D-11 agrees on lease of Whittier property

Whittier Elementary teacher Laurie Sanchez, helped with the moving of the school's belongings along with fellow co-workers and family Thursday May 28th, 2009. Photo by Gazette file

As part of Colorado Springs School District 11’s building shuffle, a new charter school, Mountain Song Community School, will lease the former Whittier Elementary School.

In a 6-0 vote, with one member absent, D-11’s board of education agreed Wednesday to enter a five-year contract for the property at 2904 W. Kiowa St., with a monthly leasing fee of $8,125.

Each year, D-11 has the option to terminate the contract by Jan. 15, with notice to vacate by June 15, without penalty.

The new lease starts July 1, after the building’s current tenant, an alternative high school known as The Bijou School, moves out.

Bijou is relocating to the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus — now the site of Wasson High School, which is closing at the end of this academic year due to declining enrollment.

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The Colorado Charter School Institute approved Mountain Song as a charter school within D-11 boundaries in December 2012.

Classes will start in August.

The school initially will accommodate kindergarten through sixth grade students and offer Waldorf teaching methods, which focus on fostering creativity, with an arts-integrated curriculum.

Plans to provide preschool have been nixed because organizers say the Whittier building cannot accommodate a preschool in compliance with current regulations.

The charter’s board in March hired Neah Douglas, who founded Mountain Song, as the school director. She previously worked as executive director of Garden Partners, a Portland, Ore.-based therapeutic gardening program, and owned NBD Stationery.

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