XENIA — The new independent public school set to be in session this fall Xenia has pushed back its opening.
Dr. Jeremy Ervin, founder and chief administrative officer of Community STEAM Academy — Xenia, announced in an email on Wednesday that myriad issues have forced the board to delay its opening until the 2023-24 school year.
“This difficult decision was the result of a variety of unforeseen factors related to the current economic climate and lingering effects of the pandemic,” Ervin wrote in the email. “These factors have caused a ripple effect in other areas ranging from securing the appropriate technology and furnishings to staff health and relocation issues.”
Board Chair Dr. Robert Chasnov said the prep work for construction and needed mitigation was completed but the loan was “pulled out” due to rising interest rates and the economy.
“The decision to delay the opening of CSA-Xenia until the fall of 2023 was a difficult one for the entire board of trustees,” Chasnov said. “We were on the brink of finalizing our teacher and staff hiring process when a cascade of circumstances beyond our control pulled the rug out from under us. Our support for Dr. Ervin remains unfailing, and we have no doubt that CSA-Xenia will become the model for K-12 education for years to come. We ask for your patience and understanding.”
The school will occupy the former YMCA building in downtown and had received approval from the Ohio Department of Education. CSA-Xenia will incorporate the arts into the traditional STEM topics of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Chasnov said at least 190 students had been registered to attend, coming from Xenia, Fairborn, Jamestown and Clark County. Those students will not need to re-apply for the 2023-24 school year, which will begin with grades 6-9, according to the CSA-Xenia website.
“As a parent with a child who had also planned to attend CSA-Xenia this fall, I understand this can be stressful news at this point in the year and you probably have many questions,” Ervin wrote in the email. “We will be focusing on additional details related to future schedules, applications, grade-level rollouts, etc., and will share them as soon as they are available.”
CSA-Xenia will operate much like the Dayton Regional STEM School and Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield in that it’s tuition free and lottery-based once all spots are full. Funding comes from the state and is treated like open enrollment, according to school officials.