by Alessandra Luedeking
On February 7, a decision regarding the Campus School’s location was reached.
Boston College’s Campus School is a learning institution for children with severe special needs and complex healthcare requirements. This past November, the Boston College administration considered merging the Campus School with the nearby Kennedy Day School, at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton. The move would offer the students a new facility with more space and professional staff.
Enrollment for the Campus School has decreased from 49 in 2007 to 38 today, making nearby districts reticent about paying the $74,000 a year needed to keep the Campus School running. As a result, the suggestion to merge the schools prompted an impassioned response from parents, volunteers, staff members, and Boston College students alike.
However, a meeting was held between Don Ricciato, the Campus School Director, Joseph Quinn, Interim Provost and Dean of Faculties, and the BC Executive Board, including the university President Rev. William Leahy, S.J. in which the decision was made to maintain the Campus School at BC for at least one more year. In return, the Campus School has pledged to work on a long-term sustainability plan that will aim towards increasing school enrollment, promoting the school to prospective families, and fundraising.
“BC wants us to thrive and will collaborate with us to become an even better program,” said Chris Marino, Co-President of the Campus School Volunteers, A&S ’14, to the volunteers and staff members of the Campus School.
While the decision has been received with much joy and gratitude, the Campus School’s security still lies on precarious foundations. The School has only been sanctioned to remain at Boston College for the coming academic school year, essentially deferring the definitive decision-making process another year. The sustainability plan devised by the Campus School will serve to reassure BC administrators of its ability to implement and sustain a successful program.
Whatever the distant future holds, the Campus School rejoices in the opportunity to continue its work in Campion Hall. This sentiment is captured in Marino’s words: “We have had some very dark days in the last few months but someone made the point today, ‘It is often darkest before the dawn.’ We are happy to report that we have a new dawn and a new day and it is going to be a beautiful day.”