Private school dollars and sense

How one family found it wise to prioritise

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Providing their four children with a Waldorf-centered education has always been a high priority for Lori Tersigni and her husband. The family moved back to Canada from Singapore and settled in Thornhill, Ontario, within walking distance of the Toronto Waldorf School. Their eldest child was in Grade 2 at the time.

"We knew we wanted this kind of education for all our children and we were committed to do whatever we could to ensure they got it," Tersigni says. "We felt a real connection with the curriculum and school environment. It's never really been a question of whether we were going to send our children there, but rather making decisions to make it possible."

During the past 10 years, the couple have structured their lives and made choices to allow them to cover the tuition costs of sending their children to the Toronto Waldorf School. "We don't take vacations. We drive second-hand cars and manage our household budget very frugally," Tersigni says. "Giving our children this wonderful opportunity is priority number one. I would sell my house before I'd change schools."

For the first time last year, Tersigni applied to the school for financial support to help cover the tuition fees for her children, ages 8 through 17.

"Having two children in high school and two children in lower school was more than we could manage," Tersigni says. "The school encouraged us to apply for the support. They said it was about broadening opportunities and keeping the school accessible for families with a range of incomes."

That support decreased the family's total tuition costs by 20 percent during the last academic year.

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