Full year Gators and YAP package
Dear Gordon Families,
Gordon's strategic vision asks us to cultivate a family-centered community by delivering services that meet the needs of children and families living in our fast-paced and ever-changing world.
One part of this work is ensuring that Gordon supports families beyond the hours of the school day and outside of the traditional independent school calendar. The three surveys (summer, calendar, and scheduling) issued earlier this winter got a strong response from families and gave us direction to make some exciting changes.
We've made one giant leap forward by tripling our summer offerings, making it even easier for families to expand the Gordon experience throughout the entire year. I hope you've had a chance to review these new options at www.gordonschool.org/summer.
Another change we have been developing is in the pricing of our Gators and YAP child care.
We know that consistent and high-quality after school care is crucial for parents as they plan their schedules, their work commitments, and their budgets. Parent's responses to the recent scheduling survey made it obvious that there were a few ways Gordon could simplify the billing process, while accommodating the increasing demand for daily care that runs until 5:30pm. The result is a more efficient pricing structure that allows us to pass savings on to families.
For all the reasons outlined above, and in an effort to make paying for after school care simpler and more predictable, we are making these changes:
The full-year packages will be dramatically less expensive
The drop-in rate will be assessed by the day, not by the hour
Smaller packages and offerings will be eliminated
The full-year packages cover children from dismissal to 5:30pm, every day that school is in session. These packages also include a 50% discount on Gator Days, days when school is not in session.
The full-year fee for Early Childhood will be reduced by 40%, to $2,500 a year. The full-year fee for Lower School will be reduced by 42%, to $2,000 a year, and the fee for Middle School will be reduced by 75%, to $900 a year.
These new prices better reflect the hours each age group uses over the course of the week and the year as well as the staffing each age group requires.
The drop-in rate for students who do not have the full-year package will be $30 per day. Hourly rates, seasonal rates, and the ten-hour Gator Pass will no longer be offered. Homework Lab will continue to be available as part of Gators and YAP, but not with a separate pricing structure.
The hope is that this new system will allow every family to begin the school year with a clear sense of how their child will be cared for from 7:15am to 5:30pm, with a price reduction for families who use care on a weekly basis. Morning care will continue at no charge. Families who will need after school care once in a while can budget for a simple daily fee.
These changes do not take effect until September 2020. I am letting you know now because this community has consistently said that advance notice and predictability are important, especially when financial matters are concerned.
Registration is below for the full-year packages. Families who are returning to Gordon next year are welcome to sign up any time between now and August 1st. They will be charged over a ten month period beginning August, 2020.
I'm excited about these changes, and I hope they make it easier for your family to plan the year ahead. Please read the Q&A below, and let me know if you have further questions.
Some questions and answers
Will Gordon offer care until 6pm?
No. The calendar and scheduling survey parents filled out in January asked about this directly, and the responses did not demonstrate a strong need for care beyond 5:30pm.
What about after school theater? Athletics? Common Ground? Heritage Language? Math Club? G-Notes?
There is no plan to charge for these programs, which are currently free.
What about enrichments? Music lessons? Instructional tennis?
These programs will continue to be offered, at a fee structure similar to this year.
What about when school is not in session?
Summer programs and Gator Days (care on days school is not in sessions) are not affected by these changes.
My child might not need care until 5:30pm every day. Am I wasting money if I pay for the full year?
No! The pricing structure assumes that not every child will use every hour of care. The full year package for Early Childhood, for instance, is equivalent to two-and-a-half days a week at the drop-in rate, and the price per day is even less expensive in the older grades.
What if my child has to go to Gators or YAP before a music lesson, or after an enrichment?
The current policy remains in place: care is free for students who are waiting for an after school activity to begin, and otherwise, the $30 daily drop-in rate applies any time a child is in Gators or YAP for more than fifteen minutes.
How should I decide which package to use?
One way would be to estimate how many days you might need care next year. Last year's calendar can give you a complete and accurate picture of the ebb and flow of after school programs like the third and fourth grade musical, and may help you think through how your needs might play out over the year. If you have a child in Early Childhood, and you think you will need care two or three times a week, the annual package is worth it. If you have a Lower School student and you will need care twice a week, the annual package is worth it. For Middle School, the package pays off if you use care once a week.