Dear Families of L’Ecole Française du Maine,
We’re here to help!
Difficult times help us appreciate things most important to us. At EFDM, we value our school families very much, and we want you to know we are here for you. We realize you are all struggling with the COVID-19 crisis, and we recognize that some of you are facing a great deal of financial hardship. We do not want this to jeopardize your child’s ability to attend EFDM in 2020-2021.
Families who have faced financial impact due to the coronavirus pandemic are encouraged to apply for financial aid. The School will be giving extra consideration to families affected at this time, so please go to our website and apply. If you did not file for renewed financial aid and would like to do so, we are extending the deadline to apply. If you do apply, please email me directly to let me know when your application has been completed so it can be considered promptly. firstname.lastname@example.org
Maine’s Child Care Subsidy Program
By phone at 1-877-680-5866 or 207-624-7999
By email CCSP.DHHS@maine.gov
By fax 207-287-6308
Special Payment Plans Available
If you do not qualify for financial aid but are experiencing a short-term financial challenge due to COVID-19, a special payment plan can be arranged to help you through this difficult time. Please email me directly to explain your situation, and I will work with you to design a customized payment plan.
French Bourse Program Expanded
The French Government has increased the Bourse/scholarship program for French citizens impacted by COVID-19, so an increased scholarship may be available to those of you who meet the criteria. Please contact the Consulate in Boston for more information. The deadline has been extended to May 30th to apply.
We all wish we could see into the future and have a clear picture of where this is going and when we can plan on returning to life pre-COVID-19. Of course, we cannot, but we can promise to continue to do our very best for your children in the safest possible circumstances. We’re excited to re-open our school doors on May 20, 2020, and we look forward to the coming year, hopefully with no interruptions.
What happens if there is a second wave?
You may be thinking about the fall, wondering what will happen if we face a second wave and are forced again to revert to “L’Ecole à la Maison” (school at home) for a period of time. We, too, have been thinking of this and are preparing for such an unfortunate situation. Willy has been meeting regularly with the Heads of School from French schools across the country. The schools are trying to develop a formula that helps families and allows them to move forward on solid footing. We have listened carefully and have decided on the following for EFDM:
- If we needed to close the school building and offer school from home again in 2020-2021, the School would give the following discount to families:
- For each day of 2020-2021 that the school is closed and a child participates in “school from home” instead of in the classroom, we will discount the class’s daily rate.
- The discount will be greater for the preschool class than grades K-and up, recognizing the childcare impact on families with young children and the limited amount of time young children can spend on “school at home.”
- This discount will be applicable for a maximum of 2 months of 2020-2021.
- Preschool rate discount: 30% per day at home due to COVID-19
- Elementary rate discount (K and up): 20% per day at home due to COVID-19
- This credit will be applied to your FACTS tuition account at the end of any week where such a closure is in effect.
For the Greater Good
We are all making sacrifices during this pandemic, and the School appreciates the enormous effort of all the members of our school family. I want to thank those of you who have written to share kinds words and encouragement. These sentiments are so appreciated at this difficult time. One parent wrote to let us know that seeing the children in action through Zoom classes has been an eye-opening experience. Having a glimpse of their child interacting in class has solidified their commitment to French immersion. They were truly amazed by how their child communicated in French and shared they now have a better understanding of the depth of the instruction and the richness of the experience. We also recognize there are many frustrations for parents as well. Many of you are working from home and have also been assisting your children with schoolwork at the same time. This is not easy, and I want to personally thank you for supporting our efforts while facing your own life disruptions.
How can you help?
If you are not experiencing hardship and would be able to pay tuition in full, this will help us assist more families who need special payment plans, so please consider this option if it is possible for you.
Also, if you know of any families who would be interested in EFDM, please refer them to the School. Our admission season was abruptly interrupted by this crisis, and we are still looking for new families. EFDM’s small, safe classroom environment will be even more appealing as we ease back into society. Knowing a child attends a school environment with limited exposure will certainly appeal to many families in the coming year, so please let your friends know about us!
Beth LeBihan, Founder and Director of Admissions & Financial Aid