A UNIQUE FINANCIAL ENDEAVOUR
We believe that no one should be turned away because of finances.
Offering a school that is accessible to all who are willing to commit to the school community is one of our most important founding principles.
Having done a lot of research on school financial models and affordable tuition models, we are trying something a little different. It is a model that asks for each individual family’s responsibility within a community that will shoulder the school’s needs together. This is to allow for greater flexibility in the families’ financial contributions and to increase each family’s involvement in the school community. Any funding shortfalls must be obtained through our fundraising efforts.
If you are applying to join our school during the current school year we will ask you to balance yourself between the value of the school's offering and your ability for financial support. We do not have a fixed tuition rate but we depend on every contribution and the fact that some families can give more than others. Please read the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section to give you sense for the dollar figures of our budget and the cost per child for the school.
Below is a description of how we approached parent contributions to see if we could have a viable school year. The first families involved in the process were our school's pioneer families, who were willing to embark on our pilot year.
OUR INITIAL COMMUNITY MEETING IN JUNE, 2018
AND HOW THE PROCESS WORKED
One could think of this process as a community-supported school happening:
• We started with a financial update presentation of the budget (the needs of the school) as well as financial contributions and commitments from families to date.
• Based on this presentation, each community member (one representative per family) wrote down their name and the monthly financial contribution the family is able make on a piece of paper his or her name.
• This information was only seen by the not-for-profit board treasurer and administrator and remains strictly confidential. They gathered the offers and added them up. The treasurer presented the new total contributions amount and compared it to the budget.
• Generally, if the gap between financial offers and the school’s need was significant, we would then do another round together, asking everyone to reconsider his or her contribution amount in view of the results we just saw.
• Once the final financial contributions amount had been established and compared to the budget, we were given the amount remaining to be fundraised.
While we figured out in a group what we each pay, in this process every family at our school was free to decide on the financial contribution that they can carry in light of their own needs and those of the school, and seeing the total contributions of all of the school families.
We decided on this approach to eliminate any external pressure and to bring the community together around a shared goal of supporting the school. Some families will be able to pay more, others less, but every family will contribute what they feel is right for them given the total financial picture, and all families will have the opportunity to contribute in other ways than financially through volunteer work throughout the school year.
We hope that our approach to tuition - your financial contribution - allows every child wanting to come to our school to do so, no matter his or her family's financial situation.
We believe that no one should be turned away
Joseph Bruchac on sacred giving from the Lakota aboriginal culture:
"...it maintains the balance that is needed to hold the nation together and to keep an individual in the right relationship within himself/herself and with the community."