is committed to providing students with the needed resources to excel academically and personally, whether they need extra support to master important topics or additional challenges to stay engaged. Accommodating students’ different learning styles is an important priority of Community School.

STREAM Endowment

(Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, & Math)

In the 21st Century, Community School recognizes the importance and value of providing a comprehensive STREAM curriculum. The School is committed to expanding and enhancing its course offerings and related experiential learning opportunities.

Sun Valley Ski Academy (SVSA) Endowment

Founded in 2011, the Sun Valley Ski Academy builds on Sun Valley’s remarkable skiing heritage and the school’s longstanding culture of supporting competitive snow sports athletes by offering excellent academics paired with world-class coaching, training, and competition in partnership with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. The SVSA provides student-athletes with a targeted academic support program, which allows them to pursue excellence in the classroom and on the slopes and trails.

Sustainability Endowment

Community School is deeply committed to acting in sustainable ways and cultivating environmentally educated citizens who take the initiative to lead by example in their community. The school strives to extend the Outdoor Program’s Leave No Trace ethic to the entire campus, PreK-12, and to other school-related activities.

Core Endowments — Student Initiatives

Financial Aid Endowment

An important aim of Community School is to enable students from all socio-economic backgrounds to attend. Providing need-based financial aid is a major commitment of the school.

Diversity & Inclusion Endowment

Community School is committed to providing an exemplary education to children who reflect a broad range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The school actively seeks to expand its enrollment of young men and women from diverse ethnicities and better reflect the geographic representation of the Wood River Valley.

Exceptional Merit Endowment

Community School takes great pride in enrolling and recognizing students who display exceptional achievement. Toward this end, the school offers special merit scholarships.

Tuition Remission Endowment

Community School is committed to supporting the educational aspirations of the families who work at the school. The school provides tuition support for the children of its faculty and staff in order to recruit and retain exceptional faculty and staff members.

Core Endowments — Faculty Initiatives

Faculty Enrichment, Recognition & Professional Development Endowment

Community School’s faculty are dedicated professionals who commit themselves day-by-day and year-by-year to educating students at a high level of excellence. In order to recruit, energize, support, and retain faculty over many years, the school is committed to providing avenues of enrichment, professional growth, and recognition.

Faculty & Leadership Chairs

Endowed faculty and leadership chairs are an important avenue for supporting critical teaching and leadership positions in an enduring way and honoring exceptional faculty and staff members for their distinctive contributions to the educational life of the school.

Community School Named Funds

Beverly McNeal College Counseling Endowment
Established by Peggy and John Baker, the Beverly McNeal College Counseling Endowment supports Community School's college counseling program and honors the passion for lifelong learning that former longtime faculty member Beverly McNeal brought to preparing students to go "from here...anywhere."

Bob Doyle Teaching Endowment
Established by Elizabeth and Jack Bunce, the Bob Doyle Teaching Endowment honors excellence in teaching in memory of longtime faculty member Bob Doyle.

Engl Scholarship Fund
Established by Michael Engl in memory of Peggy and Sigi Engl, the Engl Scholarship Fund supports Community School’s financial aid program.

Faculty Development Fund
Established by Michael Engl and Jack Thornton, the Faculty Development Fund provides income each year for dynamic professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

Great Day Fellowship Fund
Established by the Milgard Family, the Great Day Fellowship is an annual program designed to honor faculty and staff for exceptional leadership within the school community and to provide faculty and staff with professional development opportunities.

Headmaster’s Scholarship Fund
Established by Richard R. Kreitler and the Day, Dumke, Gund, MacDonald, and Modisette families, the Headmaster’s Scholarship Fund provides three scholarships per year to students with financial need. The scholarships are designed to attract new students to the school.

Katherine S. Donald Memorial College Counseling Fund
Established by the Stevens Family Foundation, the Katherine S. Donald Memorial College Counseling Fund supports Community School's college counseling program in memory of alumni parent Katherine S. Donald.

Wilbur May Foundation Endowment for Diversity and Inclusion
Established by the Wilbur May Foundation, the Wilbur May Foundation Endowment for Diversity and Inclusion helps Community School meet its commitment to attract and enroll students from diverse ethnic, non-traditional, and/or socioeconomic backgrounds by providing need-based financial aid to mission-appropriate middle and high school students from around the region and world.

Endowment Investment Policy

Introduction

The purpose of this policy statement, adopted by the Board in February 2017, is to articulate the broad guidelines that will be applied to the long-term management of the endowment. The endowment is intended to provide operating support to the school in perpetuity and, accordingly, is invested with a long-term horizon. Although year-to-year volatility is reduced through diversification of investment strategies, the emphasis will be on the long-term, total rate of return.

This policy statement applies to all of the school’s endowment funds. For efficiency and expense reasons, all endowment accounts will be managed in one account with income and spending accounted for individually for each, except when a donor specifically requires a separately managed account.

Objectives

The investment objective for the endowment is to preserve and enhance the real purchasing power of the investment assets over time, while providing a predictable contribution to the annual operating budget. In other words, the goal is to maintain or grow the portfolio after adjusting for spending, fees, and inflation, while generating reasonably predictable cash flows.

Total Net Return >= Spending + Inflation

The spending objective for the endowment is to support the current operations of the school both consistently and to the greatest extent possible without diminishing future purchasing power. Given current risk-adjusted return expectations, the annual draw rate is set at 4% multiplied by the average of the prior twelve quarter-ending Endowment values.

Risk

In order to achieve total net returns that allow for current spending and maintain future purchasing power, an equity-oriented asset allocation is required. Since equity investments are inherently risky, the endowment will experience return volatility and principal drawdown, but neither should ever be materially higher than its target asset allocation benchmark.


Asset Allocation

Asset allocation targets and their relevant benchmarks are as follows:

65% Global Equities – MSCI ACWI Index Total Return

30% Fixed Income – Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index Total Return

5% Commodities – Bloomberg Commodity Index

Actual asset allocation can vary plus or minus 5% from these targets at the discretion of the designated investment manager(s) based on their current expectations for market outlook.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Finance Committee is responsible for:

  1. Annual review of this investment policy statement, its objectives, target asset allocation, and spending rate.
  2. Selection and annual review of investment manager(s). Investment and manager risk and return performance will be measured against stated benchmarks.
  3. Providing an annual update to the entire Board of Directors.

The investment manager(s) are responsible for:

  1. Creating and managing an efficient portfolio within the guidelines set forth in this investment policy statement.
  2. Providing quarterly investment performance reports including measurement against target benchmarks.
  3. Reinvesting interest and dividends as generated, and rebalancing portfolio at least annually to maintain target asset allocation.
  4. Managing cash and liquidity to allow for distributions as directed by the Community School Business Office.

All investment of the endowment shall be in marketable securities managed by a third party investment manager.

An aerial view of Community School's Trail Creek Campus, by Oliver Guy '18.