DSM: Re: advice

From: Gayle Remisch (tegdib@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 17:25:03 EST


you wrote:
> We have another situation that has been hard to deal with. Out of the
> five
> children at the school, one of the parents, me, has paid the yearly
> tuition;
> two of the children are from one family who pays monthly; the other
> two have
> not paid anything yet. And somehow, the one family with two children
> is
> trying to use their financial power to do what they want with the
> running of
> the school. For instance, we, the staff, proposed having one hundred
> dollars
> per month stipend for gas to be paid to us, since we are volunteering
> this
> year since there are not enough students to pay staff. These parents
> balked
> at the idea, saying that their money is being paid to go toward their
>
> children's education, etc. and I should not be given any money for
> gas since
> my daughter is a student and I would have to drive her anyway, and I
> only
> have to drive there and back, and their family has to drive twice,
> etc.

You, as both a paying client and an 'employee' have rights and
responsibilities - as they do as clients and participating families. I
would write up your expected salary and present it at a meeting.
Considering that your paid tuition is also being part of what the $100
is to be drawn from, not only thiers. Understanding that all of you
may be having to drive farther than you would have planned, is there a
way to car pool? Part of the income from the school is for petty cash
and other budgeted amounts. Financially speaking these parents who
oppose a stipend for gas, are shooting themselves in the foot, because
if you are volunteering your time to help their children, then if you
go they are stuck without the alternative. Yes, it definitely seems
that they do not appreciate what you are giving into the equation, not
only for your daughter but for their children too.
> I am wondering if it is worth it to start a school without a >
permanent
> location, or with such small numbers of students. Our advertising
> (newspaper
> ads, radio interview, postering) attempts have been largely
> unsuccessful, and
> we have only had one new family express interest in the school since
> September.

I am preparing a press release for the begining of January about the
enrollment opportunities for September. I'd love your input or to
combine with some of the other Sudbury startups to make more of a media
impact. There are 2 or 3 others in Ontario, (Ottawa 1, Toronto 2) I
think. With yours and mine that makes 5 alternative schools who
operate as close to the sudbury model as possible. That is a little
different from one little rebel school. Together we stand more of a
chance of getting positive publicity. It will take much time for
Canadians to break from from the "public/free eduction" mentality. We
are too accustomed to not paying out of pocket as soon as our kids go
to school.

We are well familiar with Day care rates being upwards of
$100-180/week, year round, but when it comes to school, we think we are
off the hook.

It's horendous how we give up our children for the almighty $$ savings
(suposedly).

Out of the 5 kids I have coming here, 1 pays 1/2 rates; another family
with 2 kids (who come alternately, because she can't afford it) pays
1/2 rates and 1 whose mother volunteers in the school helping out where
needed. Because of this I have had to work outside in the evenings to
subsidize the school and my being able to stay home to be there for
their children. So I only have one full time pay coming in. That's not
enough so I do preschool childcare for shift workers in the evenings
and ovenights. This almost makes it so I can break even. I have
picked up the papers for Charitable Status and for Non-Profit status, I
am just beginning to explore this avenue.

We are still in the conceptual - embrionic stage of this pedagogy. the
word still has to get out there...There are other ways.

I'm also on ICQ 19307745
and Yahoo Messenger, tegdib

Gayle

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