Churchill's Transition to a Fully Independent School

On August 26, 2019, Churchill’s Board of Trustees announced that Churchill would begin a transition to a fully independent school starting with the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. The school is making this change in order to accelerate its mission to deliver exceptional education to children with language-based learning disabilities and help them realize their full potential.

In addition to the following questions, Churchill will be hosting a series of town halls where students and parents may speak with school leaders about the transition and what it means for them. The first of these will take place from 8:30am to 9:30am during the Parents’ Welcome Breakfast on September 3. The schedule of additional town halls can be found below.

List of 12 items.

  • Why is Churchill making this transition?

    • Churchill is making this transition because the Board of Trustees and the school’s leadership believe it is best for our students and our community for the long-term.
    • In addition to helping to ensure the school’s financial sustainability now and in the future, the transition will allow us to deliver an even more exceptional education to students.
  • What does it mean to transition to a fully independent school?

    Transitioning to a fully independent school means Churchill will start a multi-year process to phase out acceptance of public funding for reimbursement, and the Department of Education (DOE) will no longer refer new students to Churchill for enrollment.
  • What is Churchill’s model now?

    Currently Churchill is an ”approved nonpublic school.” This means the school is “approved” for contracts with school districts and then these school districts refer students to Churchill and pay tuition. As you may know, the tuition is paid at State-approved rates that don’t cover the full cost of the educational services that we provide.
  • When will the transition go into effect?

    • This transition will take place in a controlled and organized manner over several years, beginning with the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
    • Churchill will offer support and guidance to families throughout the transition, including hiring a dedicated counselor to help current and future families understand the admissions process and their funding options.
  • Will Churchill still focus on children with language-based learning disabilities?

    Yes. Churchill remains committed to its mission to educate students with language-based learning disabilities through a comprehensive curriculum that addresses the needs of the whole child. This focus is core to who we are and will not change.
  • Will Churchill’s curriculum change?

    • One of the benefits of becoming a fully independent school is that it will grant us greater flexibility in what we teach and how we teach it, allowing us to build on what we already do so well and make Churchill even better.
    • This includes introducing a richer curriculum with new classes, more personalized programming and enhanced learning experiences.
    • Churchill’s curriculum will evolve over several years as we transition to a fully independent school model in a controlled and organized manner, beginning with the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
  • Will my child’s education still be guided by an IEP?

    • Churchill will not be required to design its educational program to meet the mandates of the annual Individualized Education Programs (IEP).  
    • The school will have greater flexibility in what we teach, the numbers of students in our varying educational groups, the way we offer related services, the teachers we select, and the type and frequency of the related services we provide. And, we will be able to make changes as needs change without waiting for an annual review and formal IEP changes.
  • If my child receives public funding, will he or she have to transfer?

    • Churchill will maintain a place for students previously referred by local school districts throughout the transition period, which will take place over several years.
    • This will be handled in one of two ways: 1) direct continuation of your child’s placement by your local Committee on Special Education or 2) through pendency orders if an alternative placement is offered by the Committee on Special Education and does not meet the needs of your child.
    • We will be hiring a dedicated counselor who will support parents during the transition.
  • How much is tuition? Will it increase because of the transition?

    • Our current tuition is $59,500 and the transition will not impact any planned increases in the future.    
    • We invite parents to attend one of our town halls, the first of which will take place at 8:30am during the Parents’ Welcome Breakfast on September 3, the first day of school. At this event the school leaders and administrators will discuss the transition, including questions about tuition.
    • For additional information about tuition, please contact Robert Thomas at
  • How will financial aid work?

    • One of the benefits of transitioning to a fully independent school is that we’ll be able to offer financial aid to families who qualify, which we were unable to do under the public-private model.
    • We are hiring a dedicated counselor who will support parents during the transition, including answering questions about financial aid.
    • In the meantime, for additional information about financial aid we encourage you to attend one of the upcoming town halls.
  • What if I cannot afford tuition and I do not qualify for financial aid?

    • We want all Churchill families to know that we are committed to supporting them throughout this transition with ongoing resources and guidance.
    • We encourage parents to attend one of our town halls to learn more.
  • Will prospective families who wish to apply to Churchill still have the option to pursue public funding?

    We will host a town hall specifically for prospective families where we will discuss how this transition affects the application process, as well as answer questions about funding and financial aid. More information on this town hall is to follow.

Upcoming Town Halls

  • September 3rd 2019 – 8:30AM
  • September 17th 2019 – 6:30PM
  • September 25th 2019 – 6:30PM
  • October 7th 2019 – 6:30PM