Montessori school looking for new leader, racial balance
The search for a new director to replace Lonnie Yancsurak is just one search that officials at the Coastal Montessori Charter Schoolwill be conducting in coming months.
The school’s administration will also be searching for African American students to attend the school to help meet requirements mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Currently the school — which serves grades 1-6 — has 144 students, which is only three less than it had when it opened its doors for the first time in August.
That, Yancsurak told the Georgetown County School Board this week, is a good testament to the school because he expected more students would have left. He said he expected more departures because the school’s teaching style is so much different than traditional schools.
Another bit of good, he said, is 120 of the current students have already committed to returning for the school’s second year. And, Yancsurak said, there are students on a waiting list for next year.
The bad news is none of them are African Americans.
The state requires a charter school’s racial makeup to be within ten percent of the racial makeup of the district in which it is located. In this case, the school’s student body would need to be at least 40 percent African American.
The law does give an exemption if a school can prove it made every attempt to meet that enrollment requirement.
Even though the racial makeup was not where it should be to start the school, the Justice Department approved the charter but said it would be watching to see if efforts are being made to bring racial balance to the school which currently shares a campus with Waccamaw Middle School.
Yancsurak said a committee is being formed where people will brainstorm to try to find ways to try to increase the African American enrollment.
He said once the school moves to its new location farther south, it will be closer to larger African American populations which should help.
By Scott Harper
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