For New Families

How New Families Can Get Involved

Welcome to Ransom Everglades School! We are so glad you’re here.
It is our pleasure to introduce you to our community, which is distinguished by a culture of excellence: from student life and learning to community service and philanthropy.

This is an exciting time for you and your family as you settle in and learn about Ransom Everglades. On these pages, we will share many of the ways in which you can make a difference. We hope you’ll discover that the variety of opportunities to become involved is as diverse as our community, and we hope you will share your talents and interests with us! 


Thanks to a strong tradition of service and support, Ransom Everglades continues to evolve through visionary leadership, an unwavering commitment to its educational philosophies, exemplary teaching, an unequaled sense of community and the enthusiastic support of its families.

Each year more than 500 Ransom Everglades parents, alumni and friends volunteer their time and talent to the school. Whether serving in a formal volunteer role or as an occasional contributor, every parent and every graduate play an important part in our community, as ambassadors and/or fundraisers. 

Below are some of the many ways you can participate in the life of the school. If you’re interested in supporting the school as a volunteer, please reach out to the point of contact listed.

List of 3 items.

  • The Fund for RE

    Volunteer solicitors will directly impact Ransom Everglades by helping to raise annual funds that sustain the school’s growth, support its mission and provide the flexibility to respond to immediate and sometimes urgent financial needs. 

    Each year, with the support of the advancement staff, more than 250 volunteers serve as front-line fundraisers and reach out to their fellow parents and alumni. The primary goals are to increase the number of individuals supporting the school and raise approximately $3 million per year for The Fund for RE.
    • Parents – Parents of current RE students contact other parents, helping them to connect to the school and asking them to consider gifts to The Fund for Ransom Everglades. Parent volunteers are organized by grade teams with Parent Grade Chairs, who lead each team.
    • Alumni – Alumni of all class years reach out to their fellow alumni as class agents. They keep classmates connected to the school and encourage their support by making a gift to The Fund for Ransom Everglades. In their reunion year, Reunion Giving volunteers help raise funds from their classmates to celebrate their time together at Ransom Everglades in honor of their alma mater.
    • Leadership giving – Parent and alumni volunteers also help cultivate and solicit leadership donors to The Fund with gifts of $5,000 or more as part of the 1903 Society. 
    To learn more, please contact Director of The Fund for RE Melissa Bonafonte via email or visit this page.
  • RE Parents’ Association (REPA)

    Current parents and  parents of alumni are involved in almost every aspect of life at Ransom Everglades. RE Parents’ Association (REPA) offers volunteer opportunities for every interest and degree of availability among our parent body.

    If you’re new to Ransom Everglades or have never been involved with REPA before, please consider volunteering. Ask any member: REPA is fun with a purpose and the next best thing to being a student here. Here are some of the committee/program volunteer opportunities:
    • All sports boosters
    • Auction
    • Book clubs
    • Breakfast-by-the-Bay
    • Bylaws
    • Faculty and staff appreciation luncheon
    • Faculty friends
    • Fine arts council
    • Holiday open house
    • Hospitality
    • Library
    • Middle school picnic
    • Multicultural day
    • New parent breakfasts/socials
    • Parent ambassadors
    • Parent network
    • Senior send-off
    • This Week @ RE
    To learn more, please contact REPA via email or fill out this form.
  • Alumni

    Alumni have a special and personal connection to the school. They also serve as admission ambassadors, encouraging promising students to consider our school; as reunion volunteers and attendees at local and regional events, bridging the past to the present; and their regular investment in The Fund for RE ensures that today’s students have the finest educational experience possible. Whether an alumnus/a of Everglades, Ransom or Ransom Everglades, when our alumni return as current parents and grandparents, they bring a rich history and a new perspective to their association with Ransom Everglades.

    We provide many opportunities to remain active with the school and stay connected to our community:
    • Attend/organize local and regional events.
    • Participate in mentorship programs, college mock interviews, or host an intern.
    • Serve as a class agent.
    • Assist with class reunions.
    • Volunteer for one of our special events, such as Ransom Everglades Epic Fishing (REEF) Tournament, the annual Holiday Party, mock interviews, the RE Business Plan Challenge and Alumni Weekend.
    • Participate in our community service projects through the REACH Too Program (Ransom Everglades Alumni Can Help Too).
    • Support RE by giving to The Fund for RE.
    To learn more, please contact Director of Alumni Engagement Vicki Carbonell Williamson ’88 via email or visit this page.


Generations of loyal alumni, dedicated families, and caring faculty and friends have made RE the extraordinary place that it is today. An investment in Ransom Everglades is an investment in the future. Your gift ensures that RE continues to graduate responsible citizens who will leave the world better than they find it.

List of 2 items.

  • The Fund for RE

    The Fund for RE is the very foundation of the school. The Fund provides approximately $3 million of annual, flexible dollars that allow the school to act quickly on needs that arise each year – whether a timely speaker or student project, unexpected hurricane expenses, financial aid to assist a student in need or the right salary to attract an exceptional teacher. Additionally, the Fund is integral to the annual operation of the school: the budget depends upon it, as tuition alone does not cover the cost of an RE education. For these reasons, annual gifts to The Fund for RE are always the school’s first fundraising priority.

    Participation counts!
    We appreciate the support of all families at every level of giving. Each gift, of any amount, , is critical to the Fund’s success.  Your participation encourages others to give and sends a message to our community that Ransom Everglades matters. Every gift counts. and every gift is important!

    Leadership giving
    Annual donations range from $5 to more than $50,000. We encourage families to consider giving at the 1903 Society level of $5,000 or more, if their circumstances allow. Leadership gifts ensure that we raise the necessary additional funds for our students above and beyond what tuition covers to support our programs, faculty and facilities. Every year, members of the 1903 Society foster a strong culture of philanthropy at RE and reinforce the value of a Ransom Everglades education with their leadership commitment.

  • Where to Start

    We invite every family to start their philanthropy at RE with a gift to The Fund for Ransom Everglades. If families are interested in making an additional capital or endowment gift to one of the school’s priorities, there are multiple giving opportunities available. To learn more, please email Director of Advancement Melanie Hoffmann.


Ransom Everglades communicates with families in a variety of ways, and it is important that all families know where to look for relevant information.

List of 2 items.


    • myCOMPASS: This site provides access to daily schedules, grade reports and student accounts. Users can view school guides, such as the Student Handbook, search our student/parent directory and more.
    • Dell + Cannon: This e-newsletter is sent once a month during the school year. It offers columns from Head of School Penny Townsend, news about students and campus events and a calendar.
    • This Week @ RE: This e-calendar goes out every Sunday during the school year.
    • Emails: The school shares important and time-sensitive information via direct email communications.
    • RE Website: You can find news, videos about RE and information about our faculty, curriculum, athletics teams and more at
    • Social Media: Follow RE on Instagram (@ransomevergladesschool), Facebook (@ransomevergladesschoolmiami) and Twitter (@ransomeverglade), and Head of School Penny Townsend (@pennytownsend1) on Twitter.
    • SchoolMessenger Alerts: Ransom Everglades utilizes the SchoolMessenger alert system to call, text and email its families in the event of a school closure or emergency. Please note that you must opt-in to this service.
    • Back-to-School Information: Everything you need to know to prepare for the upcoming school year will be posted on summer back-to-school page on the RE website and Resources section of myCOMPASS.
    • Ransom Everglades Log: This biannual magazine offers in-depth features on alumni, students, faculty and the future of the school.

  • Contact Information

    You can find important contact information here.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 9 frequently asked questions.


    Volunteering your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a school, especially here! We know that everyone has limited time and unlimited demands, so we recommend that you choose the opportunity — whether it is assisting with admissions, the REPA auction, book clubs, parent events, or the annual fund — that is most aligned with your interests and skillset. RE parents are an extremely talented group, and we hope you will share those talents with us! 

    Your financial contribution to The Fund for Ransom Everglades supports the people and programs that make Ransom Everglades the great school that it is: talented faculty, small classes, library and instructional resources, technology advancements and enriching arts and athletics programs. Each year, approximately 8.5% of the operating budget comes from contributions to The Fund for Ransom Everglades that directly support every aspect of school life. Ransom Everglades relies on a combination of tuition income, charitable donations, income from auxiliary programs and interest income to balance the annual budget.

    Could Ransom Everglades operate on tuition alone? Not without looking significantly different. The school would be less innovative in our approach to education. Essentials like low student-to-teacher ratios, faculty and curriculum development, state-of-the-art technology, a rich arts program and athletic equipment – all integral components of our diverse and robust program -  would be compromised. Charitable gifts are a necessary part of every independent school’s healthy financial profile.

    Ransom Everglades School is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit institution. Unlike a for-profit business, which aims to make money, RE aims to provide our students with the very best education. By nature, high-quality schools are labor-intensive and people-oriented. In order to provide the best education to our students we continually evaluate and assess our pricing through tuition, our investments, auxiliary programs like summer camp and effective fundraising initiatives.

    And unlike tuition, contributions to The Fund for Ransom Everglades are fully tax-deductible and allow each family to make a meaningful contribution to the school's programs.

    Ideally, our entire community will identify Ransom Everglades School as one of their top philanthropic priorities and recognize that their contributions make a significant impact. Annual donations range from $5 to more than $50,000. We encourage families to consider giving at the 1903 Society Level of $5,000 or more, if they are able to do so. Leadership gifts ensure that we raise the necessary additional funds for our students above and beyond what tuition covers to support our program, faculty, and facilities.

    Although RE has a rich educational history dating back to 1903, we are also the product of mergers and changing campuses, which means that fundraising for RE did not begin in earnest until recent decades. Thus, participation by all of our community members – parents, alumni, grandparents, former parents, faculty and staff – is even more critical to the school’s success. Each gift, of any size, is a vote of confidence for our school and, when part of the larger picture, has  a  tremendous impact on our community at-large. Every gift counts! Every gift makes a difference!

    We appreciate the support of all families at all levels of giving. Giving back continues RE's tradition of making a difference — and signifies a belief in our mission. Parent participation is extremely important to us as we benchmark against our peer schools and apply for external grants. A gift, of any amount, shows confidence in our school – and truly does matter! 

    We appreciate all support that families provide to the school. Ransom Everglades hopes everyone will consider supporting these important initiatives, as they serve different purposes.

    The Fund for RE and Other Priorities
    The first priority of the school is always the annual fund. Should you wish to also give to a capital project, such as La Brisa or the Humanities building, or to the endowment for financial aid or faculty support, we ask you to consider giving a portion of your gift to The Fund for RE as well.

    One way to think of these priorities is similar to your own household budget. For example, The Fund for RE (annual giving) is similar to your monthly household expenses – these never go away and always need funding. The endowment is akin to a long-term savings account to provide for the future, and the capital or building projects are similar to a special budget for home renovations or an addition.
    Ways to Provide Additional Support
      • The REPA Auction
        The auction proceeds help build our scholarship endowment to provide need-based financial aid. The auction helps extend our ability to provide access to an RE education to more families, which  makes us a better school and stronger community.

      • Ransom Everglades Epic Fishing (REEF) Tournament
        The annual fishing tournament, REEF, is organized by the Ransom Everglades Alumni Association with the support of RE students, parents and the entire school community to raise funds for special projects that fulfill the school’s mission of giving back to the community.

        Each year, proceeds support both the Harry Anderson ’38 Watersports Center at Ransom Everglades and Breakthrough Miami. The Watersports Center greatly expands our athletic opportunities as well as our ability to serve our Miami-Dade community. The state-of-the-art facility is used for classes, competitions and community service. The center's use extends beyond the Ransom Everglades community and into our city.

    Ransom Everglades’ fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. The earlier we receive your gift during the fiscal year, the earlier we can put it to work for all of our students. We encourage all families to make their gifts or pledges by December 31 – pledge payments are accepted until June 30.

    Yes! Ransom Everglades is grateful to the many corporations that support the school through generous matching gift programs. Please ask your employer about Matching Gift Programs that support independent K–12 schools. This is a great way to double and sometimes triple your gift to RE.

    The Fund for Ransom Everglades enhances the current year’s operating budget, while a school’s endowment is its long-term savings account. A large endowment, well invested, provides financial stability and a source of income beyond tuition and annual gifts. At present, Ransom Everglades has an endowment of approximately $50 million, which generates an annual income of 5% of the trailing 12 quarters. Currently, 64% of the endowment is restricted to specific programs and initiatives, including financial aid and faculty support.
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Middle School2045 South Bayshore DriveTel: 305-250-6850
Upper School3575 Main HighwayTel: 305-460-8800
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.