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Brehm Preparatory School, Inc. Update 
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Brehm Prep families,

Thank you for your support and engagement in our transition to virtual learning these past weeks. We are so proud of our faculty and staff for their efforts to support students, while the country tries to flatten the COVID-19 infection curve. We are thrilled to see the commitment of students, teachers, and staff to maintain educational continuity while at home. It has been rewarding to watch students thrive in their virtual classrooms; it is a testament to the learning and growth provided by Brehm's holistic services leading up to this pivotal point for change.

As I said in previous communications, know that the health and wellbeing of your family and our staff is our highest priority. We will continue to evolve our remote offerings to be responsive and flexible and provide additional individualized supports and opportunities for social engagement in a virtual format.  Each student and family may have varying abilities to continue their learning efforts in the days and weeks ahead. Up to this point, our overwhelming focus has been on transitioning to remote learning. We are committed to continuing to offer services and are putting coverage plans in place if teachers, staff, or administrators are unable to continue working.  Please be assured students are excused from classes when ill. They will still receive course credit as we extend our online learning through April, as mandated by Illinois Governor Pritzker, and possibly into May. 

I also know families have questions about tuition balances, deposits for the next academic year, enrollment fees for summer camp, and other financial details related to the COVID-19 global pandemic. These are both reasonable questions and difficult to answer at this moment. I want to be forthright that these are challenging questions with tensions that speak directly to the heart of our school as both a caring community and a nonprofit organization largely funded by tuition.  More than a hundred employees who provide essential services to your children and young adults depend on us for their livelihoods and healthcare benefits. The Brehm community who are continuing to provide service for your children are just as nervous for their families as you are for yours.

Although at this time, we do not have all of the answers, we do have some decisions and suggestions. The Brehm Board of Trustees will continue to work with the Administration to provide further clarity and provide an update at the end of April.  Please feel free to reach out with specific questions.

  • Recreation fees will be prorated for April and May if distance learning is extended through both months. 

  • We are increasing our capacity for financial aid for the 20-21 school year.  Families who face extended hardship due to a loss of income may qualify for reduced tuition.

  • We are enhancing our use of Blackbaud to include Tuition Management, which will provide families options for making payments over the course of the year.

  • Families who are in a position financially to offer support could consider the following:

    • Make a donation to our Scholarship Fund to support our school's ability to provide reduced tuition to families facing hardship due to loss of income. 

    • Make your 20-21 tuition payment in full. There is a possibility (although we hope it is not likely) that recommendations for closure are extended into the summer months. Families who can make their 20-21 tuition payment in full can help to alleviate the burden of our summer operating expenses while we face a loss of revenue.

    • In the meantime, I would ask that you think of our school while you are striving to support local organizations you care about. Please complete the re-enrollment process and consider making a gift to the Foundation to honor a teacher or other staff member who has been particularly supportive of your family during this difficult time.

I ask from all families patience and continued support while we determine what is the right path ahead financially for everyone involved. I also ask that you continue to ask questions, connect with other parents, and communicate concerns. Give our best to your children and young adults. I look forward to seeing them on campus as soon as it is safe for all constituents. 

 

Kind regards,


Jeremy Robbins
Head of School

Headmaster Granted Day of Rest - Friday, April 10, 2020
No classes for students and No work for employees
 
We are so appreciative of the flexibility demonstrated by our Brehm Community, as so many changes and adjustments continue to happen for all of us.  In many ways, the reality is just beginning to set in for some of us and we personally experience the consequences of this pandemic. Many Brehm staff members immersed themselves in preparing for online classes before spring break was over.  In the midst of these scary times, they are consistently delivering services and communication to our students and families while they deliver care to their own families.  We feel extremely fortunate to be a part of the Brehm family and are proud to offer our services. In these difficult times, we recognize the necessity to take care of ourselves and one another.  It is a longstanding tradition in many boarding schools for the Headmaster to grant a discretionary day off during the springtime.  The Administration and I are granting a day off on Friday, April 10, 2020.  It will offer our staff a much needed day to rest, recoup, and spend time with their families and for you to spend time with yours.  Therefore, there will be no Brehm services provided on Friday, April 10, 2020. 

As always, we appreciate your support and if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us. 
What are you doing? - Brehm and OPTIONS staff submitted videos to give you a glimpse of their "Stay in Place" world. Enjoy!
Brehm's Official COVID-19 Webpage

Brehm's mission is to empower students with learning disabilities and differences to recognize and optimize their potential throughout their lives.
 
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