What a Crock - St Damian School!

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St Damian Family

Oak Forest, IL

#1 Nov 19, 2009
Are there any other St. Damian parents who received a letter today stating that they owe the school $200 because they didn't / couldn't sell 10 raffle tickets at $20 each?!

Who has $20 to spend on raffle tickets right now whether they are for charity or not, and how does a school, a catholic school, think they have the right to force us sell them to others who can't afford them or buy them ourselves?!

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#2 Nov 20, 2009
The amount you pay in yearly tuition, does not equal the total amount it costs St. Damian's' to educate your child during the year. These fundraisers help offset the costs. Spending $20 is a small price to pay to ensure that a child receives a quality education.

You always have the option of sending your child to public school, where you wouldn't have to be bothers with these fundraisers.

Since: Aug 09

Linthicum Heights, MD

#3 Nov 20, 2009
OF Watch wrote:
The amount you pay in yearly tuition, does not equal the total amount it costs St. Damian's' to educate your child during the year. These fundraisers help offset the costs. Spending $20 is a small price to pay to ensure that a child receives a quality education.
You always have the option of sending your child to public school, where you wouldn't have to be bothers with these fundraisers.
While I agree with your first statement, I could not disagree more with the second one. My kids have all gone through Oak Forest public schools and I cannot count the number of fundraisers I have been inundated with in the last 14 years! All three of my kids have had several fund raisers every year!!!! Not only their school but if they were in a sport or club, there were more!

“JPR”

Since: Nov 09

Oak Forest

#4 Nov 20, 2009
My, how things must have changed. I had three kids go through the Oak Forest public schools and never once did I sell or purchase a raffle ticket.
I don't sell them and seldom buy them. I consider it gambling. I don't even recall being approached to sell any.
All three of my children were involved in extracurricular activities, e.g. track, cross country, swimming, band, etc.
Maybe they're suffering, financially, a bit more now and looking for more sources of revenue, but I doubt a public school would send a bill if you failed to sell some tickets.
On the other hand, I'm not naive enough to not know a child could be pressured enough to force his parents to sell tickets. I just never experienced it here.

This policy at St. Damian seems to be contrary to all common sense.
If it's a mandatory fee, necessary to cover the tuition to educate a child, just add it to the tuition.
This seems to be nothing more than giving the parents a tool to beg their neighbors, friends, & relatives for money to support their children's education.
If they don't want to do that, then they have to pay up.

On the other hand, I'm quite sympathetic to people who want an education outside of the public school system, but still have to pay taxes into that system.
I believe people who want to send their children to private schools, or even home school them, should get a credit/voucher to pay for that education.

Keep in mind, the new proposed health care bills with a public option will have the same dilemma.
Seen it all before

Oak Forest, IL

#5 Nov 20, 2009
Kids in public school have MANDATORY fundraisers. If a student takes music class they are told they MUST either buyout or sell raffle tickets. I can understand if a student participates in extracurricular activities like sports, but these fundraisers are for regular classes. What if a student had mandatory fundraisers for English or Math class? If you want to find out why it is necessary to raise additional cash just take a look at the 2008 "total creditable earnings" of the administrators for your elementary school districts (high school district administration isn't as outrageous) at http://www.championnews.net/index.php .
District 147 over $232,000
District 117 over $220,000
District 109 over $245,000
District 142 and 146 over $185,000.
District 144 and 145 are two district with reasonable salaries. These district salaries are in the mid-140's.
Considering schools are cutting programs and laying off teachers aides, secretaries, and custodial workers, I would think the salaries of administrators should be frozen!
Unfortunately, private sector education isn't included on this website, but I am certain the Catholic schools have to raise tuition and fees to pay the Archdiocese for all the legal fees that have been incurred in the past decade for their cover up activities in the abuse scandals.

“JPR”

Since: Nov 09

Oak Forest

#6 Nov 20, 2009
Seen it all before wrote:
Kids in public school have MANDATORY fundraisers. If a student takes music class they are told they MUST either buyout or sell raffle tickets. I can understand if a student participates in extracurricular activities like sports, but these fundraisers are for regular classes. What if a student had mandatory fundraisers for English or Math class? If you want to find out why it is necessary to raise additional cash just take a look at the 2008 "total creditable earnings" of the administrators for your elementary school districts (high school district administration isn't as outrageous) at http://www.championnews.net/index.php .
District 147 over $232,000
District 117 over $220,000
District 109 over $245,000
District 142 and 146 over $185,000.
District 144 and 145 are two district with reasonable salaries. These district salaries are in the mid-140's.
Considering schools are cutting programs and laying off teachers aides, secretaries, and custodial workers, I would think the salaries of administrators should be frozen!
Unfortunately, private sector education isn't included on this website, but I am certain the Catholic schools have to raise tuition and fees to pay the Archdiocese for all the legal fees that have been incurred in the past decade for their cover up activities in the abuse scandals.
I'm not opposed to extra fees for a music class if the student expects the school to supply the instrument.
That can be very expensive.
Maybe I was never exposed to the demand for fundraisers since we always provided our children with their own instruments?
Again, it appears the raffle ticket option seems to be a tool for parents to beg others for money they need to provide.
It may be a legitimate option for some.
I'd be really disappointed if children were required to participate in fundraisers for English or Math.
At that point, we would need to question the competency of the school board.
On the issue of salaries, I don't have detailed information of what those folks responsibilities are.
But I do know they have the overall responsibility for educating our children.
I know there have been changes in personnel, and I know my children exited the system with a great education.
We vote for the school board, and they set the salaries. I trust their judgment and have no problem with the ones I pay taxes to.
Inferior educators are not an option.
Dutch Oven Chef

Alsip, IL

#7 Nov 20, 2009
I have had to do fund raisers for elementary and middle school that were geared toward the "general fund".

In HS, they are usually activity focused. FYI, instruments are not usually provided to band members. My daughter played the clarinet in middle school and we had to buy or rent it for her. The fund raisers are not always raffles, we have sold cookie dough, wrapping paper, chocolates and all kinds of other stuff!
damian mom

AOL

#8 Nov 24, 2009
The fundraiser which requires each family buy or sell $200 in raffle tickets is supposed to be divided up between 3 school groups, athletics, the F&S Association & school. Unfortunately, athletics & FSA have not seen any of this money yet, nor do I think they ever will. FSA provides fun activities for the kids and athletics needs money for gym improvements. This money is going directly to the school and being used for what they decide. I do not understand why the Archdioscese cannot help the Catholic School maintain the budget. Well yes I can, they are too busy paying off victims of abuse and paying legal fees. It is a sin the way catholic schools are treated by the Archdioscese & our Parish Pastor. Our children are treated like an after thought. They only think of them after something terrible has happened to them. You need to refuse to pay this $200 fundraiser, they cannot, and will not make you pay in the end. This, like everything else at Damian, will fall by the wayside. Just say NO!!
OF Resident

United States

#9 Nov 24, 2009
OF Watch wrote:
The amount you pay in yearly tuition, does not equal the total amount it costs St. Damian's' to educate your child during the year. These fundraisers help offset the costs. Spending $20 is a small price to pay to ensure that a child receives a quality education.
You always have the option of sending your child to public school, where you wouldn't have to be bothers with these fundraisers.
Wow... What a snob you are.... For the record OF has a wonderful school district and who are you to knock it. All schools have fundraisers.. Yes even us low class folk that canít afford to send our children to private schooling have fundraisers, but I donít get dinged if I canít sell them.

Since: Oct 09

Location hidden

#10 Nov 24, 2009
Snob? I think you need to need to brush up on your reading skills. I never bad mouthed the OF public schools or said that those who go to private schools are better.

Re-read my post and please point out to me where I belittle those who go to public school.
damian family

Alsip, IL

#11 Nov 28, 2009
while it was hard to come up with an extra $200, the charity mania supposedly raised $60,000 for the school. What other fundraiser can raise this amount of money? This is also the only mandatory fundraiser the school has now. I would rather have to come up with the money for this and get an opportunity to win it back than be forced to sell cheap products and wrapping paper at a bigh cost. The school has been told that they should have informed new parents about this additional cost before August, but current families were informed of this fundraiser last year, so it should not have been a surprise to them. Also, families that did not turn in their money, for whatever reason, are still put into the raffle and given the opportunity to win. I agee, it is a high cost and I don't think there would be as many complaints if it were only 5 tickets or half the price, but the amount of tickets for next year will be the same or more. The school has also been given the suggestion to inform the parents of where this money is going. I don't see a problem with it as long as there is more than enough notice given and the money raised is going to the school and tbe kids are benefitting from it. When you send your children to catholic school, you should expect a fundraiser; the school doesn't get money from taxes or anything to cover any of their costs. Those parents who are upset about the situation should talk to the school administration.
Concerned

Oak Forest, IL

#12 Dec 3, 2009
People need to educate themselves more on the problems with funding education in Illinois. The state puts more and more rules and stipulations on the schools and offers them no assistance to fund them. Illinois ranks at the bottom for funding education. We need to be addressing this with our legislators.
new to oak forest schools

Chicago, IL

#13 Jan 19, 2010
I have a young child getting ready to start kindergarten next year and after reading all of these post I'm really concerned about both the private and public school systems. I thought private perhaps would be better that it is considered a blue ribbon school but it doesn't sound to great after reading about fundraising and additional fees that are not presented at the time tuition is due. However, perhaps its like this no matter what town you live in.

“Bullrushes”

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#14 Jan 19, 2010
new to oak forest schools wrote:
I have a young child getting ready to start kindergarten next year and after reading all of these post I'm really concerned about both the private and public school systems. I thought private perhaps would be better that it is considered a blue ribbon school but it doesn't sound to great after reading about fundraising and additional fees that are not presented at the time tuition is due. However, perhaps its like this no matter what town you live in.
It really is all over. SO many schools are strapped for funds, they go to great lengths to get money. My kids have been out for a while now, but I'm still very much pro O.F. schools. Back 5-10 years ago that was going on. To many parents just were not helping the kids sell the goodies or whatever. So many parents work it is almost impossible to sell this crap. I'm not sure what the answer is, I chose "buy-outs" because I just didn't want to sell the stuff at work and I didn't feel right going to my neighbors any more. Maybe there are other answers out there.
damian parent for years

AOL

#15 Jan 28, 2010
If you are looking for a kindergarten, I do suggest you look at the public schools in Oak Forest. St. Damian is so far behind the curve in education it's not even funny. Our kindergarten & 1st grade is nothing more than a play time babysitting service. This school was wonderful in the past, top notch teachers, an adminstration that cared for our kids, a Pastor that showed concern for the school & parents that wanted to be involved. Unfortunately, with a principal that has no emotional attachment to the school or the kids, everything else is falling by the wayside. We do not demand excellence in the classroom. The pricipal feels that if he does not disclose all "extra" fees, he will rope you in with his claim of "not raising tuition" for the last two years. All the fees & fundraisers bring our tuition up to and above other Catholic Schools. It's just not worth the money anymore. The teachers out & out show disdain for the pricipal & the pastor, there is no respect shown, and that goes both ways. This pricipal is 34 years old, not married, no children, he shows absolutely no empathy or compassion to the kids. He cannot relate, there is nothing in his life that connects him to the students. He is as cold as our pastor. How can a priest walk thru "his" school and not know anything about it? The kids are afraid of him. And yes, I know, most people are a little intimidated by priests, but, he is actually the only one at Damians that the kids are afraid of. He has continued to have every funloving, personable priest transfered. It is a difficult decision to stay at Damians, but at this time my kids are too invested, it would not be wise to change schools at this time. But, if I had to do it over..... I would never have let them attend Damians. Please think twice and give the public schools a chance. They have many wonderful things to offer. St. Damian's enrollment is declining and I wouldn't even bet that it will still be open when your kindergartener is in 8th grade. Save yourself the trouble. Go Public!!
Wake up

Chicago Heights, IL

#16 Feb 1, 2010
"Bravo" Now that is putting it in an eggshell. I cannot believe tha we (Catholic school parents) have to pay a slush fund to the archdioses to pay their legal fees!!! I agree Father Monie as personable as a grain of sand and that prosen is just there. I have been catholic school educated from K-12, I f I had all tht money I and my parents invested I would have had a greatr IRA.I agree, go public. Catholics stay home!!!
damian parent for years wrote:
If you are looking for a kindergarten, I do suggest you look at the public schools in Oak Forest. St. Damian is so far behind the curve in education it's not even funny. Our kindergarten & 1st grade is nothing more than a play time babysitting service. This school was wonderful in the past, top notch teachers, an adminstration that cared for our kids, a Pastor that showed concern for the school & parents that wanted to be involved. Unfortunately, with a principal that has no emotional attachment to the school or the kids, everything else is falling by the wayside. We do not demand excellence in the classroom. The pricipal feels that if he does not disclose all "extra" fees, he will rope you in with his claim of "not raising tuition" for the last two years. All the fees & fundraisers bring our tuition up to and above other Catholic Schools. It's just not worth the money anymore. The teachers out & out show disdain for the pricipal & the pastor, there is no respect shown, and that goes both ways. This pricipal is 34 years old, not married, no children, he shows absolutely no empathy or compassion to the kids. He cannot relate, there is nothing in his life that connects him to the students. He is as cold as our pastor. How can a priest walk thru "his" school and not know anything about it? The kids are afraid of him. And yes, I know, most people are a little intimidated by priests, but, he is actually the only one at Damians that the kids are afraid of. He has continued to have every funloving, personable priest transfered. It is a difficult decision to stay at Damians, but at this time my kids are too invested, it would not be wise to change schools at this time. But, if I had to do it over..... I would never have let them attend Damians. Please think twice and give the public schools a chance. They have many wonderful things to offer. St. Damian's enrollment is declining and I wouldn't even bet that it will still be open when your kindergartener is in 8th grade. Save yourself the trouble. Go Public!!
Saddened

Midlothian, IL

#17 Feb 1, 2010
Apparently homeschooling is the way to go. The Chicago Archdiocese seems to have decided to go cheap on quality education and still take families hard earned money. Christ would not be impressed.
How long before they start selling indulgences.
OLIVE STERNS

Oak Forest, IL

#18 Apr 4, 2011
St Damian Family wrote:
Are there any other St. Damian parents who received a letter today stating that they owe the school $200 because they didn't / couldn't sell 10 raffle tickets at $20 each?!
Who has $20 to spend on raffle tickets right now whether they are for charity or not, and how does a school, a catholic school, think they have the right to force us sell them to others who can't afford them or buy them ourselves?!
i'm sorry to hear that, but we were told on the first day of school that those tickets were mandatory for each family to sell. it's quite fair, considering the school's budget for the whole year. and let's just be thankful that we could afford to send our kids to saint damian, coz back in where i came from, a nurse couldn't afford to send her kids to private schools. my point is, let's just help the school for our kids to have a good quality of education and training since we've been blessed to afford it.
try to send your kids to our lady of the ridge coz they do have cheaper tuition but you are required to donate 8 percent of your annual income with a contract on your conscience between god and you, compare that to st. damian's less than 500 bucks to donate. if a nurse who is earning $60000 in average should donate almost $5000 per year to our lady of the ridge. compare that to our 500 bucks to st. damian church, plus the $200 tickets and that's only $700. the difference in tuition between the two schools is only less than $2000. Let's just help the school or we can send our kids to public schools.
true

Alsip, IL

#19 Apr 4, 2011
It is true that we should be grateful that we can send our children to St. Damian, or any other private school with high tuition. I admit that I do get irritated when a public school parent complains to me about how much their "tuition" is. They have a much cheaper educational cost than private school parents and believe me, they receive far more services than private school children. If you request services or even whisper the possibility of services for a private school child, you are treated like you have the plague, well atleast in the 142 district. Also, many parents complain that they have to pay for religious ed. Their choice.
I have been told that St. Damian does offer a cheaper tuition than other Catholic schools. However, tuition is rising again next year, possibly even the church contribution rate, from what I hear. We were told at the beginning of the year that the $200 of tickets are mandatory, the only mandatory fundraiser that the school does. While it is difficult to sell the tickets and come up with the $200, I do like not having to do every fundraiser that is offered and being able to pick and choose which ones I want to and am able to contribute to. Basically, parents need to plan on that extra $200 expense in the beginning of the year.
Turtle Shell

Oak Forest, IL

#20 Apr 4, 2011
In regards to the original post...

The school makes NO secret of the fundraiser that is Charity Mania. When we had a child in Kindergarten last year, they were very up front about it....and it was even in the welcome pack. There is also much communication while the fundraiser is going on,,,,that if you don't sell all the tickets,,,you will get it attached on to your tuition. Do you not read what they send home?

Not sure where you can go to avoid fundraisers. Even the public schools have them. If you are that unhappy, take your child out!

Also, to the Damian parent for years....the principal you are speaking of is Chad Prosen and he is gone. Might want to update your facts.

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