Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Dear Peregrine Community,
The pandemic is a huge challenge for everyone--our families, our students and our school. As you know, we’ve had to suspend in-person classes. We’ve had to lay off many staff, which has been excruciating. Our goal is to keep the school alive during this difficult time and to resume normal operations as soon as possible.
On Wednesday March 25, the Peregrine Board of Directors held an emergency meeting to discuss the options for school services and tuition starting next week, March 30. We are all doing our best and making our way through this very challenging time. We recognize that some families are not able to continue to pay full tuition because of the loss of income or additional expenses related to the pandemic, including paying for in-home care. To address these concerns, the Board and administration have decided on the following.
Early Childhood Center
Our Early Childhood Center (ECC) has historically provided two important services: 1) teaching, socialization and enrichment, and 2) daycare. We have researched possible ways of keeping our ECC open at this time, since daycare for essential workers can be an exempt activity. However, given the nature of the virus and the importance of slowing its spread for overall community safety, we have concluded that it is impossible for us to operate safely. We are determined to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
We will therefore remain closed for on-site teaching at both campuses at least through the month of April. We are working with county, state, and federal public health agencies to determine when we will reopen. We will continue to stay in touch as the situation evolves, and will provide any information on reopening date as soon as it becomes available.
While we are closed, we obviously cannot provide daycare, an essential service. However, we will offer an online enrichment program for our ECC children and their families, delivered by our talented preschool teachers starting on Tuesday, March 31 after an online Staff Development Workshop day on Monday, March 30. This program will provide daily touchstones for families in the form of synchronous circles, activity ideas, and a mix of online and activity bags. Our goal is to help families provide entertaining daily routines for their children, as well as to maintain a connection to classmates, teachers, and our school.Teachers will also do weekly check-ins with families, to provide support for parents attempting to teach their children at home, and to give parents and opportunity to provide feedback to teachers about how the online program is working. We value our community of teachers and families greatly, and hope that we can all stay in regular communication.
To ensure the financial survival of Peregrine School, we will implement a flat fee of $350.00 per month per ECC student, regardless of your enrolled schedule. This tuition will be due for the month of April and for each month thereafter as long as we remain closed during this school year, through June. Since many of our expenses are fixed, we need the tuition income from our school community to survive and maintain our structure, so that we can start up again as soon as it is safe to do so.
The elementary learning program can switch to online platforms and maintain quality. We plan to continue to pay elementary teachers their full wages and benefits during this transition. By moving to distance learning, our elementary school teachers will deliver a complete educational program for our students that covers all subjects and involves interaction and academic feedback between teachers, students, and parents. Elementary teachers will work at least as much as they do during regular school. Elementary tuition will not be reduced. Parents will not be billed for before and after school care or for after school classes.
We understand that not everyone can afford the tuition rate outlined in this letter and that each family’s financial situation is different. We remain committed to helping our families through this time. If you need financial assistance, please contact Su-Fei Kuok at email@example.com to help create a plan best suited for your family.
Our hope is that as a community, we can pull together to safeguard our great teachers and programs. We have pared down our expenses to a minimum (approximately $132,000/month) but we will still be running at a deficit of approximately $85,000/month even with the outlined tuition. We need your help to survive and are counting on your tuition to help ensure we will be able to reopen when safe to do so.
In summary, we respectfully ask for your patience during these weeks of distance learning. Our ECC and Elementary teachers have been working hard to plan the new online programs, but it will take some time and adjustment before things run smoothly. Nearly all of our staff will have their own children at home with them as they conduct their virtual classrooms. You will soon receive information about your child's particular program. It is important that we communicate with each other during this time, to share what is working and what is not, and to sustain the wonderful community we have fostered at Peregrine School.
Lorie Hammond, Director, Peregrine School
Susan King, Board Chair