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Traditional Schools Turn to the Lessons and Strategies of Progressive Schools to Lower Costs

Get involved. Help the school operate. Work. Provide a service. These are a few of the strategies highlighted in Gretchen Becker’s Indianapolis Star article, “Private schools get creative on payments: Schools find ways to keep kids enrolled despite recession.

Parents are committed to making private school work for their kids: “…one pattern is emerging: Even when forced to scrimp on other expenses, many families will stick with private schools despite the hard times.” (IS)

Standard budget cuts/freezes, hiring freezes, program evaluations/cuts are certainly part of cost containment. Most interesting, are the ways in which schools seem to be turning back the pages to reduce costs by involving students and families in the school’s operation. Old fashioned work, makes a great contribution to any school.

Ms. Becker shows some of the ways that private schools in her area create more avenues through which families can contribute to the school’s operation while earning tuition credits for their labor.

“…Some parents are hoping to earn a little extra tuition money.

Angela Bostrom has two children attending Our Lady of Grace Catholic School in Noblesville and is planning to take advantage of a new deal the school has with Aramark Food Service.

Parents can work concessions at Aramark’s venues and earn $30 to $120 per event. That money will go directly to the school and be earmarked for tuition.” (IS)

Parents, do you have a professional skill? Donate your labor/skill to the school. Use weekend time to help with campus maintenance. And, of course, students can participate in all manner of campus projects and maintenance.

The silver lining- if you can call it that- in these kinds of times- people rediscover that they are indeed connected and that working together produces a greater good for all. As progressive schools use common good, connectedness, and work to build community, it seems that traditional schools are rediscovering connectedness and contribution- living the idea that the community is most healthy when everyone shares and works together.

Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

More by Brian Fisher

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