Dear Editor – The Mercy Christian Primary School Board would like to respond to incorrect statements from Lui Lemasi published in a ‘Letter to the Editor’ on Friday the 6th of February.
It should be clarified that the cost of a registration form was only $10, not the $60 that Lemasi incorrectly claimed.
This payment was to cover photocopies, transport and administration costs. The coard would really like to highlight that this complaint is a small issue, particularly when compared with the large number of positive initiatives implemented by the board in 2014.
Firstly, with regards to parent contributions, the school board recently reduced these for the 2015 school year to assist the parents of the local community with the financial demands of schooling their children.
The fees are now structured on a sliding scale basis – the payment for the first child in the family is 100% of the $350 contribution, the payment for the second child is 80%, the payment for the third child is 60% and the fourth is 40%.
Any family registering more than four children need not pay for those younger students. This new contribution structure was positively received by all parents during a PTA meeting in November.
Secondly, the school board clearly stated to parents that if they were unable to make financial contributions to the school that they would be able to provide service work.
Already this year we have had three parents clearing grass as contribution to the school and we encourage other parents to offer their services if they are unable to meet the financial contribution requested.
We recognise the costly demands of raising a family, however, we also see the value in our school community working together to create a positive learning environment for our students.
Furthermore, we feel that Lemasi has focussed on a very small decision made by the school administration and has failed to recognise the countless positive initiatives that the school board and the school community has implemented over the last 12 months.
In no particular order these include; the establishment of the first ever Mercy Christian School Board (with a constitution and clear guidance on roles and accountabilities of all members), extensive resources being provided in the form of books and materials, rental and transport subsidies for teachers, infrastructure improvements to accommodate expanding classes, teacher expectations being clarified and performance assessments completed, as well a very successful fundraiser which embraced the whole community and was a positive experience for our students.
It should also be stated that the construction of three new classrooms and two toilets vastly improves the school’s current infrastructure and educational environment.
The construction of two of these classrooms was funded by an Australian charity, Make a Mark Australia, and cost almost $200,000.
Much of this money was injected into the local community via purchasing of materials and the salaries of seven men.
There is no doubt that the families of these builders, as well as the families of the children who will learn inside these new classrooms, appreciates the time and effort that the board members have put into this project being completed.
In future, we encourage parents or community members to engage directly with the school board to resolve any grievances they may have before approaching the media.
For Lui Lemasi to write a letter incorrectly complaining about the cost of one registration form reveals his inability to realise or acknowledge the vast number of beneficial decisions and developments that the Mercy school board progressed successfully in 2014.
Mercy Christian Primary School Board