It is after midnight on the night I finally tackled applications. I hate doing applications. Not because I don’t like “meeting” families for the first time. I actually love reading the applications. It is a bit overwhelming, but that is not the core of it.
I hate going through applications because I am going to have to break someone’s heart. I am going to have to say “no” to so many people.
Have you ever seen those skiing videos where some poor soul is trying to outrun an avalanche? That is what applications feel like to me sometimes. I put off even opening the document because I know I will be overwhelmed by the number of people that have applied and the number of times I have to say NO.
My deepest desire is to find a schoolhouse place for every student. I know students are in crisis right now. I understand wanting something better for your kids. I can tell you are getting desperate for a better situation for your child. I can hear it in the tone of your responses to the questions on the application.
I can feel you plead through the words on the paper. I have talked to you on the phone. I remember your stories. When we meet up and you say, “Remember me on the phone, I was the one talking about my son’s archery competition.” I will remember you.
And then, my heart will break, because all I offered you was a waitlist spot.
On the flip side, we (me, the great teachers of the schoolhouse, and our board) are doing everything we can to rise to the demand. The 2023-2024 school year will be our fourth year of operation. We are on target to increase the number of students served from 2020-2021 to 2023-2024 TEN TIMES OVER!
After last year’s growth, I said I was not going to do it again. I was not going to grow that fast again. Well, here we are. The avalanche just keeps coming, and we just keep skiing faster.
So tonight, as many of you will start to get emails with the dreaded word: WAITLIST in the text, I want you to know my heart. I want you to know that I read every word of every application. As I read, I prayed over every decision. I have spent hours pondering the best fit.
I want each of you to know that your application was seen, heard, considered, and prayed over. That even if you have to wait, you were heard and you are known.
With all that being said, we may have some good news. On March 20th, we will start taking outside applications for our North Campus, located in Franklin Park, PA and at our NEW East Campus, which will be located in the Plum/Monroeville area. At the East Campus, we are taking applications for students in grades second to fifth (or those students functioning at those grade levels).
If you need to understand the application process, you can check out this post here. I am excited to offer our application to families outside of the interest pool. But, we do have very limited spots at these campuses, and we are looking for students that fit into our existing student body.
Update: You are welcome to complete the Interest Form to submit your information and be considered when a Campus has an opening.
Lastly, I need to give a big virtual hug to all of the Schoolhouse teachers. They are amazing, and I could not do any of this without them. They are truly a blessing to me and the kids they serve. BUT, I am still looking for one more dynamic teacher to fill a spot. I am looking for someone amazing, that wants to work in the Washington area. If you are interested, let us know here.
Out Skiing the Avalanche
When you watch those skiing videos of a skier racing for his life against a looming downpouring of snow, sometimes he wins. Sometimes he sails to the bottom of the mountain and glides to an impressive finish. In the end, when the snow settles, the skier slides across a vast valley with perfect smoothness. My hope is that the schoolhouse will get to that part soon!
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