The Pasco County School approved a 15-year renewal of Countryside Montessori's charter at its board meeting Tuesday, Dec. 18, after an extended negotation period.
The A-rated school had been operating under its previous charter, which was supposed to expire June 30. The board extended that charter three times—on June 19, July 31 and Sept. 4—while the district and the school worked toward an agreement.
The negotations began in March, board attorney Dennis Alfonso said.
The last extension was granted with some harsh words from former Superintendent Heather Fiorentino.
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School choice is meant to be a choice for parents, not for schools to “cherry pick” students, Fiorentino said at the Sept. 4 meeting.
The disagreement stemmed from the school wanting to give preferential treatment to children with prior Montessori experience while streamlining the way it determined if it could accomodate children with special needs, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The school agreed to abandon the proposed enrollment policies that created the controversy, the Times reported.
Countryside Montessori Charter School's updated education plan will be incorporated into the new contract, according to a Dec. 18 board meeting memo.
The school will serve students in grades 1-7 in the 2012-2013 school year and grades 1-8 effective as of the 2013-2014 school year.
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