“Solidarity is not an act of charity, but mutual aid between forces fighting for the same objective.”
This week, after almost a month of classes and meetings with many families where this has been a topic of conversation, I decided to write something more informative than usual.
Unfortunately, not every family who makes an application can receive a scholarship, but in light of the current situation, we have made an effort to reallocate and repurpose funds to do as much as possible. The scholarship committee performs a detailed analysis of the documents provided and has to make the difficult decisions which will allow us to support those who are most in need. Since August, we have been able to offer support to 59 families through our extended scholarship programme, including 12 families with students studying in Prepa, an area of the school that has not traditionally been included in the scheme. This represents 10% of the population of families at the school and, combined with regular discounts (eg, for annual payment or third child) accounts for a little more than 9% of our overall budgeted income for this fiscal year (in previous years this has been 7%). In addition to our scholarship programme, we have also supported 91 families with payment extensions for fees owing from last school year, we are managing deferred payments of $4,168,125 in total, in order to assist those families in the slow, expected recovery of something resembling ‘normal’ as we move towards the green light.
This level of financial provision is only possible due to the ongoing support that we receive from the community as a whole. Actions that have been taken so far to allow those families who have been hardest hit by the current situation include the decision made at this year’s General Assembly to freeze school fees for families and pay rises for staff. We have also been able to reassign some funds within the academic budget to provide extra means to the scholarship committee when they are assigning scholarships. Most of all, however, those families who have been affected less and who are able to continue paying full school fees have provided us with the confidence that we can afford to support these families and continue to function with the level of quality that is expected by the community.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of you, we know that each of our families has been affected by the pandemic in some way, big or small, and we have all suffered on our personal journeys through the quarantine. We recognize the effort and commitment that is implied in the payment of any school fees and are working hard to reflect that effort and commitment back to you through our constant evaluation and reimagining of the world of Distance Learning. We appreciate how lucky we are to belong to such a community where there is a genuine concern, solidarity, and care for each and every member, and we hope you do too. Thank you.