August 14, 2020
Dear Lighthouse Families,
During these unprecedented times, we want you to know that we are holding you up in prayer for the decisions you are making regarding your children’s schooling. As members of our governing board, many of whom are also LCS parents, we understand the challenges you are facing. We are here to support your efforts and provide as much information as we can.
In recent days, we have heard from a number of families who either have, or are considering, unenrolling with the desire to reenroll when Lighthouse returns to in-person learning or COVID-19 has run its course. As a Board of Directors, we are encouraged to hear so many of our families love and value the school as we do. We share your hope and goals to return to the wonderful in-person school you’ve come to expect and to take LCS to even greater heights, under God’s provision.
That said, we, along with other private schools, are dealing with additional complex decisions as non-profit enterprises when facing declining enrollment. The most significant aspect involves staffing, which comprises some 80% of our budget in a school committed to small class sizes and fair compensation for our priceless teachers. Importantly, our enrollment numbers dictate our staffing.
Not surprisingly, some families have inquired about making a donation or paying partial tuition to reserve a spot when they are ready to return. Although we appreciate the underlying desire, we will not accept a monetary donation or deposit to hold a placement for a student, as it adds further complexity to staffing decisions and fiscal management. We would, however, humbly welcome any donations in support of our mission. Because our enrollment numbers dictate our staffing, in order to ensure a placement for your child in this current school year or the 2021-22 school year, full tuition (or monthly tuition payments) would be required. If your family is interested in this option, please email our Finance Office. As always, if you are experiencing financial hardships during this season, please reach out to our Director of Operations, Amelia Grayson at firstname.lastname@example.org
We recognize the importance of choosing a learning model that works best for your family and each individual child. However, as a governing board, we are also responsible for faithfully stewarding this school, and for that reason, we also want to communicate the ramifications and disruptions associated with meaningful enrollment decreases.
In our 2020 Spring Survey, our parents communicated overwhelmingly that the two main reasons they send their children to LCS are the Biblical Worldview and our incredible teachers. As your Board, we could not agree more. Our teachers are our greatest asset, and we are thankful for the commitment they have each shown to God, LCS, and the education of your children. So, our desire is to keep our staffing as intact as possible during this period of uncertainty to position for an even brighter future in the months and years ahead.
That being said, if you are currently “on the fence,” please prayerfully consider staying enrolled, and if you have recently withdrawn, we hope you prayerfully reconsider. Your commitment to the school allows us to retain the extracurricular programs, staff, number of grade sections, learning environment, and community we have all come to cherish.
For families enrolling for this school year, please know that as a Board, we are committed to partnering with the administration to safely and legally return your students to in-person learning. As you can see from this letter to Dr. Chen and elected state officials, we are advocating for this with governing authorities and prayerfully hope for a reconsideration of recent decisions. We know many of you are joining us in this initiative and we are encouraged and inspired.
Finally, in the midst of all of the uncertainty, we are continually reminded that God is in control and it is with great expectation and anticipation that we look forward to all this school year has in store. We know that He is at work and are holding up Hebrews 12:1-2. We are running the race with endurance and fixing our eyes on Jesus, knowing that His school exists to grow children into the godly leaders they have been created to be.
We care deeply for you, our Lighthouse families, and we covet your prayers as we steer LCS with excellence both now and in the future.
LCS Board Chairman