Montessori closure stuns parents
About 70 families in Orléans, Ont., are taken aback that their Montessori school is closing.
They received an email Friday that said the Bishop Hamilton School on Youville Drive has financial problems. The school's board intends to close it by September and sell the property for $2 million to pay off the mortgage and staff obligations.
Roopa Lidder sends her three-year-old daughter to the independent Christian school and planned to send her 14-month-old son there in the fall.
"It's the community we're a part of and I just can't imagine it not existing," Lidder said.
Lidder says parents are angry and frustrated that they weren't consulted sooner for help solving the school's deficit.
The school has operated in the east end for 20 years and also runs a larger site in the west end.
Bishop Hamilton's chair, Heather Smith, says the school ran deficits most years because it doesn't have enough students. She says there are fewer school age children, and east end parents want French programs that Bishop Hamilton doesn't offer.
"So we're either going to offer the programs as we think they should be run, [or], if there isn't the market for them, then we'll shut down the operation," Smith said.