NEWBURYPORT — In a move that surprised many in the city, the Inn Street Montessori School closed its doors for good following the last day of school this year.
However, the administrators and staff at Newburyport Montessori School, a separate preschool on the ground floor of the same building, want to get the word out: they are still open.
The closure of the Inn Street Montessori was sudden and largely unexpected, with little information announced in advance by principal Elease Colcord. Colcord declined to speak to the press following the closing, but posted a brief message on the school’s website.
“It is with great regret that we have been forced to make a painful decision regarding the future of Inn Street Montessori School,” the message read in part. “...We will forever appreciate your support as you continued to root for our school’s success. We have done everything within our power to maintain the ability to continue serving our community…
“However, because of continued shifts in enrollment and commitments that were not honored, it is no longer viable to move forward as a business…We thank you endlessly for being a valued member of our community throughout the years and for your dedication and support of our school.”
The school existed for 10 years, having separated from the Newburyport Montessori School in 2004.
Colcord has run the school for the last 7 years. Since 2004, Inn Street served older students while Newburyport Montessori teaches pupils under age 6.
Inn Street gradually expanded to serving grades 1 through 8.
Newburyport Montessori founder and head Maureen Daley was saddened by the loss of her sister school.
“Independent schools are a funny business,” Daley said. “It’s always based on the economy and it’s difficult. Things were going well, but somehow in the last few months, I guess, the student body just became smaller and it just didn’t make sense to continue.”
Daley was unable to give any information about the school’s closure beyond the fact that it had become financially unsustainable as a business.
Inn Street Montessori is the third elementary school in Newburyport to permanently close this year.
Both the Brown and Bresnahan public schools saw their final classes as well, though they were part of a planned consolidation of public elementary schooling into a single new Bresnahan building.