Update (4/5/2018): While we haven't changed the policy itself (materials by default belong to the classroom where the teacher resides), we heard from teachers and school administrators that our policy could be clearer when it comes to specific scenarios and types of projects. We hear you! And we've included more details to help navigate various situations below.
Materials funded through DonorsChoose.org are the property of the public school or Head Start center at which the teacher is employed when resources are shipped. The teacher who created the project is the sole steward of the donation while employed at the school, carrying out the project for which the materials were donated.
Who gets to use the materials?
Materials are sent to the school where the teacher is registered on our site when materials are ordered. When they arrive, materials should be given to the teacher who submitted the project request, to be used in his/her classroom. This does not apply to projects where the teacher explicitly describes the intent for materials to be given to the students to use and own.
If the teacher moves schools after posting a project (but before materials arrive in the classroom):
As long as the new school is public, the teacher remains eligible, and the project can be carried out with the same anticipated outcomes in the new school, teachers can update the school information in their account and continue with the project. This also applies to projects that are fully funded during the summer break, when teachers are most likely to move schools. At any point before project implementation, the teacher can have their materials shipped to the school at which they work. (Note: teachers are required to keep their school information up-to-date in their account, and should never post a project for a school at which they are no longer teaching.)
If the teacher moves within the school:
Donated materials should remain at the school and continue to be used by the teacher’s current and future students, even if the teacher moves grade levels or subject areas. (This does not apply to consumables or other single-use items.) If the materials are no longer of use to the teacher who requested them, they can be given to another teacher in the school to use with his/her students, and that teacher becomes the steward.
If the teacher moves schools after their project is implemented:
Donated materials should remain at the teacher’s original school if a teacher leaves after receiving the materials, unless both of these criteria are met:
- The teacher will continue to teach in a public school and in a position that meets our eligibility criteria.
- The principal gives consent for the teacher to take funded materials to use in his/her new classroom.
Working within school policy:
Schools and districts often have their own policies for documenting or tracking donated items, and we encourage teachers to learn about these policies before submitting requests for funding on our site. In moments when a school’s policy may make it challenging for a teacher to have regular access to funded materials, our team is happy to provide support in seeking a solution.
Need more information?
You can contact us to request a full list of materials that were funded for your classroom, or any other information specific to your projects. We’d love to hear from you!