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Long IslandEducation

Wainscott charter school has closed

A second grade class at the Child Development

A second grade class at the Child Development Center of the Hamptons Charter School in East Hampton is seen here being taught by Victoria Babinski on Nov. 13, 2006. Photo Credit: Doug Kuntz

Child Development Center of the Hamptons in Wainscott, the smallest of Long Island’s five charter schools, has closed, the executive director of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute has confirmed.

The school, with about 67 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, mostly served special needs children. Enrollment had dwindled from a high of 82 students in the 2012-13 school year to 67 in 2014-15, according to the most recent report filed with the SUNY institute, which oversees some New York charter schools.

Calls and emails to school officials were not returned. Child Development Center of the Hamptons was established in 2000 and had its charter renewed last year, according to paperwork it had filed with the state. It drew students from 15 districts and had a teaching staff of 19, data submitted to the state showed.

Susan Miller Barker, executive director of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, said Friday that the school reached out to the institute about a year ago regarding closing. More students in the area had enrolled in local districts where special education programs had been strengthened, she said.

“We have been talking to them all along, and we really applaud their commitment to the school and students over the years,” Barker said.

She said the institute and the school have been working with families to make sure all the students are placed.

Child Development Center of the Hamptons was one of two charter schools in Suffolk County. With its closing, there now are four such schools on Long Island — one in Riverhead, one in Roosevelt and two in Hempstead.

Charter schools, created in New York after passage of a 1998 state law, are tuition-free public schools created by parents, educators and community leaders that operate under a five-year contract.

In New York, the schools’ charters are granted and considered for renewal by one of two government entities — the SUNY Charter Schools Institute or the state Board of Regents — which set enrollment limits and must approve any expansions of class levels and the student body.

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