This fall, the New Gate-Field School will bid adieu to its 100-acre campus on Clark Road and make a return to its Montessori roots — its original home base on Ashton Road, where it began 27 years ago as Countryside Montessori School.
Due to the economic challenges facing private schools during the past years, which caused a decline in enrollment largely in the school’s secondary level (grades seven through 12), the school’s board of trustees concluded that it was no longer economically feasible to support the school’s Clark Road campus.
“We did an analysis of the finances,” said Tim Seldin, head of school for the New Gate-Field School and senior program director of The Montessori Foundation. “Enrollment had fallen, and it was beyond capacity to handle. We had put a lot into finding this property, but it was not where the population center moved.”
In August, the board asked The Montessori Foundation to manage the New Gate School. A decision was made to merge the foundation’s model school, The Field School, with New Gate. Now known as the New Gate-Field School, it serves under the guidance of The Montessori Foundation and offers a college-preparatory program for toddlers through high school students, including the development of a Montessori International Baccalaureate Program for its upper school.
“We felt New Gate was a school that’s very precious,” Seldin said. “It pains me as an international leader of the Montessori committee to see the school going through hard times. We stepped in because we really care, and we want it to be OK.”
Although there is no exact date for when the schools will merge, Seldin expects the merge to be completed this fall.
The move means a total of 120 to 130 students will be housed at the Ashton campus, along with 20 to 25 teachers.
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