Dear St. Matthew’s Families,
During this holiday season, we know that St. Matthew’s has so much to be thankful for… all of the smiling children filling the school with joy, dedicated teachers and parents, and Page Race, our amazing Head of School. This summer, we weren’t sure what the fall would bring and are thankful that we were able to re-open safely and welcome our sweet Angels back to campus.
Your Support Makes St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School Possible
The decision to re-open was challenging and carried with it added costs to keep the school community safe. Last year’s fundraisers enabled the school to pay the staff last April and May when schools were closed and positioned us to start this school year with the necessary facility upgrades and supplies to safely return to campus. As we look ahead, we will continue to have increased operating expenses related to COVID such as intraday facility cleanings, cleaning/disinfecting supplies, individual consumable supplies for children, and efforts to maintain smaller class sizes. All of these combined costs, especially maintaining smaller class sizes, has had a large impact on the school financially.
Introducing The Safekeeper Fund
In a normal year, 20% of our operating budget comes from school fundraisers. This year will require even more from fundraising to make up for all of the COVID related expenses and our inability to hold our fundraisers in their normal capacity. This year we invite you to partner with us in making a donation to The Safekeeper Fund.
The Safekeeper Fund will be used to off-set the COVID related costs and loss of revenue from smaller class sizes. By the end of this school year, we may have to utilize up to 75% of our reserve funds, which were established and grown through the stewardship of our community over time for use in times of urgent need. We know it will take time to build back the reserve and our immediate goal is to raise $40,000 to supplement the school’s resources and reduce the strain on the reserve fund, which we want to preserve for the community’s use in the event of another future urgent need to safeguard the school’s future once again.
Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference and strengthens our community, so please consider participating at a level that works for your family. We know that there are many competing demands on your resources, and we greatly appreciate your willingness to consider contributing to St. Matthew’s in this way. Maximizing participation is one way we show unity in living out our mission and ensuring the continuity of our program… together we can get to 100%!
Make your end-of-year giving go farther!
Between now and December 18th, donations up to $10,000 will be matched by an anonymous donor! The Board of Trustees has already donated $2,000, and we couldn’t be more thankful for our generous community. We THANK YOU for your support and generosity!
Wishing you well,
Elizabeth Briggs, President, Board of Trustees
The Safekeeper Fund
How much money was spent this past summer preparing the school to re-open?
In preparation for our students returning to campus, the school spent approximately $25,000 on non-budgeted improvements to the HVAC system, janitorial supplies, personal protective equipment and other classroom and outdoor equipment and supplies to create a learning environment that seeks to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
How much does it cost to clean St. Matthew’s Day School daily?
St. Matthew’s has increased its expenditures during the school year to clean the high traffic areas several times a day, in addition to the end of the day cleaning, which also has been modified. We have hired a full-time sexton to provide for these additional safeguards. The supplies and custodial labor now cost roughly $140 a day, or $700 per week.
What has made the largest impact on the budget due to COVID?
The decrease in enrollment due to our conscious decision to maintain smaller class sizes this year to create more space per student in the classroom and the current health climate significantly impacted on the school’s ability to fund operations from tuition and fundraising opportunities, which would normally fully fund the school. Despite this reduction in tuition, the school has maintained the same number of staff with roughly 60 fewer students while keeping tuition rates the same. The loss of revenue from tuition, registration/supply fees, and before/after school activities primarily from the reduced class size has strained on our school finances by creating a loss of $400,000.
How is St. Matthew’s still open and paying employees?
Past generous support of the school, in combination with effective fiscal management, blessed the school with a meaningful operational reserve going into the COVID pandemic. This reserve fund has allowed us to maintain our staff and support smaller class size to enable us to operate safely this year. The Board of Trustees, after much planning and discussion, chose to tap into the reserve fund, set aside for emergencies, to address the community’s educational and social interaction needs during this pandemic.
Just as families in years past gave to support the future of the school, we strongly encourage you to consider giving through this lens to the Safekeeper Fund. Giving not only ensures that your own children receive an excellent early childhood foundation, but giving ensures that future families have the opportunity to experience the same excellence and develop a foundation for their children upon which to pursue learning in the future.
What is Corporate Matching?
Many employers offer a matching gift program that will “match” your gift with company funds. While we don’t know which companies offer this we encourage you to look into whether your employer matches charitable donations.
Is my gift tax deductible?
Yes, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.
Do you accept stock?
Yes, St. Matthew’s has a brokerage account that can accept stock donations. Please speak with Chris Dixon for stock transfer instructions. She can also provide you with a confirmation letter to be used for tax deduction and/or corporate gift matching purposes.
How much should I give?
If we average $250 per family, we will reach our immediate goal of raising $40,000. We know that every family situation is unique and we are grateful for each family’s participation at a level that works for you. Contributing to the fund is an investment in the students of today and tomorrow, as well as a sign to our community that we are supporting one another through this challenging time for our families and community.
Please make checks payable to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School and give to Chris Dixon or Page Race at drop off. Or you may mail it to 8134 Mesa Drive Austin, TX 78759 or Click on the DONATE button to give online.