Still Doing More with Less

There’s an old saying that goes “We’ve done so much, for so long, with so little, we’re now qualified to do anything with nothing.” Perhaps nowhere does this adage apply more aptly than to private Christian schools.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)1, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) spends an average of $11,357 per student, per year, to educate its children. At Alta Loma Christian School, we spend an average of approximately $7,249 per child, per year, to educate our students.2

That’s a difference of $4,108 per student, per year.

Yet compare the results.

Even though we have 36% less money to spend per child, our students as a school:

  • perform significantly above state and national academic norms; this includes our Eighth Grade class scoring off the chart—more than four years ahead of the national average—in all subject areas on national standardized tests3
  • stay in school
  • benefit from smaller classes
  • have fewer and less serious discipline issues
  • have a safer, more secure campus setting
  • have parents who are involved in the life of the school at a higher, more frequent level
  • are taught from a biblical, Christian worldview
  • have teachers, administrators, and staff members who are all followers of Christ
  • experience leading-edge educational technology, including computer coding instruction
  • have access to innovative STEM programs, including partnerships with real-world leaders in space science and engineering in cooperation with the International Space Station
  • and enjoy all of the foregoing in a family atmosphere of love, care, and respect.

Wow. That’s stewardship. Imagine what we could do with another $4,108 per child every year!

As a private faith-based school, we do not receive any direct government funding. We provide a premier private school program solely on the basis of tuition, fees, and the generous gifts of individuals and businesses.

While tuition and fees make up the vast majority of income received, that income alone is not enough to provide the education of exceptional excellence for which ALCS has come to be known. It takes partners who share our vision for a school where our children gain essential 21st century skills while acquiring a strong 1st century faith, and where their academic experience is constantly being enhanced and elevated to new heights of achievement.

While ALCS accepts gifts of many types throughout the school year to support our comprehensive educational program, we have (1) a special partnership program and (2) a high-visibility student-led event that helps us focus our partnership efforts. Let me describe them briefly below:

1. EagleFund. The EagleFund is our year-long, annual fund for business and individual partners, and features our Wings of Distinction program. Wings of Distinction recognizes partners who donate at the $250 (Bronze Wings), $500 (Silver Wings), $1,000 (Gold Wings), and $2,000 or more (Platinum Wings) level. Each level includes various forms of recognition for the partnering business, family, or individual for their generous contributions.

2. Eagle Walk walk-a-thon. The Eagle Walk walk-a-thon is our single largest fundraising event of the year. Students, families, and friends of ALCS give in support of our remarkable students who walk, run, talk, sing, and pray around our school’s athletic field to raise money for operational and project needs, including facilities and educational technology enhancements. Any individual or business that gives a gift of $250 or more during the Eagle Walk
automatically qualifies for our EagleFund Wings of Distinction program. Individual and business partners that donated to purchase our new MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer at levels of $250 or above also qualify, and amounts may be accumulated between the walk-a-thon and 3D printer drive during the school year to qualify.

This week, our school families received additional information about both of these partnership opportunities, and brochures containing further details about both opportunities are available in the school office.4

Thank you again for your ongoing support of an exceptional Christian school education at ALCS. Your partnership in this ministry to our kids—and to the gospel—is greatly appreciated.

Have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll see you around campus.

For the Glory of Christ and the Good of Our Kids,

Dr. Vance Nichols
Head of School
Alta Loma Christian School

1. 8 Cubed Technologies, LLC. (September 19, 2016). “S. 1177: Every Student Succeeds Act and ConnectED Supplemented Technology Audit.” As published in correspondence to California.
public and private schools. NCES statistics are from 2008 expenditures as reported to NCES by LAUSD. West Covina, CA: 8 Cubed Technologies, LLC.
2. Alta Loma Christian School. Based on 2015-2016 total budgetary expenditures and an enrollment of 250 students.
3. Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). (May, 2017). Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing results, Alta Loma Christian School, 2016-2017 school year.
4. As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, all contributions to ALCS are fully tax deductible as allowed by law. Our tax identification number is 33-0374470. Should you have any questions, please contact us or consult your tax professional.


Dr. Nichols (BS, MS, EdD) also serves as an adjunct professor of education at California Baptist University. He recently completed a three-year term as commissioner and chair of the ACSI Southern California Regional Accreditation Commission, and was an educational researcher, organizational leadership theorist, and 2015 Innovation Scholar at the University of Southern California. His most recent published research—“Schools At Risk: An Analysis of Factors Endangering the Evangelical Christian School Movement in America”—can be accessed online at: