BC, Parents Reach Agreement on Campus School
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (2-13-14)—Boston College and Campus School parents have reached an agreement to collaborate on a strategic plan with the goal of strengthening the Campus School and maintaining it at its current location on the Boston College campus.
This agreement was reached after extensive conversations among Boston College administrators and parents of students at the Campus School, which serves children with multiple disabilities.
As a result, the Campus School parent leaders agreed to submit a strategic plan to BC administrators that will include an assessment of the Campus School, specific strategies to increase enrollment, and a plan to balance the school’s budget.
Specifically, the plan will provide a mission statement for the Campus School that clearly states the school’s vision to provide the best possible educational experience for its students, as well as an assessment of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and challenges and opportunities.
The plan will address ways to increase enrollment by utilizing parent ambassadors and enhanced marketing initiatives to promote the school among referring school districts and prospective parents. It will also include a fundraising component to achieve financial stability, provide competitive wages for staff and help fund capital improvements for the Campus School facility.
“We are very pleased to have reached this agreement,” said Interim Provost and Dean of Faculties Joseph Quinn. “These discussions have been very helpful as they have given Campus School parents a better understanding of the issues facing the school, while giving Boston College a greater appreciation of their commitment to preserving and strengthening the program. The Campus School parents asked for an opportunity to keep the Campus School at BC, increase enrollment and balance the school’s budget, and we have agreed to give them this opportunity. We are all committed to making this plan work.”
Kristen Morin ’86, co-president of the Parent Advisory Committee, said she was pleased that an agreement was reached to give parents and Campus School staff an opportunity to strengthen the school. “We plan to take all of the reasons that we love our school and translate them into a sustainable program on behalf of the Campus School,” said Morin. ”By working together with Boston College, I have 100 percent confidence that our plan will enable the Campus School to thrive in the years to come.”
Added BC senior Chris Marino, co-president of the Campus School Volunteers of Boston College, “The Campus School Volunteers are grateful for the opportunity to work with Boston College in our efforts to not only keep the Campus School on the Heights, but to help it thrive and grow into the strongest program possible. We are excited to continue working towards a sustainable future for the program.”
In November, Campus School Director Don Ricciato informed parents that Boston College was considering a possible affiliation with the Kennedy Day School (KDS) that would bring Campus School students, staff and BC volunteers together with KDS students and staff at the new KDS facility in Brighton. Ricciato stated that affiliation discussions were prompted by declining enrollment (from 49 students in 2007 to 38 in 2014) and by the changing landscape of special needs education in which school districts are less willing to refer students to private programs. The discussion prompted an impassioned response from Campus School parents who expressed their strong desire to maintain their children at the Campus School facility in Campion Hall.
"This agreement is a win-win for BC and the Campus School," said Ricciato. "We all want what is in the best interest of our students, and we hope that this plan will enable us to continue to provide them with an excellent education within an even better Campus School.”
--Jack Dunn, BC News & Public Affairs