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Montgomery County's Only Public Charter School Goes Private

Crossway Community Montessori Charter School will no longer operate as a charter school in the fall.

After the current school year ends, the Crossway Community Montessori Charter School (3015 Upton Dr., Kensington) no longer will operate as a public charter school. FILE | Kensington Patch
After the current school year ends, the Crossway Community Montessori Charter School (3015 Upton Dr., Kensington) no longer will operate as a public charter school. FILE | Kensington Patch

By Laura L. Thornton

Montgomery County's only public charter school will become a private school this fall.

After the current school year ends, the Crossway Community Montessori Charter School (3015 Upton Dr., Kensington) no longer will operate as a public charter school, according to a news release from the Montgomery County Public Schools.

The Board of Directors for Crossway Community Inc., which operates the charter school, voted on Tuesday to terminate the charter at the end of the 2013-14 school year. The school plans to continue as a private school beginning next school year. 

"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," Peter Kirby, chairman of the Crossway Community Board of Directors, said.

Parents were notified of the board's vote in a letter sent on Wednesday, and a parent meeting will be held 6 p.m. Thursday.

Patch reported in June that parents were clamoring for spots at the school, but Crossway still needed more money to support its program for students younger than 5.

The board of directors had tried to close the budget gap between its public funding and what it needed to raise in private donations, but the board ultimately determined that the school's financial structure was unsustainable.

Public funding was available for 40 of the 100 students at the school, which teaches students in mixed-age classrooms of 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds according to the Montessori educational model, according to the news release.

The Washington Post reported that the school needed $150,000 annually to fill the gap between what Montgomery County Public Schools provides and what the school requires to run its Montessori program for children younger than 5.

Parents reportedly told the Montgomery County Council’s education committee that they were “feeling pressure” to raise funds, Patch reported in August.

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Editor's Note: Patch Editor Tiffany Arnold contributed to this report

 

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