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Missed State of the School? Here’s What You Need to Know!

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Did you miss our State of the School event last week? If so, not to worry, we have a recap of the many items, news, and new policies, procedures, deals, and directions that WCA is heading next year.

Re-Enrollment and Tuition Details

WCA launched Early re-enrollment on January 31st! From this point forward, you can re-enroll any time you want on Praxi. Our re-enrollment push is extremely important, as it helps us gauge what our staff load needs to be next year. Re-enrolling early also triggers several benefits. Re-enrolling now permits you to start your student’s course planning process for next year. We cannot begin that process and start looking at options and planning for those until we know you are committed to attending next school year (makes sense, right?). Most of the re-enrollment details, including tuition, policies, and discounts remain the same, but there are a few changes:

  • Student Activity Fees have increased. The increase is for two reasons. First, the increase will offset the costs of transitioning to the International Baccalaureate Program. Secondly, the addition of expert high school admissions advisor Pam Rambo has been a tremendous success. Some of the student fees will help offset her costs, which for those who have interacted with her and used her services (we HIGHLY recommend it, as early as 8th grade!), they know this is a tremendous return on investment!
  • There is approximately an average increase in tuition of 3% over the last school year. This increase, however, will be waived and you will pay the rates of 2019-2020 if you re-enroll during the early re-enrollment period (through February 28th).
  • This offer extends to new families as well. New families that enroll during that early enrollment period (or new siblings that are enrolled) are also exempt from the new student fee of $300.
  • The Virginia Department of Education’s Education Improvement Scholarship fund has been subject to new changes. The fund is now available to new or existing families with preschool children enrolling. This plan can save families who qualify up to $7,000 depending on their location in the greater Williamsburg area.
  • One drawback to the new changes is that schools who wish to utilize it must be 5-day preschools. As a result of that, and due to fiscal and scheduling challenges related to half and partial day preschooling, all preschool is charged at one flat rate next year. Parents may pull their children out of class on any day if they still want a half-day option, or keep them home on certain days, but there will no longer be any discounted tuition rate for doing so.
  • You can find all tuition rates and fees and discounts on our tuition and fees webpage.

Saving Money!

As we mentioned already, simply re-enrolling during February will save you hundreds of dollars as well as new families that apply for enrollment. But we have several ways for both existing and new families to save even more on tuition.

  • WCA continues to offer both the WCA Tuition Assistance program and the Virginia Educational Improvement Scholarship Fund for families that qualify. Be advised this is not a bottomless fund. Once sufficient candidates have been found, and funds are allocated to assist those candidates , assistance will not be available for those that subsequently enroll or re-enroll. Please ensure you do not lose or lose out on need-based aid by re-enrolling early.
  • The Student Referral Program is back and bigger than ever. The program allows WCA families to help spread the word about their positive experiences at WCA and refer students for enrollment. Once enrolled, both the new family AND the referring family BOTH get a 25% discount on net tuition after all other discounts and scholarship funds have been applied. Under this program, it is possible to get your student’s tuition COMPLETELY WAIVED if you were to refer four new students to WCA! Last year this program was limited strictly to specific grade levels, but this year, any family with a student in Kindergarten or higher can refer a student in ANY grade and get a 25% discount for both of you! To get a referral started, you need only to hand in (or fill in online) a Student Referral Program Form before your referral takes a tour. There are some limitations and details, so be sure to visit the Student Referral Program website for full information.
  • The AM/PM Care policies have changed to allow parents who know they will be using PMCare on a regular daily basis. Under the new plan, if you subscribe to the full AM/PM Care Program for a whole semester, you can pay for that plan by the semester and save 35% off rates that you would have been paying under the old a la carte system.

If any has any questions about Tuition, Re-enrollment, or Discounts, please contact Cassie Bradshaw, our Admissions Director, at bradshawc@williamsburgchristian.org.

Schedule Changes

Head of School Johnny Graham spent time disclosing some of the changes that are occurring on our school year calendar. If you missed it, the changes were covered in-depth in a separate post, but Mr. Graham highlighted a few dates. The school year will now run from the third week in August through Memorial Day, and there will be some extra days off, added service days, and new graduation and commencement schedules. To read more on all the school year changes, read the article here.

Dress Code

In an effort to make the uniform needs easier for parents to go out and purchase, and simplify the rules around the dress code, WCA is moving to a more straightforward and spelled out dress code. The new dress code will also allow our students to help project the image of our students in our marketing photos and outside WCA’s walls! Here are some details about next year’s dress code:

  • Uniforms shirts will consist of solid-colored collared shirts in one of four colors: navy, white, grey, or light yellow.
  • Pants, skirts, and shorts will be khaki only and worn by all grades per existing policy, but Lower school students may wear Blue, or Light Yellow Romper dresses as well
  • Sweatshirts (hoodies and others), must be Navy or Grey and have the WCA logo or Athletic Logo on them
  • Jackets worn indoors must be solid-colored
  • Belts will still be required in all grades, and socks of some length must be worn

Dress Code compliant items will be available through Flynn O’Hara, a national uniforms provider. These items can be shopped for online, in one of their stores in Richmond or Virginia Beach, or ordered over the phone. They will also have a pop-up store on campus on Thursday, June 18th, from 3 PM-7 PM. All purchases from Flynn O’Hara will trigger a 10% rebate that will be deposited into the WCA Tuition Assistance Fund.

Alternatively, families may buy comparable items at Wal-Mart or Target and have shirts embroidered by our partner, The Embroidery Connection. Our logo is on file with them, and they can custom embroider any personally purchased items with the WCA logo per specifications (left chest).

Junior Eagles Expansion!

Junior Eagles athletics will get a boost, both from a planning and organizational perspective. There will be a dedicated coach and coordinator for the program so that we can offer two sports each season in grades 2 through 4. Junior Eagles athletics will not only fulfill the physical fitness concentration of the PYP in the International Baccalaureate program but will also serve as feeder programs into our JJV into Varsity sports.

Daily Schedule Changes

We have already posted an article committed to the changes in our academic calendar, which you can access here. Some of the significant items emphasized by Mr. Graham on Thursday night:

  • Wednesdays will start back at 8AM next year, and the first hour will consist of mandatory clubs and activities instead of trying to cram those into a very tight lunch schedule as has been going on this year.
  • Following the activities period will be grade-specific Bible study periods, overseen by a class advisor who will track with students in this capacity from middle school through graduation.

To review all the daily schedule changes, click here.

International Baccalaureate Update

Mr. Graham touched on several items more thoroughly discussed in our IB info sessions and our IB webpage. Mr. Graham took extra time to go over the focus of the Middle Years Program (since the IB info session form MYP had to be postponed) and emphasized its goals to get students in 6 through 10 more in charge of their own lives and education. For more information on IB, please

Camp Eagle

This summer will see the resurgence of Camp Eagle. Camp Eagle will be primarily a fun day camp with activities for the lower school grades, but will offer richer skills-based camps such as chess, website construction, and athletics for upper school campers. Also provided will be courses that campers can take for high school credit in History and Math as well as intriguing language options like Russian and Mandarin Chinese that are hard to find in other locations and camps for our upper school students! We encourage all of our families to consider these camps and camp courses. We are still finalizing camp policies and activity load, but we do have a website you can bookmark and check back into for full details at camp-eagle.williamsburgchristian.org.

Lower School Language Immersion

One of the elements of the International Baccalaureate program in the Primary Years Program (set to launch fall 2020) is language immersion. WCA has chosen Spanish to be the first available language for language immersion. We will begin to introduce students to Spanish in the lower school, and we have already identified a teacher that will be on campus part-time to teach Spanish to our lower school students. This new teacher also has experience in performing arts and theater, so we have hopes that he will be able to bring our lower school drama program back as well.

Summer College Prep Seminar Series

Already on our Google Events calendar will be a series of College Prep seminars by the aforementioned Dr. Pam Rambo for both Students and Parents. The seminars will include workshops on laying out the college selection roadmap, career skills assessments, writing winning essays, scholarships, affording college, and more. Since we pay a fixed fee to Dr. Rambo, we want as many of our families to take advantage of these productive and informative college planning seminars!!

Your Time, Your Talent Parent Surveys

We know that we have an immense pool of untapped experience and talent in the parents of our students, and we would like to tap into that tremendous resource. We will be issuing a survey, or more appropriately, a ministry call, to ask you to identify two things:  1) What amount of time do you think you could give to your child’s school each month, and 2) where do you see your best talents being used. We can literally double the size of our workforce if we get 10-20 parents willing to commit to the improvement of our school, and then we will find the dynamic energy that results will feed into enrollments, school spirit, etc.

We are excited to put these new initiatives and policies in place next year that we believe will propel us forward as the best school for your child and more children throughout our Historic Triangle area!

Have questions? Please direct any inquiries on school initiatives and policies to Head of School Johnny Graham at hos@williamsburgchristian.org.

 

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