This Annual Report marks a great opportunity to consider all that we have accomplished in the past year - a year that I was happy to share with you as my first in the Aidan community.
Aidan Montessori School is a smallish school at 200 students, and its finances are in excellent shape thanks to careful fiscal management and the philanthropic support of its community. This support makes Aidan not only financially secure, but culturally strong as it indicates that everyone, from parents to Trustees and from faculty to grandparents, supports and wants the best for Aidan Montessori School and the children who learn here.
Aidan has two main streams of fundraising each year: The Aidan Fund and Aidan’s Auction to Fund Students.
The Aidan Fund is direct giving by community members to the school. These funds are used by the school within the pre-determined annual budget. Each year, when the budget is formulated between the CFO, Head of School, Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees, we plan to cover a percentage of our budgeted expenses through giving by way of the Aidan Fund. This fundraising offsets the cost of running the school as well as the cost of tuition. If the Aidan Fund did not exist, tuition at Aidan would need to be higher to offset operational costs. It has been said that annual giving donations are tuition that you get to deduct!
The Aidan Auction to Fund Students is a marvelous event full of music, food, socializing and good-spirited bidding on fantastic auction items. The net money raised is restricted to the school’s financial aid program, which enables families who would not otherwise be able to afford an Aidan education for their children. Please know that the money raised during the auction truly is an off-set: while we might raise $90,000 at the auction, our annual financial aid awards generally run higher than $600,000 in support of keeping our school an inclusive and diverse learning environment for all.
On a budget hovering just below five million dollars, Aidan manages to spend approximately 72% of its revenues on its teaching and administrative salaries and benefits: exactly where a school should spend its money. We are proud that we pay our teachers in the 95th percentile of our regional independent school teachers, and not only Montessori schools. The school also has over two million dollars in the bank, funds that it may use toward campus improvements, likely a future purchase of either a satellite campus or combined campus with more options for space and programming.
Again, strong financial management and healthy philanthropy are hallmarks of schools that are more than just financially thriving: they are signs of a school that has the support of the widest swath of its community, from teaching staff to parents to extended community members. Aidan Montessori School is alive and well, thanks to your support.
Thank you for being part of Aidan.