Building the Lake Country School Endowment
…for Teaching …for Learning …for All …Forever
The Lake Country Endowment sustains and strengthens the school for today’s students and those who will follow. Sustainability is what endowment is all about. A strong endowment allows LCS to:
- Remain true to their founding vision and mission during economic ebbs and flows.
- Attract and retain excellent teachers through competitive compensation.
- Encourage economic diversity through adequately funded tuition assistance.
- Enhance what makes LCS great without increasing tuition exponentially.
Since its founding 39 years ago, Lake Country School has been blessed with Trustees, parents and staff who have carefully and competently stewarded its resources. As a result, Lake Country is a vibrant, internationally recognized, and financially stable leader in Montessori education. This jewel of a school, created by those who gave generously of their time, talent and treasure, is a gift left to us by visionary families and teachers who have gone before.
A school is only as good as its teaching staff, and at Lake Country we are grateful for the gifted Montessori teachers who daily guide, inspire and challenge our children. As our founding teachers near retirement, our commitment is to attract new and gifted Montessori teachers with the same enthusiasm and passion for children and teaching as those who made Lake Country the school it is today.
Recently, the Board approved a multi-year plan bringing teacher compensation in line with other schools, and increasing the starting salary for new teachers. While today our teacher compensation is competitive, and we have planted the seeds for future success in attracting outstanding teachers, those enhancements required tuition increases, which placed a heavy burden on our middle and lower income families.
A stronger endowment will enable Lake Country School to sustain teacher compensation levels, and training and development opportunities, with minimal impact on tuition while continuing to provide our students with outstanding teachers.
Diversity is a value of our urban school community and an essential part of the prepared environments in which we guide children to live well with all people. To support economic diversity in the student body, Lake Country provides tuition assistance to all families who demonstrate financial need. Currently one in every five students receives tuition assistance, but at only 70% of demonstrated need per student. As a result, some families find it necessary to decline admission or reenrollment.
Our goal is to fund closer to 80-90% of every student’s demonstrated financial need and raise the income cap on eligibility for assistance to broaden the pool of families eligible for support. A strong endowment will provide a secure source of funding for increased tuition assistance independent of tuition.
A strong endowment insures that Lake Country School will remain an exceptional and authentic Montessori environment. In challenging times, the Endowment will act as a safety net allowing the school to stay true to its Montessori mission and pedagogy without compromising core values and principles. Finally, through a strong endowment, Lake Country School can keep tuition moderate and tuition increases at a minimum – and that’s good news for all Lake Country families!
The beauty of endowment is that it is forever. Gifts made to the Lake Country Endowment will serve children and families who are with us today. But even more, every year those gifts will grow, and provide a steady and predictable source of income for Lake Country to live out its vision and mission of bringing authentic Montessori education to children of the Twin Cities.
LCS Endowment Facts
Lake Country’s Endowment Investment Policies allow for a 4% payout of earnings. In just ten years, the Endowment has provided over $519,000 of additional operating support from earnings. $3 million of Endowment principal generates approximately $120,000 of budget support independent of tuition.