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Make Your 2009 Year-End Donation to CHPS

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Dear CHPS community members,

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

While this may not be the Dickens classic that normally comes to mind this time of year, it certainly seems fitting for 2009. The holiday season means many things to many people. For me it is an opportunity to reflect back on the year that is just wrapping up and to look toward the future.

It was an outstanding year for CHPS against the backdrop of the most severe economic downturn in my lifetime and since the Great Depression. CHPS expanded into eleven states with the addition of Texas and Colorado. We developed a Relocatables Criteria for high performance prefabricated classrooms. We completed the update of the California CHPS Criteria and are updating the Massachusetts CHPS Criteria. As world leaders congregate in Copenhagen, CHPS this year for the first time has addressed opportunities for schools to reduce global climate change. Most of our state partners either have completed or are working on updates to their state adaptations of the CHPS Criteria. We are bidding farewell to the popular CHPS Low Emitting Materials Table with newly launched robust, multi-attribute High Performance Products Database ready to take its place. We are putting the finishing touches on the CHPS Operations Report Card (ORC), a benchmarking and continual improvement tool for existing schools. Over 45 CHPS schools have opened for classes with another 300 in the pipeline.

When you think of CHPS you may think of the multi-volume Best Practices Manual, the unparalleled resource for planning, designing, constructing, commissioning, operating, and maintaining high performance schools. You may think of the CHPS Criteria, which sets a high performance common denominator for schools while preserving local flexibility. But what you may not realize that CHPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and that, in addition to membership dues, CHPS is eligible to receive donations by companies and individuals that may be tax-deductible. You also may be able to regularly contribute to CHPS at your work through state and federal charitable campaigns. Finally, many companies offer corporate matching programs that will further leverage your gifts to CHPS.

As the new executive director I believe that CHPS must diversify our funding to accomplish our important work to make schools better places to learn. I would like to take this moment to appeal to all of you in the CHPS community because you know that high performance schools are the learning choice, the healthy choice, the ethical choice, the responsible choice -- the right choice for our children, our communities, and our future. With your generous donations, we can increase the number of high performance schools and students that attend them, bring CHPS to additional states, expand CHPS presence in our existing CHPS states, and keep CHPS tools and services FREE or low cost to schools. In this epoch of belief and incredulity I feel a greater sense of urgency than ever not only to realize a new generation of high performance schools but to establish a new paradigm for schools as part of the solution to help our country emerge from its current economic and environmental malaise.

Thank you for all that you helped us accomplish this year. There is so much more to do. And from all of us at CHPS, have a healthy and happy New Year.

Donate today┬╗

Warm regards,

William R. (Bill) Orr, C.E.G.
Executive Director
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools

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