As of 3/27/20 at 5:00 PM
A little less than two weeks ago (on March 16th) we closed our school as a precaution related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Although this has caused disruption to businesses and to all our daily lives, it has been necessary in order to help flatten the curve of the virus. To ensure continuity of learning during the closure, the school shifted remarkably fast into a distance learning mode.
FCS Faculty Steps Up Distance Learning
In just two short days, the faculty began to implement classroom instruction via Zoom, prerecorded video lessons, directed learning activities and lesson packets. Each day links to educational resources were added to deepen and extend learning. It was clunky for some, at first, but we are gaining momentum every day! Even private piano and orchestra lessons are happening virtually! I couldn’t be prouder of our teachers. They have stepped up their game and are serving the students well in this new format! The success stories are numerous and parent feedback has been amazingly positive!
We came out of the gates strong but realize it must be sustained longer than we initially thought. Even so…we’re up for it!
Thank you, parents, for assisting as homeschool parents and “kudos” to our students for engaging with the learning in a responsible (and admirable) way.
Foothill’s Projection for Returning to School
There has been talk that public schools may not open until May 6th or not at all, but FCS has set the following target dates:
Monday, April 20
*Reopen Preschool and TK-8th Grade Childcare
School may reopen (TBD)
Monday, May 6
TK-8th grade will most likely reopen on this date
*The governor’s 'Safer at Home' mandate allows preschools and childcare centers to remain open, mainly to accommodate essential workers such as medical professionals, first responders, grocery workers, bank employees, etc. These families need childcare services as will many more people as businesses start re-opening. We want to open the Preschool and Childcare, sooner rather than later, to help facilitate the return to work that is being anticipated in the next few weeks.
Complete our Childcare Survey!
Would you please do us a favor? Would you complete the attached survey to help us determine your childcare plans and needs going forward? We will use your feedback to determine staffing and reopening needs for April 20th. We appreciate it.
What happens to the childcare fees and school tuition I paid in March?
The school does not plan to reimburse tuition or childcare for last two weeks of March. We’re asking families to be understanding and extend grace on this because the need to close the school happened suddenly, with no time to adjust or prepare financially. We still had monthly bills and expenses to pay, and more importantly, we chose to continue to pay our teachers, childcare workers and staff for the month. Even now, we’re doing our best to avoid layoffs and keep our employees as whole as possible for as long as possible. I think we’re all praying this ends soon, not just for financial reasons, but for the health and well-being of everyone.
What happens to the childcare fees and school tuition for April?
Regarding School Tuition:
Even though I am very proud of how our teachers are connecting with the students and delivering content through the distance learning, I recognize that students are not receiving the same comprehensive program they typically receive when it is business as usual. However, right now it’s business as “un-usual” (in fact unprecedented!). It’s extremely difficult to place a value number on the educational services we are providing. The continuity of learning looks very different depending on the age/grade of the student. Instruction is happening through Zoom online classes, distance learning activities and lesson packets. Parents would differ on what they feel is appropriate amount to pay, especially when they might be experiencing personal pay cuts or job loss.
But one thing is SURE…the school cannot sustain extended periods of time with significant tuition reduction. Some private schools are offering no reductions at all. They simply cannot absorb the financial hit!
I think we all understand the challenge, so…what’s the solution?
We think there is a win-win solution.
The school will be charging full price for April tuition. But hear me out…we are implementing several cost savings measures during the closure which can then be passed along to families in the form of a tuition discount or credit. For instance, we cancelled custodial services and other non-essential contracts. Our utilities bill should also be dramatically reduced (this can be upwards of $15,000/month). We will also have less use of paper and custodial products, etc. The school will calculate the savings and then divide it by the number of students and apply that savings as a discount on tuition fees.
To Summarize: We WILL be passing along a discount, but rather than select an arbitrary number, we will base it on the savings earned (the exact amount TBD).
Regarding Childcare Fees:
No one will be charged for childcare during the month of April. However, currently it’s too late to stop the monthly ACH withdrawal process. So, your April childcare charges will be deducted from your May payment. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Families who choose to return to childcare on April 20th will have their childcare fees prorated based on the days used. If parents choose to keep their child home during the entire month, then they will not owe any April tuition at all.
While our theme this year has been, “We’re in this together.” I’m sure no one imagined a period of social isolation that requires us to be together…apart!
Let’s not let distance dull our sense of community, nor diminish our shared value to help our children flourish…academically and spiritually. Truth is, some of life’s most important lessons can only be learned through adversity!
I’ll close with this Bible verse. 2 Corinthians 2:14 says, “Thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
I want to remind all of us that God is still in control of His world and still in control of you and me. He is not surprised, upset or wringing his hands in heaven. He knows the beginning from the end. He is with us when all is well and he even walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is our refuge and strength. A very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear! - Pastor Chris
- ACSI Math Olympics - CANCELLED
- Class Parties – POSTPONED
- Easter Break - Moved to April 6-10
- FCLYO San Fran Concert Tour - CANCELLED
- Field Trips – CANCELLED. All field trips and local missions trips have been cancelled through the end of March.
- Financial Literacy Class - POSTPONED
- Fun Run – POSTPONED
- Music Lessons - Suspended until April 1
- Open Houses - CANCELLED. The junior high science fair projects are still a requirement, but we will find an alternate way to showcase their work.
- Parent Academic Advisory Meeting (5th Grade) – POSTPONED
- Rawhide Ranch (4th Grade) - CANCELLED. We will try our best to find an alternative date, so TBD.
- Science Camps – TO BE DETERMINED. Foothill may choose to participate if we are the only participants/school at the camp. Student participation would be optional.
- Sports – SUSPENDED. The sports league has suspended games and practices until further notice.
- Student Performances (concerts, special chapel productions) – POSTPONED
- Washington DC Trip – CANCELLED