Teacher Thanks- Info/FAQs

Exploris PTO coordinates schoolwide teacher gifts in December before the Winter Break, and again in June before the end of school.  We encourage all parents to contribute to this gift pool. This collection ensures that all teachers and staff members receive the recognition they deserve! 


Here is donation page link – please donate by midnight on Thursday:

Any dollar amount is appreciated and divided among the Exploris team.

Note: this donation is fee-free! Your donations will be anonymous or you can leave your name in your note.

We also encourage all families, regardless of whether you chose to contribute financially, to craft a thank you message to include on a digital “KudoBoard”. Add photos, gifs and a message – be sure to include your child’s name in the message. 

Easy Teacher Gift Giving at Exploris

Exploris PTO coordinates collections for schoolwide teacher gifts:

  • in December before the Winter Break
  • in June before the end of school
  • for Teacher birthdays

The PTO’s collections ensure that all teachers and staff members receive the recognition they deserve!  Families also have the added benefit of saving time while giving the perfect gift!  Our teachers and staff truly appreciate everyone’s generosity and have told us many times how much they look forward to this.

Because our children are still attending virtual classes, we are requesting donations to be made online for the winter collection. Please complete your donations by December 18th so we can get the money distributed before the end of the year.

If you have any questions (or would like to arrange to send in cash or a check), please let us know by emailing Lynne Hildreth, PTO treasurer at pto-treasurer@exploris.org

Teacher thank you mug.

Thank you to everyone who participated during the 2019-20 school year.  We were thrilled to give over $14,000 to our Exploris teachers and staff. 

Exploris Thanks – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much should I give?

A: That’s a very personal decision.  Our recommendation is to figure out how much you would have spent on all the staff you would have given gifts to and add it together.  They will all be getting a portion of this money so it will cover everyone. The donation site lists some commonly donated amounts, but you can write-in any amount you choose.

Q: Why is my money not just going to my child’s lead teacher?

A: At Exploris, your child is not just taught by their lead teacher.  They spend instruction time with the entire grade level crew, specialists, and sometimes teachers from other grade levels. Since it is a team teaching environment, the purpose of this to enable you to send in one check and not have to buy separate gifts for all the people who teach your child.

Q: Who does this money go to?

A: After accounting for full-time or part-time status, the money is distributed among the teachers and staff (admin, specials, etc…) who help to make this a great environment for your child.

Q: How does the teacher know that I gave to the gift?

A: While the site does not require you to be “anonymous” (but you can be), we will not share the names of donors when giving the teachers gifts (as we have not done in the past). If you would like to let your teacher know, feel free to send them a card or email that tells them you hope they enjoy their gift!

Q: Does the teacher prefer a personalized gift?

A: Teachers love any and all expressions of kindness.  This check at Winter and again at the End of Year is so nice for them because it’s large enough for them to buy something special, pay off some bills, do whatever they want with it.

Q: Why does the donation on the PayPal site say the funds will go to “Exploris Middle School PTO”? My child is in Elementary school.

A: The legal name of our PTO, as registered with the IRS, is Exploris Middle School PTO. PayPal required us to use our legal name. The money collected will be distributed to teachers at all grade levels as well as the supporting staff. After making your contribution, the site will allow you to add a personal note. We will be putting these notes into an eCard for the teachers and staff, and encourage you to add your own words of recognition here.

Additionally, teachers are ethically bound by the NC State Board of Education Code of Ethics to not accept items from students or parents other than “token” gifts for appreciation. The Winter and End of Year Thanks collections, managed by the PTO, is a way for the teachers to get a meaningful check to be used at their discretion over Winter Break or in the summer to get something nice while maintaining their ethical obligations.