Here is a step-by-step plan to adopt or adapt LAHSAI in your community:
Make sure you can describe your school’s 100 year vision
What will the next two generations experience as members of your school community? Will Jewish educational opportunities be accessible and affordable? What measures of excellence can you identify and what dreams do you have for further enhancing the day school education available in your community? If the answer to these questions is hard to come by it will be difficult to make the case for this type of initiative.
Define Middle-Income Affordability
Know your population, evaluate financial aid processes and the demographics of those enrolled at your school, understand subsistence levels in your community and decide which costs of Jewish living to factor in when defining middle-income parameters. For more on defining affordability, check out Building & Living the Model: Defining Affordability and Indicators of Readiness: Defining Affordability.
Ensure that key readiness factors are in place
Is your school or community ready to tackle the issue of middle-income affordability and securing the future through endowment development? From defining affordability; to fostering an understanding and belief in endowment development; to access to support, training and structure from a central convening body; make sure you have the key readiness factors in place.
Create a Road Map
The LAHSAI is based on a logic model (link to Building & Living the Model: LAHSAI Model & Description) that identifies the unique challenges of the Los Angeles community as well as key input factors and strategies, targeted constituencies, a program timeline, the desired outcomes of the program and the anticipated long-term outcomes of the program.
We recommend creating such a road map for your school or community based on unique factors and realities – there should be a centralized plan for communal progress and individualized plans for each school with recruitment & retention goals and endowment development benchmarks—all in the context of your school’s 100 year vision. Be sure to include the following:
After defining the problem you are trying to solve, move to clearly articulating your school’s desired outcome for the program, what will success look like? (how will your school define success both in terms of middle-income affordability, development infrastructure and endowment dollars raised)
- Identify the necessary “Inputs” (e.g. Infrastructure needs for success – committed lay and professional leadership, local or national support, incentive funding)
- What strategies will you utilize to move the project forward? (e.g. define middle income affordability and need, create a marketing plan which includes case for endowment giving)
- Identify and engage “Target Constituencies” (e.g. what are the factors that contribute to middle-income families not enrolling in or dropping out of day school? what schools will be actively involved in the initiative?)
- Create attainable but significant benchmarks to keep your project moving forward and focused? (e.g. develop a middle-income recruitment and retention plan focused on either enrollment stability or growth; create development action plan which includes target cultivation, solicitation and stewardship moves)
Significant resources are required to launch and sustain an initiative like this especially when attempting to change the communal culture; up-front funding to subsidize tuition for middle-income families, to create and enhance a development infrastructure and to incentivize and hold schools accountable to reach goals requires both time and monetary investment. In the Financial Model section we outline the budget and costs for the LAHSAI and provide recommendations based on this and subsequent initiatives in Los Angeles, for other communities or schools interested in adapting or adopting the model.
Establish Reporting & Evaluation Mechanisms
Clearly articulate expectations and requirements of all participants (schools and communal conveners; lay and professional leaders in both types of organizations) in the initiative and define lines of communication to ensure progress and accountability to program goals. Benchmarks should be agreed upon together with the central agency or convening body and participating schools based on your community’s unique situation, characteristics and challenges. Reporting protocols, including school visits, performance reporting and a schedule of fund distribution, should be established and clearly communicated. Learn more about the Funding & Reporting Cycle here.
Continuing Professional Development
Through coaching and trainings, held either locally with a cluster of schools or virtually with a national cohort, participating schools can enhance their understanding of endowment development and middle-income recruitment & retention strategies. On a local level, where applicable, the central agency should work to identify coaches and facilitators on topics relevant to participating schools. Click here to learn more about the training and resources accessed by BJE on behalf of the participating schools. On a national level, be sure to take advantage of virtual learning opportunities.
Build Networks & Share Success
With the support of the central agency, or a national body such as PEJE, create opportunities to convene and share challenges and successes, learning from each school’s experience. If neither of these exists or is accessible, reach out to other communities (such as LA) or schools that are further along in implementing such an initiative or that might be interested in implementing such a collaboration. Learn more about how BJE convened participating schools by visiting “Model Components: Scaffolding for Implementation.”
Click here to learn more about national communities of practice on a wide range of day school sustainability topics.