A longtime fixture of the Maysville educational scene is closing its doors, officials said recently.
Nativity Montessori School will not open for the fall 2017 school year, according to information sent to parents. Declining enrollment and the inability to attract and keep high-quality support staff.
"The Board of Directors of Nativity Montessori School wishes to express its deep appreciation for your faith and loyalty to our program," the letter begins. "We are extremely grateful that you chose Nativity Montessori School in which to begin your child's educational experience. That deep appreciation makes it all the more difficult for us to make this announcement."
The letter went on to recite the reasons for the closing including other factors such as difficulties in recruiting and retaining the number of board members required by the school's bylaws.
"We have decided to suspend operations at Nativity Montessori School beginning in the 2017-2018 academic years," according to the letters.
The letter signed by Dr. Shawn Ross and the board of directors, apologizes for the decision which was made "by consensus of the members present" at a June 26 meeting.
It goes on to say "We felt it was imperative to let our families know of this decision as soon as possible in order for you to have time to make other arrangements for your child."
Whitney Evans, who said in a posting on her Facebook page that she is a member of the board, is opposed to the decision.
"I am deeply saddened that such a great institution would just so abruptly shut the doors with no warning and leave so many families with no options for the children's education," Evans said in a message to The Ledger Independent.
She said she and other parents hope to reverse the decision to close the school.
"Myself and several others will fight to keep the doors open for our children, since that is our main focus," she said before directing all other questions to Ross and Roxanne Ruggles, minister at the Church of the Nativity which operates the school.
Ross, Ruggles and other board members did not return calls to the newspaper concerning the school.
Jeremy Faulkner said he is disappointed that the school is closing.
"Both of my daughters attended preschool and kindergarten there and had a wonderful experience, which set them up for success in later grades," Faulkner said. "This news certainly comes as a surprise and will leave a big hole in our community."
"Typically, Montessori schools are only found in metropolitan areas; we have long been blessed to have one here," Faulkner added.
According to information from the city, a community preschool was started at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Maysville more than 100 years ago, in 1916. In 1974, the school became the Episcopal Day School and in 2004, the classrooms were converted into one large room and the Nativity Montessori School was started.
(The Ledger Independent is online at: http://www.maysville-online.com)