From: Monteverde Friends School <no_reply@donorsnap.com>

Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2020 4:38 PM

To: ecooney@mfschool.org

Subject: MFS May Newsletter: Tough Decisions in Uncertainty

 

Monteverde Friends School/ Escuela de los Amigos Monteverde

Newsletter, May 2020

www.mfschool.org

 

Double Your Donation

Thanks to another generous donor, the match honoring our beloved community member, Sue Trostle, is now extended to match up to
$13,000
in contributions!

Read below, following our update,
to join the match.

 


Knowing, Not Knowing, and Planning Nonetheless

There are many things we don't know, but here are two things we do know:

  • It is a testimony of the Monteverde Friends Meeting that the Monteverde Friends School (MFS) primarily serves local children (currently 96% of our students). Given the beauty and natural resources of our location and the quality of our education, it would be easy to be a prestigious international school with much higher tuition but we mindfully choose otherwise.
  • Admission decisions are made regardless of a family's ability to pay full tuition, though we do require every family to pay something.

The pandemic, and the resulting collapse of ecotourism, on which virtually all of the local economy depends, severely tests us in those testimonies as we plan for the new school year. In a recent survey, parents of our current 120 students indicate that all but 3 wish to continue at MFS, but estimate that they will be able to pay less than half of current, very reasonable tuition levels. But we are determined to honor the values that have formed this school for nearly 70 years.

We know that tuition normally funds nearly 85% of our budget. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the generosity of our donors, who have already doubled our usual donations for the scholarships. But we feel overwhelmed, in a different sense, with considering options for filling the large gap in tuition, e.g. reducing personnel costs (80% of our budget), finding other ways to operate ... but are determined to find a way forward.

There is so much we don't know, yet we have to plan. Will we even be able to hold in-person classes? Or do we need to give teachers more resources for continuing to teach online? If in person, can classes be their current size, or do we need to go to staggered schedules? Do we need extra facilities in order to do so? How can we arrange staffing -- with fewer people -- for new schedules and space?

Yet, in the midst of all these uncertainties, we need to make decisions about personnel contracts that run through June and would need to renew in July if we retain the staff member. As much as the school needs to plan ahead, our staff do as well, as do the parents of our students.

As we make these tough decisions, our key committees -- the School Committee and the Finance Committee -- have gone from monthly to biweekly to weekly meetings. A special committee formed to make decisions about downsizing staffing for the upcoming year meets more than once a week.

In all this, we know that your donations are key to these decisions. We check donation levels -- sometimes daily -- to see how much we have to work with. We know that your donations affect what classes we are able to offer in the new school year, what teachers and staff will be here -- and most of all, whether we can serve all of our students. We know we are incredibly fortunate to have the outpouring of donations so far, and look forward to your continuing support as we, and the whole world, figure our way through this world-shaking event.

 

Donations Doubled and Double the Reasons to Donate

Thanks to the generosity of the Trostle family and friends, donations made starting
May 15th will be doubled up to $8,000
$13,000* as a memorial for longtime community member Sue Trostle, who passed away last November.

* The match is increased thanks to an additional $5,000 from an anonymous donor!

Sue was a cherished member of the Monteverde community since 1974. Anyone who had contact with Sue felt welcomed, loved and valued.

We are confident that in a similar way, Sue would join us in valuing every single donation made to the Monteverde Friends School (MFS), no matter how big or small. With her, we recognize that a $5.00 donation from a donor with fewer resources may require more effort than thousands of dollars from someone else. We welcome all levels of donation! This generous match to double donations is a tribute to Sue.

Whatever your gift, small or large, it will be doubled until a combined $26,000 is raised, and will help ensure that the MFS tradition of excellent, bilingual education inspired by Quaker values will continue in its 70th year!

 

For tax deductible donations:

Online in the United States

Online in Canada

For other ways to donate

 

And just for fun .....

Click here for a beautiful message that MFS faculty and staff to our students ... and sends to all of you.

Or if you missed our recent Coffee House -- with two hours of talent from our school and community -- just go to Monteverde Friends School on Facebook for a replay!