PROVIDENCE – The Providence Center will close its Providence Center School and Anchor Learning Academy this summer, the center announced on Thursday.
Both schools will close after the end of summer programming on August 11 due to a decline in enrollment and a shortage of special education teachers and children’s behavioral health specialists, said Raina Smith, spokesperson for Care New England Health System.
“Unfortunately, staffing and enrollment at both educational facilities have been challenging over the course of the last few years, and that has directly impacted our ability to continue achieving our mission of offering the highest quality learning environment possible to our students,” said Mary Marran, president and chief operating officer of Butler Hospital and senior vice president of the Behavioral Health Service Line at Care New England. “This has left us with no other alternative but to close.”
The Providence Center School, founded in 1987, is a special education school for students in grades K-8 with diagnosed emotional and behavioral disorders. The Anchor Learning Academy, which opened in 2012 becoming the state’s first recovery high school, helps grades 9-12 students recovering from substance-abuse addiction keep up with their academic studies while maintaining their recovery.
Together, they currently have 28 enrolled students from nine school districts—25 at the Providence Center School and three at the Anchor Learning Academy.
“Our students and their families have always been and remain our top priority, so we will be partnering with our local school districts and families to make sure that our students find suitable placement for their respective needs,” Marran said.
Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Chiappa@PBN.com.
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