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Letter from the Principal: May 28, 2019

Dear Spectrum Family and Friends,

There is a lot to celebrate from the 2018-19 school year. Those who came to one of the State of the School addresses had a chance to see many our successes listed with beautiful images of our children learning at work and play. As a new principal, I began the year with strategic priorities to stabilize enrollment and financials, to strengthen curricular coherence and assessment systems, and to build back Spectrum as  a visible, viable, and compelling option in the Rockford area educational ecosystem. While we have made considerable progress on these efforts, we are not out of the woods yet. Fundraising and donations did not meet our targets this year. We need to increase enrollment in afternoon preschool, Early, and Middle School. While we had 95% volunteer efforts from parents, we need more parent leadership on the Board and in the Parent Teacher Organization. The few people who stepped up consistently to lead and coordinate events are at risk of burning out.

I was surprised to learn some parents had the impression we pay our teachers a competitive salary. We do not. Teaching at Spectrum is a labor of love stemming from a commitment to progressive philosophy. Tuition does not cover the cost of running the school. It doesn’t even fully cover teacher and staff salaries. That is why we seek donations and do fundraising. That is why we seek grants and partnerships…to give more to the students despite financial challenges. It takes a lot to run a successful private school, and every bit helps.

As you consider the progress we have made as  a school, as well as the learning opportunities your children have had this last year, please know and the following:

  • There are three matching grants for the school that will double any donation between now and the start of next school year. These will help with tuition support to families in need, enrichment, and additional part time staff for programs and projects to support personalized instruction. Thank you the Burch Family Dental and to the Phoenix Fund for this support.
  • Empower Illinois is doing a match for Illinois state taxes paid to its program for tuition support. If you are paying state taxes anyway, why not allocate them to Spectrum and double your contribution that way, See Marci for for more information.
  • Plan to volunteer for as little or as much as you can. Your time, energy, and input help us continue to make a school that fosters joy in learning. Spectrum is a special place. We cannot do it without you.

We are planning summer picnics, parent workshops, student workshops, enrichment sessions, and preschool open houses. We will keep you informed via this email blast and our Facebook page. Please look for the a save the date for out back to school kick off event. It will come with the Spectrum 2019-20 Year at a Glance event calendar once that is finalized.

Have a great and energizing summer!

Dr. Mary Beth Cunat

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