Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions are meant to help inform families of what is happening with the search for a new building.
What is Quest for Education and Arts?
We are a 501 C3 nonprofit Christian supplemental educational organization and a ministry to bless all who come to our doors. We take the best of home schooling and the best of classroom education and combine those into one. We are different than a school because you have the freedom to choose what you want to participate in. We contract with some of the best teachers and experts in Tucson to help you instruct your kids. This is a great place for parents and students who want to work together to get the best possible education.
Who can come to Quest?
Anyone who is in need of the teaching we offer. We serve public school, private school, home schooled and unschooled students. Parents and grandparents are also welcome to take classes. We do not exist solely to support homeschoolers. We are not a homeschool organization nor are we a school.
If adults come, how do you screen them to make sure kids are safe?
So far only parents and grandparents have taken classes while their kids were also present in a class. We have always known and trusted them. Our recipe for safety will be to know our people. We want to continue the sense of family. If a class is not a good match for someone, we are honest and tell them. However, we are not foolish, and will always be watchful. Our teachers are always present. We will always entertain suggestions for additional monitoring. All classes have an open door policy and a parent is always welcome to attend with a child.
How soon does Quest need a new building?
We are currently working on funding our Building Fund but in the mean time we are in negotiations with a local church for space for the upcoming 2017-2018 year. We should have a final answer soon.
How does Quest propose to pay for this new building when we have seen emails that say we are not even covering expenses this year?
Not only will Quest be asking it's participating families to help but we are also seeking support from foundations, endowments, grants and outside individuals.
We already have many supporters that are ready to give now to help Quest continue it's mission. Additionally, we have others that are willing to work hard to make sure it survives even though they cannot afford to support it financially themselves.
To date, Quest has always relied on families for support and God has always provided even though sometimes we had to ask for it. It is possible we will have to ask again this semester.
This model of financing seems foolish. Why would you do that?
At Quest, we don’t just talk about believing in Christ, we demonstrate it though our actions. God’s foolishness does not make sense to us, but he told us to trust in Him. We have been able to run Quest completely debt free for 10 years because he has provided for us every step of the way.
Why can't you charge for classes instead of asking for donations?
In order to be in compliance with AZ law, we cannot charge for classes or we become a school.
Why not just become a school?
a) If we become a school, we need to hire or contract with certified teachers. While some of our faculty hold teaching certificates, many don’t. Everyone however, is an expert at what they teach and have been doing it for many years. They love to teach, love kids, and that is the best recipe for success.
b. We become subject to governmental educational requirements, including state standards and potentially curriculum guidelines.
c. We become subject to any future requirements that government might impose. Examples might include gender neutral bathrooms and diversity training mandates that do not line up with what we want to teach our children. that could be coming.
Why can't you downsize and fit into a smaller church?
We could but then someone has to choose who comes and who does not. We cannot legally ask who will support us financially and who will not. Any smaller facility we go to is still going to charge us about $3000.00 . We are currently paying about $ 700 – 900. If we cut back, we don’t know that we are going to be able to pay for the increase in rent with a much smaller student base. The size of the small churches that might host us would accommodate only 1/5 of our student body. This year we have passed the 500 student mark. That is an important number because we are now big enough that additional grants and foundations will consider us. Some of the ones we looked at in the past would not support us because we were too small. If we downsize, then we lose that advantage.
Downsizing also presents a problem deciding who will come and who will get cut? If we triple our rent or more, yet downsize, how will pay for that? Also, who decides who comes and who does not? Remember,we cannot charge for classes or we become a school and I cannot ask who will pay and who will not. I do not wish to know that information. We treat all families equally and with respect regardless.
Continuing to rent seems like a much better option than buying. Have you decided against that?
No, we have not ruled that out. However, we have not found any suitable space. If we do rent, it must be a space that can be set up and left so that it is not torn down each week and then reset. We are not going to be able to continue doing that.
Why can't you just stay at Thornydale Family Church?
They are probably not going to renew a contract. This is not because we have done bad things, but simply because we have grown too big for their building and they are concerned about wear and tear. Even with offering to pay more and do improvements, they just want their building back because they do not feel they were set up to rent to a school group.
In addition, we are asking that from now on every family come in at least once and help us set up on Sunday or take down on Wed so you know what it is like. Casey and Becky along with others spend hours each week doing this. Others need to understand what it takes to totally dismantle the church and set up school and then to do it in reverse on Wed. We need to make that stop because it is too hard on family time.
An additional problem we have is making sure the church staff is happy. We have been instructed of certain ways they want the garbage bags placed in the cans, they get mad when people put nonrecyclables in the recycling cans, they worry about the smells we leave in the church, they worry about dings in the paint and dirt on the carpet, tape on the walls, rocks being thrown at the cactus in the desert, tables being left dirty, unflushed toilets, and dirty finger prints and student council signs on the back of doors in the men’s bathroom and so many other things. We get emails and calls about this all the time.
What about the area west of I - 10?
The area west of the current place is underdeveloped so the land doesn't have utilities installed. The cost to bring them in is variable but pretty high. Estimates from developers suggest it would cost close to two million dollars or more to build the kind of space we are needing . Additionally, we need space by Sept of 2017. Contruction might not be complete for 18 - 24 months if all goes well.
What about getting property and putting temporary modulars or pole barns on it and holding class there until money is raised for a building?
While insurance will cover modulars, we have no land to park them on currently, and the expense of bringing them in is tremendous for something that will not be ours in the end. I called and insurance will not cover our student's classes and activities in a temporary structure such as a pole barn because the liability from weather and the risk of having someone from the outside have access to our students is too great. We can't secure it, so dance floors and equipment would still have to be hauled in and out weekly. I am concerned about damage to expensive equipment from so much moving and outdoor use. Much of it also needs electricity so we would have to find that somewhere. **
Is Quest going to close?
No, Quest is not going to close. We are close to a solution for our home for next year.
What if we donate for a building and then Quest closes?
All money will be put in a separate account for capital campaign purposes and will be returned to the donor if it is not used to secure and run a building.