State of School Letter

Program Changes

New Covenant Christian School will end its preschool program in 2019 for the following reasons:

  1. State regulations and potential overreach
    1. Communication of regulations
      1. Office of Child Care (OCC) staff are often unable to correctly communicate Maryland regulations.
      1. It is ultimately our responsibility to understand and follow regulations and could potentially face fines, sanctions, or closure for lack of compliance.
    1.  Faculty Qualifications
      1. Vetted, experienced teachers do not necessarily meet MD qualifications.
      1. We may have to make the decision to hire someone who meets MD standards but not ours. This could compromise the integrity of our program.
    1. State-approved curriculum
      1. For the first time in November, we were told our preschool must have a state-approved curriculum.
      1. Because regulations will not necessarily be communicated to us correctly or in a timely fashion, we may be forced to adopt new state standards at any time.
  2. These regulations and restrictions impact our ability to offer a consistent, quality program from year to year.
    1. Some local program leaders at a November meeting were shocked to hear these regulations, and were going to have to completely change their program (in some cases, dropping their curriculum entirely), hire brand new staff members, or risk closure.
    1. We were fortunate to have to hire a new teacher in the summer, so we were aware of new regulations. We cannot guarantee that similar regulations will be correctly communicated to us in the future.
  3. We also run the risk of having to shut our doors mid-year, displacing families and faculty members.
  4. We are increasingly unable to compete with full-day, public programs, and private programs that accept government funding.

Operation Changes

New Covenant Christian School will operate on one campus beginning in the fall of 2019. Our campus at 128 St. Mary’s Church Road will house grades K through 12.

  1. A classical, Christian school thrives best when all students inhabit one campus.
    1. Classical students are supported by the regular, physical presence of three institutions: church, family, and school.
      1. A separate Upper School campus has divided siblings, created two different schedules for families, and distanced the school from the primary support of New Covenant Presbyterian Church (NCPC).
      1. The classical model and classical students are best served when there is seamless continuity between the Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric stages.
    1. Teachers may collaborate across grade levels and stages, close “gaps” in instruction organically, offer real previews of later grades, decrease fear and stress associated with increased workload and responsibility, and offer insight into student progression over years of observation.
    1. Older students can mentor younger students, and form friendships with them.
    1. A two-campus structure creates unnecessary complexity in regard to advertising, even to prospective families on tours, and funding that advertisement.
    1. The cost of renting a second campus has been too great of a financial burden.
  1. There were several obstacles in the path of campus consolidation:
    1. The neighborhood covenant needed to be amended, allowing older students to be on campus.
      1. Neighborhood approval granted on January 8, 2019.
      1. We were advised by a lawyer specializing in zoning law, and have received verbal confirmation from Harford County that our plans are possible.
    1. Even with a smaller student body, the church building still lacks enough space for a Pre-K through 12 program.
      1. The preschool program will end following the completion of the 2018-2019 school year.
    1. The Session of NCPC needs to approve plans for campus use and additional structures.
      1. The Session is supportive of our overall plan, and will work with us as we continue to iron out specifics.
  1. Some features of this campus may include:
  2. Unified beginning and dismissal times (the current Grammar School schedule)
  3. Modular facilities for (up to 2)  additional Upper School classrooms
  4. Block scheduling for Upper School classes
  5. Separate instructional and bathroom facilities for our youngest and oldest students (as much as is possible)
  6. Continued locker use for Upper School students
  7. Consistent safety and emergency plans for all students
  8. Expanded instruction in the fine arts
  9. School-wide participation in (some) House System activities
  10. Opportunities for combined spiritual emphasis events (chapels, prayer times, etc.)
  11. Expanded service project opportunities
  12. School-wide concerts and arts events
  13. Expanded integration with other NCPC ministries
  14. Consistent oversight from Head of School, and increased organization from office staff

Policy Changes

  1. Tuition
    1. Kindergarten: $6,995
    1. Grammar (1-6): $8,245
    1. Logic (7-9): $8,775
    1. Rhetoric (10-12): $8,880
  1. Referral Tuition Credit

NCCS wishes to offer tuition credits to current families who refer new students, thus incentivizing word-of-mouth advertisement and growing the student body.

  1. New families who apply for admission to New Covenant Christian School may indicate a current NCCS family who referred them to the school. There is a space on the application form to indicate the referring family.
    1. This portion MUST be filled out when the form is received by NCCS office staff, and may contain only one (1) family name.
    1. Referred families must be truly new to NCCS, and may not have enrolled children at any previous time.
    1. All referred students are subject to the same admissions criteria as any other student applying to NCCS.
    1. NCCS is not obligated to admit referred students.
    1. If the referred student(s) meets eligibility and application requirements, is admitted to NCCS, pays all fees, and begins tuition payments, the referring family is eligible for a one-time $500 tuition credit per referred student.
      1. Tuition credit will begin in October of the referring year, and be applied to the family account in equal amounts on all remaining tuition payments.
      1. Families who pre-pay tuition in full will receive the full tuition credit of $500 per referred student in October of the referring year.

While it is the intention of NCCS to continue this program in subsequent years, these guidelines are subject to interpretation and change. NCCS reserves the right to change or discontinue the program.

  1. Financial Aid (Continued Policy)
    1. Please read and review the financial aid policy (blue tri-fold flyer, or printed handout).
    1. This policy was crafted to be as generous as possible for families in need who wish to send their entire families to NCCS. The Board desires to make our program as affordable as possible.