OCS 20/21 School Year Planning Updates

Current Update
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1/17

Greetings! The Board, Teachers, and Coordinators have continued with twice weekly planning meetings, and have now prepared this in-depth PowerPoint to share with our community.

Q&A from 8.5 Parent Meeting

Will OCS provide enrichment this year?

Yes. While we are in our virtual learning phase, enrichment will continue to be offered Wednesday afternoons and will be provided by our staff members Maddie and Willow. Maddie will be offering Spanish workshops. Willow will be offering workshops that offer creative art activities influenced and informed by science.

Enrichment is a flexible program. The Staff Coordinator will continue to work with the parent community to get feedback on the types of enrichment activities the school should prioritize, just as we have in year’s past. This could certainly be impacted if we are able to transition to a hybrid learning environment, for example. 

 

Will OCS be providing a supply fee refund?

Not at this time. OCS anticipates that we will actually see an increase in supply costs this year as a result of remote learning and potential hybrid learning (although we do not plan to increase the supply fee). Individual supplies for each student will now be required,as opposed to supplies that could be shared in the past. And in support of virtual learning, teachers are planning “learning kits” for each student. Additionally, expenses historically funded from the supply fee remain, including yearbooks and school shirts. Please reach out to a OCS board member if the supply fee or any other costs present a hardship for your family, 

 

Are volunteer hours still required?

Volunteer hours will still be required but the associated penalties for incomplete hours have been waived. This revised policy recognizes this year’s unique challenge to complete volunteer requirements, but it also recognizes that there are still many support needs in the community. There are many creative ways to volunteer, such as hosting zoom socials, participating in committees, supporting teachers with materials prep, and much, much more. Please contact an OCS board member if you would like to discuss volunteer ideas or if these requirements present a significant hardship to your family.

 

Will tuition be reduced?

OCS does not anticipate reducing tuition at this time; however, an additional round of financial aid will be offered to families who have been economically impacted by the pandemic, meet the financial eligibility need, and as resources allow. While the school year will look significantly different than years past, many of the costs to operate and sustain the school remain the same. In fact, many costs are expected to increase as a result of the pandemic and social distancing requirements, including: the increased staffing needed to reduce class sizes, and; infrastructure costs such as air filters, PPE, and cleaning supplies. There are also increased costs associated with remote learning, including technology, software, and printing.

 

Will there be a “trial period” for remote learning?

Unfortunately, OCS cannot offer a trial period for remote learning. Like most private schools, OCS operating costs are dependent almost entirely on tuition revenue. Any significant change in revenue during the school year affects the quality and feasibility of education. A certain level of financial predictability is critical for OCS to make sound financial decisions and ensure the sustainability of the school. For this reason, most private schools have an early withdrawal penalty equal to a percentage of tuition. This is an important policy because mid-year withdrawals are immensely difficult, if not impossible, to backfill after the private school enrollment season ends in the late spring/early summer. Given the uncertainty of the upcoming year, OCS is committed to providing families with as much information as possible to inform their decisions. Moverover, OCS is also committed to working with families if this situation provides an undue hardship.

 

Will OCS convene Micro-pods?

OCS will not be facilitating micro-pods at this time but parents are welcome to coordinate amongst themselves. The OCS enrollment coordinator, Liz Perry, can help connect families who are interested in micro-pods.