Letter from Sarah & Board of Trustees
May 1, 2020
Dear Greene Towne families,
It’s hard to believe that this week marks the seventh week since Governor Wolf mandated school building closures. In these extraordinary times, I’m inspired by the partnership of families with the Greene Towne teachers and staff to really prioritize the continued education of our children. The ongoing evolution of Greene Towne @ Home is a direct result of this partnership.
We also recognize that Gov. Wolf’s extended closure has resulted in our Montessori program being delivered in our homes, and not in the classrooms we’ve come to love. And even while we know that keeping GTMS closed is the right and safe thing to do, we also recognize the impact on our ability to support families and deliver the full in-school learning environment in the same way.
Over the last several weeks, the Board and Sarah have spent considerable time discussing these unique circumstances and deliberated around the need to ensure long term sustainability and stability of our independent school, while also addressing the reality of our situation. We take seriously our responsibility for stewardship of our school, and equally our responsibility to you, our families that are the fabric of our community. The GTMS Board has voted on a few measures to deliver on and balance these responsibilities.
First, in collaboration with Sarah, the GTMS Board has made the decision to provide a 15% credit of the net 2019-2020 tuition to all currently-enrolled families. In offering this credit, we are guided by our partnership with families in supporting the school and our children in getting through this trying time. This credit also enables us to honor our financial commitments to the faculty and staff of GTMS and our responsibility to keep our school financially stable. The Board is so thankful for our teachers’ incredible effort in delivering Greene Towne @ Home. And we recognize that the continued strength of this school depends on the continuity of our faculty and staff.
Second, the Board has approved a 15% increase in financial aid for the upcoming school year. We are determined to continue to support our families, especially those in greater need as a result of this global pandemic. We will be re-opening our financial aid application process for the 2020-2021 school year.
Next week, each family will receive a communication with their applicable amount of tuition credit and will be asked to respond to some options.
- All returning families will receive a credit towards 2020-2021 tuition.
- Families who are not returning in the fall will be offered a refund.
- K families with a younger child enrolled at Greene Towne will be offered a credit towards the 2020-2021 tuition for their younger child. If a K family does not have a younger child at Greene Towne, we will be offering a refund instead to that family.
- All families will have the option of donating all or a portion of the amount of the credit back to the school in the form of a tax deductible donation.
- Toddler families will receive a prorated refund for lunch fees.
Sarah and her administrative team are tracking Governor Wolf’s updates very closely and are scenario planning to prepare for state and local guidance that will shape summer and fall programming. Sarah will provide an update on summer programs and plans for the 2020-2021 school year to the school community as soon as more information is available.
As I reflect on eight years of being a GTMS parent, I continue to be inspired by the strength of our community, which has only proven to be stronger in this time of uncertainty. I want to express my gratitude to all of you; thank you for your feedback on our program, pictures of your children working at home, and for inquiring about the health of our entire community. I believe so much in Greene Towne, and I am confident that we will overcome these challenges together.
If you have any questions, as always, please contact Sarah Sweeney-Denham.
On behalf of the GTMS Board and Head of School Sarah Sweeney-Denham