March 20, 2020
Dear Freedom Schools Partners,
We hope you are all taking steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy in these uncertain times. We have confidence that together we will get through this challenge and look forward to a brighter future. We are proceeding with plans for summer 2020 CDF Freedom Schools because we are certain that children’s needs for learning, safety, and emotional support will be greater than ever after interruptions to their formal schooling and the financial insecurity so many families may face during this crisis. As we continue ordering and purchasing the books that will be needed, we implore you to please send us your site details and book order information forms that will allow us to proceed on this score.
As you know, we decided not to open National Training registration this week because we wanted you to have more time to focus on the immediate needs of your loved ones. Right now, we still plan to offer CDF Freedom Schools this summer, so please watch Basecamp and this page to find out when registration is open for National Training. We are also working hard to redesign our training to comply with CDC guidance and the various government and school district directives prohibiting travel and assembly of people in large groups. We will consult with partner organizations and Executive Directors to determine the best options for their staff members, site coordinators, servant leader interns, scholars and parents. While we are exploring options, please hold off from making travel arrangements for National Training.
Here are answers to several questions that our office has received:
- Given the pronouncement at the federal level that the nation may expect to see the impact of COVID 19 continue through the summer, what plans are in place to communicate/dialogue with partners to address the possibility that CDF Freedom Schools may have to be cancelled this summer?
We are following the news very carefully and developing contingency plans that we will announce on Basecamp, the CDF website and through direct e-mails and phone calls to ensure that all of our sponsor organizations know what measures are being taken and how their programs will be supported.
- What financial implications are there for those of us must submit our final payments this month?
Each of your MOUs delineates the implications of withdrawing at various junctions. We need all of our sponsors to meet the March 30 deadline so that we can pay for the books, curriculum guides, training, or other items that are essential to the success of the program.
- If we place book orders and must reduce student numbers or cancel the program because of COVID 19, will CDF allow for book returns and refunds?
Books for your sites are sent directly from distributors and publishers after CDF orders (and pays for) them. Publishers and distributors are very unlikely to refund money paid for merchandise they have shipped.
- For those who attended the abbreviated March training, will you provide virtual training so we don’t have to incur the additional costs associated with flights to Tennessee?
Absolutely. We will be sharing videos of the workshops that were scheduled for delivery in March. We will send notices to all persons who enrolled in the training to ensure that all know when, where, and how to access the workshops.
- If a site finds that it cannot implement a Freedom Schools program in 2020 due to COVID 19, can funds it already has paid to CDF be utilized for potential 2021 Freedom Schools at the same sites?
Yes. The amount applied to 2021 will depend upon the cost of services already delivered and received (e.g., Executive Directors’ or Site coordinators’ training, etc.). Most typically, this means that CDF might deduct up to 50% of funds received for services in the current year before applying any remaining funds for the upcoming year.