Creating Extraordinary Possibilities:
A New Bursary Program at Crofton House School
The purpose of this communication is to provide the CHS community with timely updates about the exciting progress that is being made on our 2015-2025 Strategic Plan – Beyond Buildings: Extraordinary Possibilities.
This ten year plan, presented to the community at last year’s Annual General Meeting, renews our vision, mission and values. At this time, our long-term commitment to excellence in girls’ education is unprecedented, with progressive change. A Crofton House education offers extraordinary possibilities where girls are inspired to discover and pursue their personal excellence. The values of courage, creativity and citizenship are lived and upheld. This bold strategic vision is built on four pillars that will guide our growth in the coming years: 1) Extraordinary Girls, 2) Extraordinary Learning, 3) Extraordinary Teachers, and 4) Extraordinary Community.
Action is already underway within all four pillars and will be shared with you on a regular basis. In this introductory edition of Strategic Plan Update the focus is on the first pillar, Extraordinary Girls. Progress made to date, and the work planned for the coming year, is included.
Pillar 1: Extraordinary Girls
Crofton House School is committed to attracting, admitting, and retaining a diverse population of girls, regardless of financial circumstances, who will embrace and shape the unique opportunity of a Crofton House School education. We believe that by widening and deepening our applicant pool of extraordinary girls, we will enrich the learning environment and experience for all Crofton House girls.
To achieve this goal, the CHS Board of Governors struck a Scholarship & Bursary Committee (now a Bursary Committee) last year to work with the school’s administration to develop a scholarship and bursary program. Committee members include:
Carolyn Kirkwood – Chair
Gayla De Hart
Pat Dawson – Head of School
Mariangela Brutti – Director, Advancement
Julie Coghlan-Smith – Director, Communications & Marketing
Richard Cohee – Director, Admissions
Ann Halpuka – Assistant Director, Admissions
Lois Rowe – Deputy Head/Director, Senior School
Last June the CHS Board of Governors approved the following recommendations of this committee:
- The program will provide financial assistance in the form of bursary. It will not be scholarship-based, consistent with most Canadian and US independent schools that have created strategic financial assistance programs.
- The program will begin in grade 8, the start of high school and a large intake year at CHS. Girls this age are able to travel to school on their own, reducing demands on the family. Similarly, girls this age have the developmental capacity for self-motivation and initiative, with regard to their own educational aspirations and pursuits.
- The first bursary recipients will be admitted to grade 8 in September, 2017. The ten-year goal is to have 20% of the girls in the senior school, grades 8 through 12, whose families qualify for significant financial assistance.
Subject to Crofton House School’s acceptance criteria, financial assistance will be offered on the basis of a family’s financial need. A third-party organization, Financial Aid for Canadian Students (FACS), through Apple Financial Services will collect and analyze financial information for applicants and provide this data back to the school. The information provided by prospective families to FACS will include income and asset figures, as well as information on other potential funding sources and commitments to dependents.
The bursary program will provide support up to and including the full cost of tuition and other expenses such as the school uniform and outdoor education trips. Crofton House School will continue to expect that parents, to the extent they are able, will bear the primary responsibility for financing their children’s education, sometimes at the expense of other discretionary expenditures.
A Financial Assistance Sub-Committee (of the Bursary Committee) will be struck to support the school’s administration in the selection of qualified bursary applicants and the amount of assistance to be offered. Information that would identify a family will not be shared with the committee to ensure complete anonymity. As is our current practice, a student’s participation in the bursary program will be limited to senior administrators who will be responsible for providing additional support should it be needed.
Families in our school who are currently receiving financial assistance will have the opportunity to continue to apply for assistance on an annual basis. Further, families in our school whose financial circumstances change significantly while their daughters are enrolled in CHS may also apply for financial assistance. All families applying for financial assistance will apply using Apple Financial Services (FACS). Full information about the application process will be found on our website under Admissions in the coming weeks.
We are very excited about this new direction for Crofton House School as we expand our marketing and recruitment efforts to attract a more diverse population of girls, regardless of financial circumstances, who will embrace and shape the unique opportunity of a Crofton House education. Together we will make Crofton House a stronger more inclusive school for everyone. The cost of the program will be supported through fundraising efforts, not through the school’s operating budget.
I look forward to updating you on each of the four pillars as we bring our renewed vision and mission to life. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments or questions.