Monday, August 17, 2009

Letter From - Tanja Trainer L.F.C.A. Member & Parent

Dear Ms. Valdes,

To say the I received a serious shock when I dropped my son off at preschool this morning is an understatement of epic proportions. I took him to school as usual, and pulled the various papers out his folder and gave them a looking over as I was heading out the door. The sound of my jaw dropping I am sure was heard as far away as Mission Viejo. In my son's folder was a letter from one of the other parents stating that the preschool is to be closed at the end of the month. This was complete news to me seeing as the Association has NEVER informed us, meaning my family, of this closure. Apparently other families have received notices, but we never have. My son is supposed to attend this preschool for another year, and yet I am not notified that his school is closing??? I wasn't even notified that there was going to be a vote to close the school!!! I had heard that it was to be renovated, but closure?!?! This school has been here for almost 30 years. Generations of Association members have attended this preschool, and now it has been slated to be closed without even giving members of the Association the chance to be involved in this decision? I have read that the some of the reasons given for closing the school are a shortfall of money and that only about 1 % of the members use it. There are money shortfalls everywhere right now and this preschool has been profitable more often than not, so that is not a reason to close. Not to mention, I am sure that every parent there would be more than happy to pay a little extra and even do fundraisers to save the school, but we were never even given the opportunity. As to only 1% of members using it, that argument applies to just about everything at the Association. The upstairs rec room is perpetually deserted. The only person that I know of that ever uses it is my husband and for just that reason, because he knows no one will ever be there and he will have it to himself. I doubt more than 1 or 2 % percent of the Association uses the gym either. It is dark almost every time I go by there. Is that going to be boarded up as well? What about the lagoon? Talk about a drain on resources. How much is being spent on resolving that issue, when it would just be better to knock down the wall and just make it part of the lake? Even the pool doesn't seem to see much activity except on weekends. But that preschool is used Monday through Friday, and yet it has been voted to close it. A vote I might add that was taken behind closed doors and without the community having any say. That is what bothers me the most. The fact that the school could possibly be closed is upsetting enough, but that this decision was reached in such a sneaky, underhanded manner is the most upsetting of all. I no longer have any trust in this board whatsoever, and they have made it clear that they do not have the best interests of this community at heart. I find the reasons stated for the closure highly questionable, and the members of this Association deserve far more concrete answers and reasons. I am outraged not only as a member of the Association, which I have been for almost 11 years, but as a mother. My oldest son went to this preschool, and now my youngest son is going to this preschool, and if I have any children in the future, they will go to this preschool. It is extremely difficult to find a good preschool, especially one that has such a long standing staff as Miss Cindy, Miss Linda, and Miss Gale, whose dedication is about to be rewarded by losing their jobs. One of the things that we were most excited about when we moved here to Lake Forest and into this Association was the fact that it had a preschool. We were thrilled, and I am sure we are among many who moved here who felt the same way, and I know future members would be just excited to find a preschool on the premises of their Association. And yet, the Board has decided to close one of the Associations greatest assets. I cannot see how this makes any sense. Fiscal issues can be resolved in a better way than this. I know the community can rally behind this preschool and do whatever is necessary to keep it going. What is despicable is that chance was never given. I look forward to Board Meeting this Wednesday, where I and many others will be able to give our thoughts and opinions in person.


Tanja Trainer
Mother of Griffin Schwab

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