Thursday, August 13, 2009

Letter from Parents Mark & Liz Irvin

Dear Lake Forest Community Association Board of Directors,

We were shocked with the news of our son's preschool closing, particularly with such short notice. We fully appreciate the need for the preschool to be self-sustaining and should in no way be permitted to be a fiscal drain on the members of the private community. What we do not understand is the withholding of this information until the last minute. We find it hard to believe that the announcement of this closure has purely to do with money. We would/will gladly pay higher tuition for the opportunity to keep our son William (and in the future, his younger brother as well) in such a safe, supportive learning environment such as the Lakeview Learning Center. We are also confused by the sentiment that members are subsidizing preschool for non-members. As non-members, we pay higher tuition, as should be expected. Even the non-member tuition is quite low relative to competing preschools in the area. The contributions of non-members enables your community to offer its members such a unique and valuable amenity.
The board has the power to raise tuition to balance costs. If it was committed to the preschool, it would have raised tuition and registration fees long ago. If we were members of your association, we would be outraged that your August newsletter gives an update on the supposed pre-school renovation and says absolutely nothing about the possibility that the preschool may be closed permanently. What about the parents of infants and toddlers who were attracted to live in your community because of the opportunity to use this amenity? When do they get a voice? The board members acted irresponsibly in giving little to no notice that this closure would occur. If they knew about the possibility, they should have notified the association members. If this was an unexpected outcome, then what triggered the decision?
We would like to reiterate how valuable the preschool is to our family. Its flexible day-long hours provide loving, educational childcare while my wife and I work. The teachers are attentive and nurture the children as they are introduced into the world of formal education. In the 6 months that our son has been at preschool, his social skills have noticeably improved. His normally shy countenance brightens when he engages with the other children, and he talks about his friends and teachers at home. For our family, the Lakeview Learning Center Preschool has been a stable cornerstone in a sometimes unpredictable social and economic climate. We sincerely hope it can continue to be there for us, the other families, the staff, and the future students from your community.
Concerned Parents,
Mark and Liz Irvin(Parents of William and Wyatt Irvin, ages 3 and 1)

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