Cobble Hill News

Fate of Montessori School’s Little Room to be determined on Tuesday

The Sunday Times reports that the future of The Little Room program of the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School will be decided on Tuesday, when the school’s board of trustees votes on whether to move the Little Room (currently located at the intersection of Court and Bergen Streets) or to close it down. The 28-year-old program serves preschool-aged children with speech and language delays. In addition to providing a specialized curriculum to its 27 students, the Little Room offers several therapeutic services and counseling to preschool- and elementary-aged children.

“It’s heartbreaking because there’s nothing else like it around here,” said Kara Bohnenstiel, an artist whose 3-year-old son, Myat Haggart, is one of nine children who had been expected to stay in the program for another year. “I don’t know what we will do if they close it. There’s not going to be time to find another place for one oddball year.”

Dane L. Peters, the head of school, said that the Little Room does not fit in with Brooklyn Heights Montessori’s future plans, and that the school has been filling a gap between the program’s expenses and reimbursements from the state. Tuition for special education students is free.

“It is extremely difficult because there’s an inherent culture in this school to embrace diversity,” Mr. Peters said. “But the trustees have to look to the long-term sustainability of the school, and if the school is to grow and thrive, it sometimes is confronted by challenging decisions.”

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