Information: Galileo Chapter 11 Restructuring & Emergence
February 11, 2021 Update
Earlier this week, Galileo Learning emerged from the Chapter 11 reorganization process.
Customers who recently selected credit or coupons have received an email from us regarding their balance and discount codes. For those that selected the refund option, a third-party administrator named Atticus will be in touch.
Having emerged from Chapter 11, we can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best. We have already begun 2021 summer camp enrollment in more than 30 towns, with many more expected as schools solidify their summer plans. We have revamped our model to meet COVID safety standards, and we are highly confident in our ability to operate this year regardless of vaccination progress. We’ve also updated and clarified our transfer and cancellation policies so you can feel safe making decisions now.
As our program leaders and staff return to camp, we hope you join us in recreating a robust summer camp community for you and your friends. We believe that Camp Galileo and summer camps generally will provide many moments of joy and relief this summer that get kids out of the house and into environments that meet their social, emotional, and intellectual needs. We can’t wait to bring kids back together to rediscover the magic of summer camp.
January 4, 2021 Update
The Chapter 11 case has progressed to the point that we are now able to discuss with you three options which, subject to the court’s final approval, will be available to you. You should have received two separate emails – one from Stretto Legal Services outlining your options to address the cancelled 2020 summer camps and how to select your preferred option and the second, from Galileo encouraging you to review the materials and make your selection. If you have already made a selection or previously resolved your camp fees, then no further action is required.
December 4th, 2020 Update
As part of the Chapter 11 reorganization process, last week we filed with the Bankruptcy Court our proposed settlement with those customers who did not accept credits or coupons last summer. You may be getting notifications in the next couple of weeks about the filings because you were part of the original list of creditors. If you’ve already accepted a credit or coupon option, no further action is required. If you are unresolved, you have no next steps right now, but please look out for communications on options and next steps once the hearing is complete (hopefully by the end of December).
Original Notice Spring 2020
As a result of our incredibly difficult decision to cancel regular in-person camps this summer due to COVID-19, we recently sent out a survey to customers who had already enrolled in camp to understand their preferences for handling their 2020 enrollment fees. We are grateful that so many responded and the feedback was extremely valuable. We are very appreciative to those who chose credit and our hearts go out to those with pressing financial demands and hardship.
While we had hoped that the number of requests for refunds from our families would be manageable, unfortunately those requests far exceed our current financial means. This is very hard to share, but as a result, we made the choice to file for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization on May 6, 2020.
What does this mean?
Galileo filing Chapter 11 means a few things for both Galileo as a company, as well as our customers:
- CHAPTER 11 EXPLAINED: Chapter 11 does not mean that Galileo is going out of business.We aren’t going anywhere. Rather, this process enables us to address the diverse needs of our customers – some of whom want credits, some of whom want refunds, and some of whom are open to both – and at the same time, remain in business and survive the unexpected impacts of the pandemic so we can continue to serve our camper families and deliver on the credits we are offering. We plan to continue to operate and genuinely hope to emerge from Chapter 11 by mid-fall so that we may offer in-person summer camp in 2021.
- CREDITS: We remain very mindful of our pledge to offer credits to customers, which may be used in several ways, including virtual programs which our small team will soon roll out to families in the coming weeks. Now that Chapter 11 has commenced, we have asked the court to hear, on an expedited basis, our petition to permit families to utilize their credits toward the purchase of current and future Galileo and partner offerings as soon as possible. We hope that the court will allow us to enable families to use their credits starting in early to mid-June to coincide with when traditional in-person camp would have started. As soon as we know more, we will update our affected customers.
- REFUNDS: We will need the full Chapter 11 process to unfold in order to determine what refunds Galileo will be able to offer.
Timing and Next Steps
When I think about how far we’ve come over the last 18 years, my heart goes out to our Galileo community – the hundreds of staff who planned to work for us this summer, our most frustrated families for whom I wish I could offer everything you’ve asked for, so many families who are rallying for us now, our HQ staff we’ve had to lay off or furlough, and most of all, the thousands of kids for which we work so hard for each day and who we won’t be able to see in-person this summer.
Thinking of these groups keeps me and Galileo going. Even while our Chapter 11 filing is pending, our plan is to continue to launch virtual camp options in the near future and to expand those offerings into the summer to support families. Our hope is that we will also be able to explore the possibility of small group in-person options later this season, and we will begin planning for camp next year. As the details of our chapter 11 filing progresses, we will be back in touch with more information in the next couple of weeks.
As always, I am deeply grateful for the Galileo community – our team has been buoyed by your compassion and support during a challenging time. Our staff often talk about “practicing what we teach,” and this time calls on us more than ever to take these challenges and learn and grow from them. As a small business, we are not going to give up and let this pandemic win – we are absolutely resolved to continue bringing joy to families as we have the past 18 years, and to achieve our mission of developing innovators who envision and create a better world.
CEO & Founder
Why did Galileo Decide to File Chapter 11?
In April 2020 Galileo made the difficult decision to cancel its summer camps as a result of COVID-19. At that time, Galileo had already spent the majority of the enrollment deposits that had come in preparing for camp. Galileo filed Chapter 11 to follow a formalized process that would allow us to address our creditors’ claims while continuing to serve camper families. In June, Galileo offered an unlimited use discount coupon or full credit for future programs but was unable to immediately offer full refunds to customers. Now that the Ch. 11 process is coming to a close, the courts are in the process of approving options for those who have not resolved their claims yet.
IS GALILEO STILL OPERATING?
Yes! Since filing for Chapter 11, Galileo has been able to operate online classes for more than 10,000 children and delivered safe, home-based programs in-person as a way to address the needs of parents during the school year. We are cautiously optimistic about plans for in-person summer camps in 2021, which we have redesigned to comply with the COVID restrictions of 2020. We believe that it’s likely that whatever restrictions exist next summer will be less restrictive and we will have more opportunities available to practice safety than in summer 2020.
I HAD ALREADY PURCHASED CAMP FOR MY CHILD. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY 2020 ENROLLMENT FEES?
If you purchased camp in 2020, you had the option in June to choose a 50% off coupon that you could use as many times as you wish or 110% credit of your original purchase value – or to wait for the Chapter 11 case to resolve. If you chose either of the summer credit or coupon options, you can use that credit or coupon now on our current online offerings or for any of our future summer camp programs through 2025. If you didn’t choose either of those options, you should review the two separate emails you recently received – one from Galileo and a second from Stretto Legal Services outlining your options and next steps.
I DIDN’T RECEIVE AN EMAIL GIVING ME OPTIONS TO RESOLVE MY 2020 CAMP FEES. WHAT DO I DO?
You should have received two emails – one from Galileo and one from Stretto Legal Services outlining your options and next steps. If you didn’t receive one or both of these emails and have not resolved your camp fees, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to share any information you need with you. If you have already made a selection or previously resolved your camp fees then no further action is required.
ARE YOU PLANNING TO OFFER ANY IN-PERSON PROGRAMS IN SUMMER 2021?
We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to run in-person camp this summer. We’re concerned about the recent surge, but we are encouraged by the vaccine progress and are hopeful that numbers will subside in the spring. We had the opportunity to operate small, safe, in-person camps this summer and we learned a great deal from those experiences as well as from others in the camp world. While we believe COVID restrictions in summer 2021 will be less restrictive than those in 2020, we have still reworked our camp structure to work within 2020 COVID guidelines. We’ve planned for social distancing, masks, careful materials management, mostly outdoor time, and groups of twelve or fewer students with consistent instructors.
HOW DO I RESOLVE MY CAMP FEES FROM SUMMER 2020?
If you’ve already accepted a credit or coupon option, no further action is required from you. If you did not make a selection to receive a coupon or credit last June during that opportunity (or received reimbursement from your bank through an alternate chargeback request), you should have recently received an email from Stretto Legal Services (Galileoemail@example.com) linking to a website where you can make your selection to receive a credit, discount coupon or phased cash reimbursement (“Submit Your Response” tab) and review an FAQ page. You will need to use the personal ID number included in the email from Stretto.
WHY ARE THE CREDIT AND COUPON OFFERS DIFFERENT NOW FROM THOSE OFFERED IN JUNE? WHY 84% CASH BACK?
The value of each of these three options has been reduced (per the court’s requirement for approval for settlement) by approximately 16% to cover the customer class members’ share of administrative costs, class legal and service fees.
WHEN IS THE DEADLINE TO RESOLVE MY CAMP FEES?
Camp fees need to be resolved by January 26, 2021. To resolve camp fees you need to go to the Galileo Settlement website where you can make your selection. You first go to the “Submit Your Response” tab where you’ll be walked through the process to resolve your camp fees. There is also an FAQ page for you to review if you have any questions. You will need to use the personal ID number included in the email from Stretto to submit your request. If you do not choose your option by January 26, 2021 you will automatically default to the deferred cash payment option. You will have until August 15, 2021 to change this option to credit or coupon from deferred cash payment if you wish.
WHAT DO I DO IF I ALREADY RESOLVED MY CAMP FEES FROM SUMMER 2020?
If you’ve already resolved your camp fees from Summer 2020 then no further action is required, and cannot be changed to any other selection.