Gersh Autism will step in to continue providing exceptional education for students on the spectrum.
GREENFIELD, NH, SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 – Gersh Autism, a leading provider of educational and support services for children on the spectrum and their families, today joined with the foundation that operates the storied Crotched Mountain School in New Hampshire to announce the signing of an exclusive Letter of Intent under which the day school and therapeutic boarding school programs will remain open.
Under the agreement, Gersh Autism will assume full operational and financial responsibility for the day and boarding schools serving children and adults on the autism spectrum. Financial terms were not disclosed. Gersh Autism and the Crotched Mountain Foundation are working with the New Hampshire Departments of Education and Health & Human Services to secure approval of the ownership transfer and transition of the appropriate licenses so there is no interruption in the educational services for students and their families. Crotched Mountain Foundation will continue to operate the school until the transition is complete, with Gersh Autism providing consulting and operational assistance at no cost during the interim period to ensure a smooth transition.
“Contemplating the closure of the school and our Greenfield Campus has been extremely difficult and heartbreaking for us and for the community,” said Ned Olney, CEO of Crotched Mountain Foundation. “We are elated to know that our current students will be well taken care of, and that Crotched
Mountain School and our mission will live on and expand over time to meet this growing need. We believe Gersh Autism is well suited to continue and build upon the legacy of service and quality we have all worked so hard to create over the last 67 years.”
Since 1953, Crotched Mountain School has had a rich history of serving people with learning and other disabilities, helping both children and adults achieve maximum independence. The coronavirus pandemic forced the school to suspend enrollment and increase spending on safety measures, straining an already challenging financial situation and, despite attempts to cut costs, leading to the decision to close. The news of Crotched Mountain School’s closing had forced families, school districts, and state agencies to scramble to find alternative solutions for students with behavioral and emotional difficulties.
“We are thrilled to be able to help keep this wonderful school open now and into the future in order to serve those who need it most, especially during this extraordinary period of uncertainty,” said Kevin Gersh, Founder/CEO and Chief Autism Officer of Gersh Autism. “Combining our skills and experience
with the strong foundation already in place at Crotched Mountain School will create truly pioneering programs, adaptable to many different individuals and carrying out the shared mission to help those with special needs thrive. At a time when many programs across the country are struggling to survive
and meet the needs of families and school district administrators, Gersh Autism is pleased to play an active role in supporting programs that serve the same population and are having a hard time.”
Gersh also noted that while technology-enabled distance learning is a viable option for certain students, therapeutic boarding school programs have become more important than ever to provide the care and attention these students need to receive the best possible educational outcomes. Gersh Autism has been changing the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families for over 30 years, providing a full portfolio of services including education, therapy, independent living skills, life plan management, residential services, vocational training, events, summer camp, driving school, ABA therapy, equine therapy and recreation. Gersh Autism believes every individual deserves the opportunity to grow and thrive in a school setting, as well as in the community and home. Its teachers/therapists identify the thinking and learning styles of each student and develop a customized program to help meet their potential and personal best.
“Crotched Mountain School’s closing announcement left many families saddened and deeply concerned for their children’s education, development, and future,” said Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut. “With limited options and Covid-19 compounding an already challenging placement process,
this agreement between the Foundation and Gersh Autism is welcome news for the State of New Hampshire and the families and students we serve.”
Please visit www.gershautism.com for more information.
About Gersh Autism
Gersh Autism has been changing the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families for over 30 years. They provide a full portfolio of services, including education, therapy, independent living skills, life plan management, residential services, vocational training, driving school, camp, special
events, recreation, and so much more. With a team of more than 400 professionals, Gersh Autism currently operates schools and programs throughout New York State, Washington State, and Puerto Rico.
Michelle Falinski, Stanton PRM
Jennifer Domash, Gersh Autism