St. Patrick School Community,
Every student’s tuition at St. Patrick School is subsidized by various grants, fundraising efforts, and parish support. Every year there is a gap in the budget between what tuition covers and what the total expenses are to operate the school. St. Patrick School has been essentially treading water for several years, losing on average 29 students per year for the last 4 years. The 2012/2013 school year started with 401 students compared to the current 2016/2017 school year starting with 284. During that time there were very minimal marketing, development, and enrollment initiatives put into place. The school also remained idle in its curriculum and programming opportunities to try to keep the tuition the lowest in the area for families, even taking some programs away like the 8th grade trip to Washington DC, Natures classroom, and no new technology being purchased.
The administration has developed a plan based on the input of the St. Patrick School community through private conversations and the parent survey that will lead the school forward in several different areas to once again make St. Patrick School a model of successful education. The plan to move our school forward has many different components that touch upon many of the areas identified in the survey which include: academics like early literacy development, middle school math, remedial and advanced programing and support, religion instruction, and science and art integration. The plan extends itself to teacher learning and professional development, safety upgrades for the buildings including the isolation of the school office which then limits the access to the buildings without permission. The plan is designed to increase community togetherness, values-based education, and student and teacher responsiveness to their own learning through the joint creation of individualized learning plans.
In order for St. Patrick School to carry forth this vision and provide the services, programs and resources that parents have asked for, and we believe to be in the best interest of the students and school moving forward, the tuition needs to be set as outlined. St. Patrick School is a non-profit educational institution that is funded primarily through private tuition. Tuitions account for 96% of the budget this current school year and will account for 95% of the budget for the next school year which does not include a substantial portion of what the parish subsidizes. It is very important to note that this increase in tuition is not coming because we are experiencing financial trouble. Obviously losing over 100 students in four years will have a major impact on your financial statements but we are very lucky that St. Patrick School has reserves set in place to support it when enrollment declines as it has. It is however the responsibility of the school to make sure that it is able to meet its budget without tapping into its reserves. It is also the responsibility of the school to be the best it possibly can for every one of the students, stop the negative enrollment trend, and re-excite and re-engage the community which is really what this plan is about.
The new vision also includes the development of an annual fund, rethinking our current fund-raisers, marketing and enrollment strategies, and developing relationships with some local organizations and institutions that share our mission and present opportunities for our students and families. This can already be evidenced with the grant we just received in partnership with the local school district that is bringing a great deal of professional training for our teachers and a new early language program in K-3.
It is important to understand what is now included in the tuition which also accounts for a substantial portion of the tuition increase. The administration has set the tuition to be more efficient. The tuition will now include all directly related school fees that were typically collected throughout the year like field trips the students may go on as well as all the school supplies your student will need. You will no longer get a supply list at the beginning of school asking you to purchase supplies; rather they will be provided to your student here at school. The middle school tuition also includes several new and exciting things like a Chromebook for every student, and the experiential learning trip to Natures Classroom in 6th grade, New York City in 7th grade and Washington DC in 8th grade. Salaries and benefits make up over 80% of the school’s budget. As I have expressed in the past, the faculty and staff are the greatest resources a school can have. This is why the staffing for next year will expand the roles of the Spanish teacher, the art teacher and the guidance counselor as well as create new positions for an Instructional Support Director/Teacher and an IT Director/Teacher.
We understand that this tuition increase will have a great financial impact on many families and we also understand that it is difficult to no longer receive a multi-child discount for families with more than one child attending St. Patrick School. Please understand that this was done with a great deal of careful consideration and study that included looking at many other private schools in the area to do a thorough comparison. It does not cost St. Patrick School any less to educate a family’s 2nd or 3rd child then it does the 1st one and when you are funding your school primarily through tuition it must get made up somewhere, or by someone else. Because we know this could become a difficult situation and we value each and every one of our families we have created a Financial Assistance program and have budgeted a considerable amount of money to help families who will need support. This is the primary reason why the gap has increased a percentage in our budget and we are already currently looking for private donors and foundations to fund the assistance program.
This is a very exciting time to be a part of the St. Patrick School family and have a child here at the school that will truly benefit from all the new resources, methodologies and programs that will be offered. This is not just a vision of sustainability; rather it is one that puts St. Patrick School in the forefront as a model school where tradition meets innovation and opportunity.
2017-2018 Tuition Rates for St. Patrick School
|PreK 3 Half Days (T, W, Th)||$4,350|
|PreK 3 Full Days (T, W, Th)||$5,500|
|PreK 5 Full Days||$6,500|
|Middle School (6-8)||$7,500|
$100 per child + $400 deposit credited toward your tuition for any family with a PreK or Kindergarten student
$100 per child + $200 deposit credited toward your tuition for any family with student(s) in just grades1-8
*Registration fee and deposit are non-refundable
*Families with 3 or more students at St. Patrick School are entitled to a $2500 reduction in their total tuition