STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. (NEWS10) — A private school in Berkshire County is working on making its education more affordable for families who may have otherwise ruled it out as an option.
Berkshire Country Day School is a Pre-K through 9 independent school serving students in Berkshire and Columbia counties since 1946. Jenifer Fox now serves as head of the school and has introduced a restructured tuition approach called “Fair Share Tuition” looking to combine quality education and affordability.
“If you’re somebody who doesn’t have the extra income to put toward the full tuition, we’re gong to work with you,” she said. “If this is the right fit for your child, meaning you believe in education, so you’re going to stretch a little with us, but we’re going to work with you.”
Fox said it costs $31,000 a year to educate a child at BCD, but depending on a families situation, they may be able to go as low as $4,000 a year.
“Someone may say it’s not fair that I pay this much money and you don’t pay that much money. We’re really not interested in that conversation. We’re interested in people who realize that there is a value that if they are paying a little bit more because they can afford more, that the world is going to be a better place when more people come to the table,” said Fox.
Fox said while the purpose is fairness and accessibility, it can not be totally free either.
“We can’t give our education away. We have teachers who need to be paid; we have every cost that everybody else has, but we want people here who actually buy in, because when you come here, you don’t just get an education; you become part of a caring community,” she said.
The program was introduced in September, and since then, Fox said enrollment is up 10 percent. She’s confident the financial stability of the school will be balanced by those who are able to pay the top tuition and with generous contributions.
As far as accessibility in terms of transportation, Fox said they have a bus service that goes throughout Berkshire and Columbia Counties.
“We’ll go get you if you want to come to our school,” said Fox.
Fox told NEWS10 ABC she believes everyone was born with a unique purpose and has devoted her 30-year career to helping parents and teachers help them discover what it is.