Dear Shorecrest Parents and Community:
We write you today to affirm our partnership with you and our understanding of the personal and financial pressures our community is experiencing. While many decisions are still awaiting critical information, the Shorecrest Board of Trustees and Administration want to share all details that are confirmed and in progress.
The safety and security of our children continue to be the top priority at Shorecrest. Based on information provided by local and national medical experts, the Shorecrest Board and Administration will follow the Governor’s order to keep campus facilities closed for the remainder of the school year. Distance learning will continue through May 22, the last scheduled day of this school year. All divisions - Experiential, Lower, Middle and Upper - are planning Awards and recognition ceremonies for our students. The School Heads will post dates and times in their weekly newsletters.
We recognize the challenges that the sustained facilities closure presents to families who are working remotely alongside their children's studies. We understand that some community members have been furloughed, lost jobs and have experienced disruption in your businesses. The Board of Trustees and Administration are dedicated to providing this community with educational continuity and support this spring, summer and into the coming school year.
To that end, the Board and Administration are working on three major strategic areas to ensure that Shorecrest continues to provide the best educational experiences to our students and their families.
The Finance Committee is leading efforts to support the financial needs of our families, support our teachers, and ensure the long-term health of the school. The Board and Administration are aware that some families may need to adjust their financial arrangement with the school. We will support families to the best of our ability.
Please know the following options are available to you:
- The Board of Trustees will be refunding 100% of the cost savings from SAGE, our food service provider, due to the closing of the campus from March 16 through May 21. The refund will be applied to each returning student’s account, or families may request a refund check. The final amount and details will be available in mid-May.
- As published in early April, the Board approved refunds for events/programs that have been canceled including trips, extended-day, and after-school clubs. Refunds will be made through the business office; no action is required by families.
- Tuition payment plans may be adjusted by contacting CFO Lisa Wylie at firstname.lastname@example.org or Headmaster Mike Murphy email@example.com.
- Families may apply for financial aid or update their application with new information using the SSS by NAIS tool found here. This is a confidential process. Data is viewed exclusively by our CFO, Lisa Wylie, her assistant, Elizabeth Sudderth and Mike Murphy. Applications received by May 17, will be reviewed before May 22. The Board will endeavor to supplement the $2.5 million financial aid budget to meet the needs of our community to the best of our financial ability.
- The Tuition Refund Insurance program provides a way for families to protect their investment in a Shorecrest education. In the event of a covered withdrawal or dismissal, the tuition insurance plan can assist in fulfilling a families’ contracted obligation. Additional information can be found here. The deadline to purchase Tuition Refund Insurance for the 2020-2021 school year is August 1, 2020.
Further, the Board and Administration have carefully evaluated the operational budget, making strategic reductions to ensure we can retain the heart and soul of our school - the teaching faculty. Proposed new positions will be delayed.
The Board has determined the need to pause Transform and delay the planned construction of the second floor of Charger Commons and the renovation of the Raymund Arts & Media Center. We intend to complete these projects when economic conditions improve. The pause in construction does not mean fundraising is no longer necessary. Like other independent schools and nonprofits around the country, philanthropic support will be more important than ever before. Our ability to quickly transition to distance learning, provide necessary technology, professional development to our teachers and to provide financial aid for families are all supported by the Shorecrest Annual Fund.
Safe Return to School
We have formed a Health and Safety Task Force comprising our school nurse, an infectious disease specialist from JHACH, a pediatric surgeon from JHACH, a family practice physician, Board members, parents and administrators including the Director of Facilities and Director of Food Services.
- This group is working to create guidelines and practices to ensure a healthy return to school, including multiple contingency plans.
- Based on this group's recommendations, all Shorecrest Summer Programs in the month of June will be held virtually. Some planned camps can seamlessly move online, while others will have to be rescheduled. Currently, July Summer Programs are intended to be held on campus.
- In addition to the Health and Safety Task Force, a Covid Strategy Committee of the Board of Trustees is in progress. This group will oversee and coordinate the short-term, mid-term and long-term plans initiated to support our school and our school community. Parents will be provided opportunities to share their experiences and desires with committee members.
- In early May we will begin communicating details about the plans for virtual June camps and for reopening campus.
Faculty Professional Development & Training
The Administration, led by our incoming Head of School, Nancy Spencer, and Mike Murphy is working with the faculty to ensure excellence in teaching and learning continues in the short and long-term, considering a variety of scenarios.
- Ongoing faculty professional development will continue throughout the rest of the spring and into the summer to ensure distance learning skills and methods improve and expand.
- Schedules and programs are being planned to meet the parameters established by the Health and Safety Task Force and to ensure our students receive excellent educational experiences in the safest possible environment.
The past five weeks have tested all of us. We do not pretend to think that the experience has been perfect for anyone. However, we have found so many silver linings. We are thankful and appreciative that our teachers were able to transition from a face-to-face school to a distance learning school over a weekend. We are appreciative of the Shorecrest Technology Team and teachers who continue to provide educational opportunities to all community members. We are fortunate that our school and families had the technology to begin distance classes with very little interruption. We have all learned how to improve the distance learning methods and environments. We are appreciative of the support SCA, the Board and faculty have provided to Shorecrest students, faculty, staff, parents and families.
As scheduled, Monday April 27, will be a day off for our school community. The three day weekend will be a welcome break.
We will continue to share information as it becomes available. Please, reach out and let us know how we can support you and our Shorecrest Chargers. We are #ShorecrestTogether.
Dennis R. Leary