When you (re-)enroll for the 2020-21 school year, you will have the option to indicate if you wish to apply for TAC or ADP. You will subsequently receive a notification directing you on how to apply for the program you indicated.
TAC is intended to provide financial assistance to families requiring support for more than 30% of total tuition costs, as determined based on a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a family's financial situation. This assessment is conducted using FAST, a powerful software suite designed for fairness and accountability by a company called Independent Schools Management and used by schools across North America.
ADP is intended to respond to the growing needs of a broader set of families who are also struggling with the costs of tuition, particularly in the face of Vancouver's increasingly high cost of living. This program, providing discounts up to 30%, typically requires modest financial disclosure to verify income, with awards capped at prescribed levels.
[Please note that ADP will only be offered from Senior Kindergarten onwards, as has historically been the case with TAC.]
This is the third year the Affordability Discount Program is being offered to our families with the intention to make affordability discounts a long-term feature of our model. But to do that, we need the community’s support in terms of enrollment, annual giving, constructive feedback and positive word of mouth.
Enrollment in our early childhood and senior kindergarten classroom is robust for 2020-21, but there are too many variables in that equation – i.e., re-enrollment, retention, non-tuition revenues, fundraising, etc. -- to give a specific number.
This program is the product of literally hundreds of hours of volunteer time by members of VTT’s Board to study alternative tuition models used by Jewish day schools in communities like ours across North America, as well as an incredibly deep dive into VTT’s enrollment and retention data. This work culminated in a 266-page presentation, and hours of discussion over the course of multiple board meetings. We learned that there are many families who do not meet the criteria for tuition assistance but need some form of financial support nonetheless. The alternative was to do nothing in the face of data clearly expressing our community’s affordability challenges – and that was not something we were willing to do.
Tuition increases are necessary to meet cost of living increases as well as to keep pace with inflation. We also heavily invest in the diverse needs of our student body and to raising the bar on programming year over year by investing back into the school and elevating the experience we offer.
In order to offset the costs of ADP, we have undertaken an in-depth cost analysis of VTT's operating budget to find cost reductions, where appropriate. We are also implementing numerous philanthropic endeavors to attract capital and donations from outside the VTT community.
Our main goal is to increase revenues by raising enrollment. Maintaining a strong program is essential to achieving that goal and we take great pains to avoid any cuts that would negatively affect our educational offering or outcomes.
We are working hard to enhance our fundraising capabilities with our annual campaign. We are actively soliciting donations to help support our new affordability initiatives. And we are working in partnership with Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and the Jewish Community Foundation to establish a VTT Endowment that will provide a stable and permanent source of funding for our affordability programs.