By Kathryn G. Menu
The Child Development Center of the Hamptons in Wainscott will close on July 1, school officials confirmed in a press release issued Tuesday afternoon.
The center cited financial constraints and declining enrollment for its decision to close at the end of the school year.
“We thank everyone that helped make CDCH a wonderful place to learn for the last two decades. We thank the board, the teachers, the Charter School Institute for their constant support through the years, the community for embracing our mission, and most importantly the families for trusting us with their children,” said Gerard Cairns, CDCH school leader.
The decision comes after Gersh Management Services, which runs The Gersh Academy — a New York-based education program that provides services and schools for students with Asperger’s Syndrome and children and young adults on the autism spectrum — announced it would not take over management of the school. In early February, the firm announced it would take over the school for the next calendar year.
“For the past several months Gersh Management Services has invested significant time and resources to develop a plan to take over the management of the Child Development Center of the Hamptons,” said the firm in a statement released on Monday. “After extensive review and having identified a number of factors beyond our control, all parties involved mutually agreed not to proceed with the transfer of management. We, like many parents, are tremendously disappointed in this outcome and assure the public that best efforts were made in our attempt to successfully complete this endeavor. We strongly feel that the staff and teachers of the Child Development Center of the Hamptons must be saluted for their dedication, hard work and commitment to the children in the communities of Eastern Long Island.”
The Child Development Center of the Hamptons is the only charter school on the East End and served both students requiring special education services and those who did not require such services. It opened as a charter school in 2001, offering special education classes for children within 50 miles of its Stephen Hands Path, Wainscott campus, and for students within 15 miles for its traditional education program.
According to the school, it currently enrolls 54 students in the charter school students and 31 preschool students, whose home school districts, which range from Montauk to Center Moriches, pay tuition to CDCH.
According to the Sag Harbor School District, there are four district children attending the charter school.
“CDCH will be working to assist parents in the placement of their children in appropriate programs for the summer and September 2016,” said Mr. Cairns.
This year, the Sag Harbor School District expanded its own special education programming to include early intervention services, as well as elementary school classrooms devoted to special education — where traditionally a number of students had been bused to other schools for special education services.