This letter has been re-written about seventeen times in the past four days as we have grappled with how best to support our families during these uncertain times. On Sunday we had a seven hour meeting, where our goal was to create a plan of providing a discount to parents for these remaining months of the school year while being mindful of our finances.
At 4:30 just as we were making headway, we received a forwarded notice from KDHE encouraging child care centers to open to support families where parents need to work. In this memo, there were no restrictions made regarding size of group, how to ensure the safety of staff and children except to follow basic protocol around hygiene. “We know this is a stressful time, and especially for families who rely on child care and those whose work circumstances are changing,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “There are a number of child care resources available to help you meet the needs of your family. We’re all in this together and will help families access the support they need.”
Needless to say, we were at a loss on how to proceed with little energy left. At 7:00 we left exhausted. We were confused and frustrated that little had been accomplished. Then on the way home, we received word that Douglas County Health Department was to put the county in lockdown beginning Tuesday morning. Once again, everything had changed!
Being able to create a plan has been a real struggle and we know we are not alone. There is uncertainty amongst all of us. We know you are struggling with finding consistency in these strange times. Hearing the news this morning of government support provides some reassurance but still there are questions.
We are creating two plans for families. One for families of students in the elementary and erdkinder programs and one for families of the toddler and primary programs. The first thing everyone should know is that financial statements will be sent out next week but tuition will not be due or withdrawn from Tuition Express until April 15th for everyone.
As you know we are committed to paying our staff, both salaried and hourly because they are continuing to work in a number of different capacities, and they are the backbone of our school. Our ability to retain and compensate teachers and support staff is vital to our ability to effectively carry out our mission and be ready to successfully resume normal operations once the pandemic containment period is over. With that in mind, we must address the financial side of how to make this possible. What we are proposing does not cover all our expenses. In addition to staff salaries, our expenses include significant property taxes, insurance premiums, and current bank loans. Our only savings at this time are food and a slight amount on utilities. Our hope is that most of our families who are not as affected financially will be able to pay their full monthly payment.
The Raintree Administration
For elementary and erdkinder families:
As you know the arrangement we have with Raintree families is that tuition is charged for the year and divided into monthly, semesterly or yearly payments. That said, we want to give our families some relief for the remaining seven weeks of the school year. The first thing we are addressing for March and for April is to remove charges for those students who pay extra for lunch, early AM (elementary), and late PM (elementary and erdkinder). We are also applying a discount to the tuition due in April and a partial credit to the tuition of March. If you are someone who pays monthly, the discount and credit applied to the April payment works out to be close to 20% of what your monthly payment normally is. As we see how this “challenge” unfolds, we will make adjustments accordingly to the charges for May’s payment. Anyone who has paid semi-annually or annually will receive credit back to their accounts.