Response to Jan 13 Letter from the Board
January 26, 2021
Dear Board of Trustees,
Thank you for your Board Update dated January 13, 2021 regarding 2021/2022 Tuition. We have reviewed the information contained therein, discussed it as a community, and have three comments in response.
Firstly, the $18,900 in fundraising, which stated in your letter represents a “48.11% increase over the same previous period”, in fact, highlights a major weakness of GISB. A primary function of the Board of Trustees should be fundraising, and this amount is nowhere near large enough to make an impact. The purpose of a board is to make it easier for the teachers and Head of School to do their jobs, by taking care of non-classroom issues such as strategic planning, finance, property and facilities management, marketing, and fundraising. We believe that the GISB Bylaws should be amended to require that board members pledge to fundraise defined sums of money. Doing so will bring GISB in alignment with the bylaws of many of its competitor schools and will ensure that those who are elected as a trustee are committed to fundraising and other non-classroom initiatives. These are the areas in which we so dearly need leadership.
Secondly, with respect to the Treuebonus, the 50% reduction for the 2021/2022 school year should be a temporary, COVID-related measure. In the event that we determine as a community that the Treuebonus should be reduced in future years, we believe that this should require a separate resolution. The proposed reduced Treuebonus should not automatically roll forward. In view of the school’s extremely limited pool of potential students, particularly at the higher grade levels, we recognize that the Treuebonus is an important means of retaining loyal families, who have committed to GISB for the long term.
Finally, we believe charging the volunteer fee at enrollment and crediting it back upon verified completion is a shortsighted method of improving cash flow. While this strategy may provide a minor boost to cash in the short term, in the long run it will undermine community solidarity, because collecting the fee upfront takes away the incentive to volunteer later. The volunteer fee has always been a “trick” to encourage parents to commit time to the school. The intangible benefit to the community of having parents meet one another and invest emotionally in the school far exceeds the $150 fee. Therefore, it is our position that the method of collecting the volunteer fee should remain unchanged.
Concerned Parents of GISB