FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 17, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), a nonprofit organization providing therapeutic and special education services to children ages 5-14 in the greater Washington, DC area, issues the following statement:
“We deeply regret the need to announce that, effective June 14, 2019, The Episcopal Center for Children will cease operations as a therapeutic school. The number of children referred and placed in the Washington D.C. region by traditional public and charter schools to nonpublic programs like ECC’s has decreased year-over-year for some time. This has been a very difficult decision to reach and the Board recognizes the impact it will have on our students, their families, the therapeutic and education community, our donors, and especially the ECC staff who have served the Center so proudly for decades,” said Philip L. Collyer, Chair, Board of Directors.
Despite the best efforts of ECC to raise funds, increase enrollment, establish creative cost-sharing partnerships and significantly cut costs, ECC has not been able to operate without a loss over the past several years. “We can no longer continue to subsidize the gap between revenue and expenses,” said Collyer.
Continuing under ECC’s current financial circumstances could have resulted in the need to close during the 2019-2020 school year. The Board’s decision has been made now to avoid the possibility of upending the stability of our students and their families during the next school year.
Effective immediately The Center will begin to support the orderly transition of its students and their families to new schools in time for the 2019-2020 school year. To aid in this transition a handful of staff members will continue to work through July to ensure there is support for students to be placed in other schools in the fall.
For 125 years, the Episcopal Center for Children has assisted children and their families, witnessing many transitions throughout its history. It was a respite home in the late 1800s, in the late 1920s it became an orphanage, mid-century it transitioned into a residential treatment facility for children, and in 2002 it became a therapeutic day center and school for elementary and middle school students.