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A Letter from School Director, Britney Peterson, re: Finances, Summer Camp and More

| Montessori Admin |

Dear MCS Parents,

I would like to start by thanking you for your ongoing support of our teachers, our administration and of your children.  It seems that no one has been dealt an easy hand in all of this and we are continually amazed at the love and support of our community.

As we move into the last leg of the academic year, we wanted to give you some updates as to what our administration has been focusing on in preparation for summer and for the upcoming school year.   We appreciate your patience as we work to be as transparent as possible and appreciate your understanding that the circumstances around COVID-19 and our financial situation are changing on an almost daily basis, hence making updates a difficult thing to communicate. Like many other businesses and individuals, we are at the mercy of a long line of unknowns and changing circumstances.  However, we met again today as a team to reevaluate our situation and we feel confident 1) about our current circumstances and 2) about the options still available to us.

As mentioned in previous communications, we have applied for the PPP. We were not fortunate enough to have been approved with the first wave of funding but feel hopeful that we will be with the next wave.  We are on a list waiting to hear about how the additional funding will play out.  We have also applied for a disaster loan fund and have filed a claim with our insurance for “business interruption.” We thank those who have sent links for other potential funding and I assure you our bookkeeper, Lindy,  and Robyn are working to turn every stone in order to give us the cushion that additional funding will provide.  We feel the additional funding will allow us opportunities and choices that might not be available to us otherwise.

To date, refunds for Extended Day, student withdrawals and Tuition Assistance are being prepared or have been issued as follows:

  • Extended Day refunds = $59,000
  • Withdrawal Refunds (Academic and Summer Camp) = $29,000
  • Tuition Assistance (Academic and Summer Camp) = $31,000

We have committed  to paying our staff their full salaries through the remainder of the academic year.  We expect approximately $123,500 additional income through the remainder of this year’s tuition payments. Please note that tuition payments are our only source of income.

We currently have 71 students enrolled in our Summer Camp and 173 students currently committed for the 2020-2021 academic year, with more pending. Our typical enrollment is right around 200 students. Queries about enrollment for next year continue to trickle in. These numbers are encouraging and we believe that your commitment to MCS has made it possible for us to confidently continue our plans for next year.  We are looking at ways MCS can make adjustments, if necessary, to ensure the success of our program in the future and with regard to how coronavirus might impact us later on.

While MCS has been able to make these commitments in support of our staff and our MCS families, we must look at ways to recoup some of the funds we have lost due to COVID-19 circumstances.  We are looking into a Tuition Assistance fund that others can donate to in the future and we are, as mentioned above,  exploring options for outside funding.

We would like to publicly thank those who have contacted MCS to say they do not expect a refund for Extended Day.  We realize this is not possible for every family.  While we are committed to making these refunds, we do welcome donations from families who are able to spare the funds. If you are able to spare all or a part of your refund, please let us know by emailing  Donations of any amount are welcomed and will be used to support other families in need.

Many have had questions about what to expect from Summer Camp.  We recognize the difficulty of not having answers and we apologize that we have not been able to make a commitment about Summer Camp yet.  We are hopeful that we can offer this service to our families and we are exploring how to best make that happen in a manner that meets the necessary requirements for safety.  Some of our Summer Camp considerations include:

  • Original dates for camp are June 15 – August 7.  We are considering adjusting the dates to be June 22 – August 14.  This allows us one extra week for circumstances to improve and allows us to still offer a full camp. Please note: this does not include Interim Camp.
  • Child Care Licensing has current requirements for Child Care facilities wish to be open and would require us to adjust our curriculum and our approach to how we prepare our environment. Our team is looking carefully at those requirements and exploring how they would populate at MCS Summer Camp.
  • Candace, our Camp Director, has been working diligently on preparing a camp curriculum as we hope that Camp will be offered.

We realize that many of you are seeking certainty and we simply cannot offer it right now.  We are extremely committed to doing all we can to offer services to our families as soon as possible and we realize that this might mean a roll out of services in a manner that is different from what you have come to expect from MCS.  This could look like an adjusted drop off and pick up procedure, a change in class sizes and student to teacher ratios, or an adjustment in how we prepare the environment.  It is possible that preparing for this program could include costs that we don’t typically consider for camps.  As we consider the many details necessary to prepare for our re-opening, we ask you to have continued patience.

In order to be able to answer questions about the future with confidence, a reliable budget is a necessity.  Please note that we have offered withdrawals from MCS with no fees attached, despite our regular withdrawal policy.  These withdrawals are applicable to the academic year.

Lastly, please note that Thursday, April 30th is the last day to apply for Tuition Assistance for the remainder of the academic year.  This is for no reason other than to allow us to make future plans with financial certainty. You can email for instructions on applying for assistance.

If you are considering withdrawal from Summer Camp, please note that you must contact us individually and we will ask you to fill out a questionnaire helping us understand your circumstances so that we can prepare to work together in the best interest of our students and our community.

We realize the difficulty of the unknown and we, again, thank you for your patience.  As soon as information becomes available to us, we will be sure to update you.

We have worked to maintain the important balance of focusing on self care and mental health while also giving proper time and attention to the academic needs of our students.  The reality is, the needs of our students vary as much now as they always have.  And the time and attention each parent has to give to their child’s education is equally variant.  We want you to know that we honor each individual situation and appreciate that each parent, child and teacher are doing their best. We thank you for your patience and support.  We are committed to supporting your child right where they are at when they return to us. We urge you to focus on their mental health as your number one priority for helping them be prepared for our return to school.

As always, we send our love and appreciation for your support. We wish you health, peace and comfort as you navigate current circumstances.

Warm wishes,