Dr. McDaniel's Weekly Newsletter - March 5, 2023
We had a big week this week! The Secondary musical was incredible! I can’t tell y’all how much I love this place!
Big news…SB294 was passed this past week! (Relax, the floodgates are not going to swing open) This bill will be phased in and our admissions process will stay intact.
The bill will go before the senate for the vote on the amendment that was filed a little over a week ago. Once that is passed then it will travel to the Arkansas Department of Education Rules Committee.
During that meeting, they will establish procedures and protocols for the implementation of the bill. I will work to get a draft of the rules prior to the publication of them so that we can hopefully impact any inaccuracies or oversteps prior to publishing. If there are any issues with the rules post-publishing we will address them to right them according to the intent of the bill.
In a couple of weeks, I will be going to a meeting with the Private School Superintendents in the state to continue working together in a unified voice as this bill is driven toward implementation. This bill will take effect June 30th of this year. This is truly a historic document and moment in the history of our school. There will be continued opposition to the bill but don’t let it discourage or sway you. This educational reform is a breath of fresh air to our educational system in Arkansas. Like any bill there will more than likely be areas that have to be tweaked as there is no perfect bill.
This fall there will be a few categories that we will apply to our families: ALL incoming first-year kindergarteners will be eligible, active military under either title 10 or title 32 orders, students currently participating in the succeeds scholarship, foster child or former foster child The following year there will be others who qualify and by year three every family will be eligible. That is when this bill becomes such a huge asset for our school.
At Shiloh, we will continue our same admissions process and maintain our mission and culture! This bill is to be viewed as an asset to families across the state and will allow people to explore the option of private schools that may have never been able to do so before. By year three all of our families will benefit by this. This will allow Shiloh to become much more cost effective for our families!
We have to be wise as we navigate the process. Bills can change and be adjusted over time so we will structure well. We will maintain focused on who we are and the size that we can healthily manage. We have to remember that growth and comfort can never coexist. With growth there are always going to be growing pains. We will work through those pains as we have with the growth we have experienced over the past three years.
We have over 300 new applications for next year and that isn’t including any voucher additions. We clearly won’t be able to accept all of those students. I want to make sure to keep your heart and mind at ease. However, we never want to become stagnant. Stagnant organizations ultimately decline. In the current state of the school we don’t have much room to grow from our current size due to physical constraints.
Once the hope hallway extension and elementary building come to fruition in the next few years that will establish the size of school that we want to become. We aren’t going to grow just to grow. We are going to grow with a purpose. This will be a process and we are praying that we will have God honoring growth!
It will be up to us and other private schools across the state to manage this process well. We have some time before the full implementation of the bill in the third year. However, we will continue to strategically posture ourselves wisely as we move forward into the new normal of education in Arkansas. These are exciting times and I praise God for them!