Financial Information 2020-2021
Excelsior Fee Agreement
We have intentionally kept our fees extremely low to make this beautiful classical education available for all. It is designed to be enough to cover the costs of the facilities and supplies and no more. Please remember to pay on time so we can meet our financial obligations.
All families are expected to return a completed fee agreement with either their enrollment or re-enrollment forms and fees.
All enrollments and re-enrollments are pending until fee agreement is received by the deadline stated. After the deadline, families who have not turned in the agreement may be placed on a waiting list.
Classes are on Mondays from 9am-3pm, (including lunch/recess from 12pm-1pm). Sciences are in the afternoons.
Class fees cover the cost of using the facility, all school supplies needed by our co-op for in-class use, additionally every family will receive a yearbook to remember the year. Additionally, we also have a photographer take traditional school photos that you can purchase.
At ECHA we have 2 rates:
- The Stay and Serve rate
- Drop off rate
Stay and Serve
If you choose to stay and serve we charge a much lower rate. All of the money goes directly to the students and the church for supplies, books, room fees, yearbooks, etc. Everyone, including the directors, are all volunteers. We like to find out where our teachers feel gifted (subjects or grades they have passion for or possibly experience in) and place them in those positions. Often moms want to be with their own children.
There is no lesson planning required and no requirement that you must already know how to teach. The curriculum we use comes with lesson plans and assumes you are a parent with no prior teaching experience. We almost always are able to pair two moms together so that the teaching assignments are shared and you are not alone. Usually only our more experienced teachers teach solo. If teaching sounds scary, it really is not. All moms go in nervous and after the first week or two they see there is nothing at all to be nervous about. We offer extensive teacher training prior to class start and student teaching options (where Pauline or another veteran teacher can come in and teach the class while you watch and learn).
Drop Off Rate
The very best experience and best way to ensure your success is to stay and serve. But for those moms of very well behaved 4th grade and older students who absolutely must drop off, we do allow that as an option. (At this time we are not taking primary level (preschool-2nd grade) drop offs.
The class fees for drop off children are $2040 per child per year (paid in full up front check, cash, ESA, or Venmo. We do not take credit cards for this option).
- $510 goes towards your tuition fees (we make no money off of this)
- $1530 goes towards the teacher we are hiring to replace the drop off moms that aren’t here serving (we make no money off this portion either).
Please know, we don’t make any money off of the drop off students, it is truly a service and ministry to the moms who are unable to come for extenuating circumstances. We pass on the money from any drop offs directly to the tutors who fill in for the moms who are not here to serve. We are a co-op run by moms, none of which get paid, in fact the moms pay to come. So your student must not be a burden on the moms in any way but rather contribute in a positive way to the harmony of the classroom environment. This is not a drop off program to “get a break” from an unruly child for one day a week. Discipline and behavior must happen at home so that students come to co-op ready to listen, behave, and learn. The drop off program is a service and ministry to those who truly cannot come.
Expectations of Drop Off Parents
- Drop offs must stay for morning assembly. Sometimes a mom with a baby can sit through the whole thing but sometimes you have to step out— we all do that. Morning assembly is part of our culture. We worship together and there is fellowship in the morning.
- Also drop offs will be expected to check in with teachers daily and get to know the moms that teach on Mondays. This is part of being in community.
Please also know– dropping off, in many ways, will not be easier for the parent of the student. We are not a private school where teachers teach every aspect of every subject and you just help your child with homework in the evenings. We are all homeschoolers. And though we knock out much of “school” together on Mondays, we do only meet together one day of the week. That still leaves four other days of the week that you will need to be the teacher. Some of the classes will be covered on Mondays entirely, but there are other subjects that need instruction or guidance daily and that will be your job. You will need to research and learn how to use the curriculum we use at Excelsior all on your own without the benefit of being with us on Mondays.
You will also have to work that much harder to connect with the moms at co-op. You may be considering joining because your student needs community, but it’s actually the moms who need the community even more. You may have friends at church that are wonderful sisters in Christ but they do not homeschool. You will need moms who know what you are going through. Coming every Monday naturally builds bonds. I cannot stress this enough–It is so important that you plug into this community of moms – it is truly the greatest benefit this co-op offers. Because, for homeschooling to be a success, it is you that is most important of all that must be willing to persevere when the times get tough. The parent friendships at Excelsior are so vital because of the support we offer one another. That is why our community of moms (and dads) is so essential. And this is not just also for you, but also for the moms who stay and serve. They want to get to know the moms of the students in their classes. They did not sign up to be a “teacher” in the sense that you think of a paid teacher at a school, but rather to join a community. As a drop off parent it’s important that you extend that to them as well.
We accept ESA. The uniforms are also covered by ESA.
Scholarships and Curriculum Grants
HSLDA Compassion is able to offer curriculum grants to families in need. It can pay for co-op fees as well as curriculum. You do not need to be a member of HSLDA to apply. We have had several families receive aid from HSLDA and it has been a huge blessing. As homeschoolers in AZ, we guard our rights and closely protect them, not wanting to take money from the state. In history past, government money often comes with government oversight, rules, and regulations. That is why Excelsior will never register to become a “private school” to receive state tax money. We are blessed that there are options within the homeschool world from homeschool organizations funded by other homeschoolers–we take care of each other. God is so good and faithful to provide for all our needs!
Open enrollment begins March 13th. The enrollment fee reserves your child’s spot and is your good faith step that your child(ren) will attend Excelsior in the fall.
March 15th-April 30th $95 per student or max $260 per family
May 1st-June 30th $140 per student, max $390 per family
July 1st-July31st: $170 per student, max $480 per family
Enrollment closes on Aug. 1.
Full Year Obligation
Once you submit the enrollment form and pay your enrollment fee you’re committing to paying for the entire year. We have intentionally kept our fees extremely low to make this beautiful classical education available for all. Please remember to pay on time so we can meet our financial obligations. We budget at the start of the year and spend accordingly. We are not like the local city owned swim program that owns the pool and has hundreds of families enroll and if one quits it makes no difference. Families that commit and then quit leave us in a bad financial position. We also have offered you a spot and have possibly turned down other wonderful families so that you can be part of our group. So for all those reasons is why the fee agreement will obligate parents to pay a student’s fees for the entire school year regardless if your heart or feelings change mid-way through.
The burden of doing ample research, visiting, learning the curriculum, and going through it to make sure it is all a good fit for you, rests entirely with you. It is your full responsibility to visit, ask questions before you enroll, flip through the curriculum, and really weigh out the cost and benefit if you truly want to join.
If a student drops out before the first day of school, only half the class fees will be due; after school has commenced, all fees will be due except a pro-rated rebate, not to exceed 50% of fees, that will be granted in the following circumstances:
- The student moves outside the greater Phoenix area (50 miles from church) with 60 days written notice.
- The student/teacher experiences extended physical illness and is unable to attend school the remainder of the year.
Re-enrollment is not automatic. Each family receives a re-enrollment letter and fee agreement in March. Families must sign and return these forms WITH the re-enrollment fee by the published deadline to secure placement.
After the deadline, openings are filled with applicants from the waiting list and then new applicants. Only children who demonstrate appropriate behavior qualify for re-enrollment. Children with deficient academic performance, poor attitudes, or unsatisfactory work ethic may not be invited to re-enroll.
The reason for this is we are a cottage school that meets only once per week for only four academic hours. That is not enough time to correct behavior nor not can we cover all the material a child should be learning in just one day once per week. Parents must be diligent to work on behavior at home and complete the curriculum on the other four days of the week.
Cottage school needs to be fun for the students as well as the teachers and even one student with constant poor behavior that requires stopping class to correct can really ruin the experience for everyone. Coming prepared to class, being ready to learn and participate, and having respect for teachers and peers is important to us and outlined in our Student Code of Conduct as well as our behavior guidelines agreed to by parents on the application).
Students who are struggling in their classes may be advised to modify their grade enrollment. We leave this up to the parents but we have found that no one, neither the teachers, nor the parents, nor the student want to struggle through the material each week. So there are times that re-assessing a student’s grade placement is advantageous. Sometimes students are able to speed through the material and catch up quickly but it was going back to the beginning that was just what they needed to fill in any missing gaps. This is the beauty of homeschooling that we can make things like this work.