Tuition Refunds – April 2, 2020
Dear MA Families,
Yesterday the MA Board of Governors approved tuition refunds to families for the current closure of the school for the month of April. The decision on the amount of funds we are able to disperse was achieved with the following considerations:
- Keeping the school a viable, sustainable organization over the long term and that we may be dealing with a closure beyond the month of April.
- Protecting, as much as possible, our teaching staff from financial hardship to ensure that they remain with the school and continue to contribute to our reputation for providing the highest quality Montessori education.
- Recognizing that our families are not receiving the full value of their tuition during these trying times. Although our teachers are providing consistency, comfort and lessons through a digital platform, we recognize that from a developmental perspective this is a challenge for our younger students. Unlike our students in the upper levels who have years of independent Montessori learning, follow-up cannot be achieved with the same level of success.
Recognizing that for our youngest students, the ability to provide licensed child care is not an option; this care component is vital to their educational experience.
With the above points in mind, we have decided to defer our needed capital improvement of the Elementary buildings; we had planned to use surplus cash in our reserves to help fund that project. Instead, we will draw down those funds to pay for these refunds. Any funds that have been raised towards this renovation project this year, will be held until we can use them as directed.
The amount of tuition funds disbursed will be based on a percentage of a monthly tuition cost based on a 10-month school year, relevant to each family’s individual payment plan and discounts currently in place. Following these guidelines, families can expect to receive one lump sum refund that accounts for the following:
- Toddler – 75% tuition refund, plus $165.25 lunch fees for the end of March and all of April, as well as Early/Extended Hours if applicable for the same time frame.
- Casa – 50% tuition refund, plus $165.25 lunch fees for the end of March and all of April, as well as Early/Extended Hours if applicable for the same time frame.
- Elementary – 25% tuition refund plus Early/Extended Hours fees will be refunded, if applicable, for the same time frame as above. We will hold lunch fees as a credit.
- Junior High – 25% tuition refund, plus $625 Activity Fee refund for the cancelled Quebec Trip; Early/Extended Hours fees will be refunded, if applicable, for the same time frame as above. We will hold lunch fees as a credit.
We are aware of, and believe we are eligible for, a couple of the various government programs:
- SUB (Supplemental Unemployment Benefit) plan and Employment Insurance, which we have already utilized for our hourly staff
- Government Wage Subsidy Program – we are awaiting full details, as they have not been fully released, in order to assess the impact for our organization.
We are hopeful that these programs will help ameliorate the impacts of these decisions.
As you can imagine, accurately capturing this data for each family as well as ensuring precision for entry into our database system, will take Victoria, our Registrar, and David, our Finance Director, some time. However, our goal is to have your cheques in the mail by Thursday, April 9 unless you direct us otherwise by Monday, April 6.
With Growing Chefs having to close down temporarily, we’ve seen how devastating these closures have been on local charities and other organizations. This is why we have tried to come up with a solution that supports our parents and still allows our school to continue.
Together, we believe we have created something that is realistic and fiscally responsible for MA to implement, while providing some support that we know our parents need.
For our students, now more than ever: “We must be guardians of spaces that allow students to breathe, be curious, and to explore. They deserve one place where they can rumble with vulnerability and their hearts can exhale. And what I know from the research, is that we should never underestimate the benefit to a child of having a place to belong.” ~ Brené Brown
We truly believe that place is with their teachers at MA.
Sincerely, Tina Sartori, Executive Director and Kevin Higgins, Board President