A Letter from the Chairman of the Board
April 10, 2015
Dear ABS Family and Friends,
As you know, ABS has struggled financially over the last several years. We opened in September with the expectation that we would be able to complete the school year notwithstanding the considerable challenges we faced.
In the past several days, an internal review of the School's finances has revealed to the Board that the School's true financial position at this point in the year is considerably worse than previously understood. As a consequence, the Board has been compelled to consider several drastic alternatives, including closing the school immediately and ceasing operations. For now, the Board has decided to pursue a different path, one that preserves the possibility of completing this school year and its planned concert schedule.
As the first step on that path, the Board has voted to have the School file to seek the protections of Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code. That filing was made in Federal court this morning. The legal consequences of a Chapter 11 filing are varied and complicated, but this decision gives the entire ABS community the opportunity to supply the financing that will allow the School to finish its school year and then make plans for the future.
For this plan to work, we need your help. We need an outpouring of support, and we need it soon. I need to be as clear as possible: staying open depends on the School's ability to raise the cash to cover our payroll and other current expenses going forward. If we are not able to do that in very short order, cancellation of the remaining concert schedule and immediate closure of the School will be the only alternative.
It is our best estimate that to operate for the remainder of the school year we will need to raise $350,000. In pursuit of this goal, members of the Board have agreed in the last 24 hours to make new contributions to the School totaling $31,000. Those contributions will be made by early next week. It would also help tremendously if parents who have tuition installments remaining could pay them in full as soon as possible. But that will only be a start. Many of you have been approached in recent weeks as part of our annual fund-raising efforts; we need your support now to get to the end of the school year. A more significant level of funding estimated at $3 million will be required for the school to successfully emerge from Chapter 11 and continue operations into the future.
As many of you know, the Concert Choir is about to leave on its spring tour of Texas and the Southeast. We expect that tour to proceed and succeed. Where the School will stand upon the boys' return is the critical question. We have an educational mission to complete, and we also have some wonderful concerts on the schedule. But at present we simply do not have the resources to carry ABS through the spring to graduation. We have no choice but to put that in your hands.
I know this news is shocking. It is painful to have to convey it and particularly painful to have to do so abruptly. I wish the circumstances were different. In addressing this latest crisis, the Board's focus has been to choose, from an array of unappealing choices, a path that would give the boys and their teachers the best possible chance to complete this school year.
I promise to report back to you in a few days, once the Chapter 11 process has progressed a bit and after we have seen how much money has been raised in the immediate aftermath of this announcement. At that point the Board will be in a better position to formulate clear plans for the coming weeks, and I will be in a better position to communicate them to you.
Until then, I assure you that we are doing all we can to continue delivering on the School's worthy mission. On behalf of ABS and the boys, I thank you for your patience in these difficult times and for your support.Very truly yours,
Chairman of the Board of Trustees