December 21, 2018
Dear Hosanna Friends and Families,
We are sharing this letter as it was sent out to the Sunshine Families today....
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that the Sunshine Board voted on Wednesday, December 19, to close Sunshine preschool for the remainder of the 2018-2019 school year. As stated previously, all prepaid tuition will be refunded by the end of January; registration fees remain non-refundable. Preschool programming at Hosanna will resume in the fall of 2019.
A bit of history behind this difficult decision:
In 2016, the Hosanna church started work around strategic planning. Through this work the many programs of Hosanna, including Sunshine preschool, were challenged to start dreaming about how they could live more fully into Hosanna’s mission. The church held several SWOT analysis conversations, allowing the church to discern God’s call for its future. Out of these conversations, vision statements were created to support the original mission of Hosanna.
Vision statement: To be an engaged, growing, Christ-centered community where all are welcome.
In response to this vision, the Hosanna Council and Sunshine Board started conversations about how Sunshine could open its doors so that all could come and participate in a program with a long history of quality programming and dedicated, loving teachers. Ideas to be a more inclusive program included providing full-time care for families who need it, gaining 4-Star Parent Aware rating through the state of MN which opens up additional opportunities to serve more children, and intentionally partnering to offer community events.
Unfortunately, the current Sunshine model did not have the capacity or resources to explore opportunities to support the growth and expansion of Sunshine that Hosanna feels called to offer. And the teachers, who were also acting as directors of Sunshine, were simply spread too thin.
This fall Lake Area Discovery Center -- a premier faith-based preschool education organization in the Twin Cities area -- offered Hosanna an opportunity for partnership for the 2019-2020 school year. This partnership strategically aligns with the mission, vision and outreach of Hosanna, allowing the preschool to be more inclusive and welcoming of all families. The LADC model will enable Hosanna to be better stewards of our building--the mission post God has entrusted to us--by offering care for toddlers, possibly infants, and preschool with flexible scheduling and wrap-around care. You can learn more about how LADC, a program accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, partners with many churches in the Twin Cities area at their website: http://ladcfamilies.org/
The decision to close Sunshine for the current school year was difficult and complicated. While there are two sides to every story, the Sunshine Board and Hosanna Council have been open and transparent in the process, welcoming civil conversations and choosing not to engage in social media discourse.
Out of professional courtesy, the Sunshine teachers were made aware of this potential partnership before either the Hosanna Council or LADC Board had taken any formal action. The Sunshine teachers were given many opportunities to have conversations around the new paradigm and were encouraged to explore future possibilities with LADC.
The unexpected resignations of the four teachers has left a hole that cannot be filled in a timely manner. Moreover, the unstable financial situation does not allow Sunshine the ability to provide a quality preschool program in which Hosanna prides itself.
While we are deeply saddened that Sunshine is closed for the remainder of the school year, we are excited to partner with LADC in the fall of 2019 to begin the next chapter in Sunshine’s long history. Beginning January 7, 2018-19 Sunshine families and Hosanna families will receive priority placement at the Sunshine Discover Center: A Ministry of Hosanna for the 2019-20 school year. Open enrollment for the general public will begin on January 21.
Living, Loving and Serving together so that all will know Jesus!