Crossway Community Board Votes to Terminate Charter
The Board of Directors for Crossway Community, Inc., which operates the Community Montessori Charter School, voted January 14 to terminate the charter at the end of the current school year. Community Montessori will operate as a public charter school for the rest of this school year and plans to continue as a private school beginning next school year.
The Board of Directors took the vote after determining its financial structure was not sustainable. The Board of Directors came to its decision after making every effort to close a budget gap that existed between what the school received in public funding and what it needed to raise in private donations.
Public funding was available for 40 of the 100 students at the school, which educates students in mixed-age classrooms of 3, 4 and 5-year-olds in keeping with the Montessori educational model. The school worked diligently to raise the funds necessary to supplement the public contribution but despite the generosity of parents and the community, it was still short of the goal. This effort has been a mutual and concerted one by all involved and the decision for the board was very difficult.
Parents were notified of the vote in a letter today (January 15) and a parent meeting will be held on Thursday, January 16 at 6 p.m.
“Despite our best efforts, we could not sustain the school financially as a charter and will move forward to provide services as a private school,” said Peter Kirby, chair of the Crossway Community Board of Directors. “We appreciate the support and guidance we received from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) throughout this process and we are committed to serving our students as a charter school for the rest of this academic year.”
Crossway’s not-for-profit non-charter school, which has operated for the past 22 years, is fully prepared logistically to absorb all charter school children for the next school year–and at this year’s tuition rates. Parents can also enroll their children in their neighborhood MCPS schools for next year. All other Crossway activities will continue uninterrupted.
“We will work closely with the school and parents to ensure a smooth transition for students who move to their neighborhood school next year,” MCPS Superintendent Joshua P. Starr said. “We know this was a difficult decision for the Board of Directors and we will work with the charter school to facilitate the transition for students and their families.”
“Everyone involved can take heart that we’ve all had a promising vision of what the future of education will look like,” said Kathleen Guinan, Crossway Community CEO. “We know now where some of the pitfalls are and we have also seen the great potential of the idea. For over 22 years, Crossway Community has been and is committed to making great things happen for young children and their parents. This is consistent with the best research in the country in preparing our children for the 21st century. We will continue to focus on improving the lives of our youngest citizens ages zero through six years.”