Ross to Close Lower Campus
Administrators at the Ross School announced on Friday that the school will move its pre-nursery-through-sixth-grade program to its East Hampton campus on Goodfriend Drive for the 2018-19 school year, closing its lower school campus in Bridgehampton.
“We are about to embark on the next exciting phase of our history as we fully embrace the original intent of our visionary founder Courtney Ross to be ‘one school,’ ” said an email to parents on Friday from Andi O’Hearn, Ross’s chief of student advancement, Bill O’Hearn, the head of high school, and Jeanette Tyndall, head of the lower and middle school.
Ross took over the Butter Lane, Bridgehampton, campus — once home to the Hampton Day School and later to the Morriss Center School — at the start of the 2006-7 school year after the smaller Morriss Center merged with Ross. The merger allowed Ross to expand down, adding kindergarten through third grade. Prekindergarten and early childhood programs followed.
In 2008, the school began enrolling boarding students; by 2013, they made up 40 percent of the student population.
In the letter to parents, the administrators outlined the benefits of the move, saying it will allow younger students to interact with the school’s international boarding students without the transportation costs now involved, make for smoother drop-offs and pickups for parents with students in the upper and lower grades, and “allow us to leverage our resources and better plan for the long-term sustainability of Ross School.”
What will become of the Bridgehampton campus is unclear, and administrators had not returned calls as of press time.
The school was founded in 1991 for a single class of just three fifth-graders, including Ms. Ross’s daughter, Nicole. Each year it added a new grade to accommodate its initial students. It became coed in 1997. According to the school’s website, Ross now has 420 students, including boarding students from 20 countries.
The transition to a single campus will take place over the summer. Next year, Ross’s pre-nursery, nursery, and prekindergarten will be housed in the lower level of the Ross Tennis Center. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will have classes in the same building as the middle school students.
Ms. Tyndall will offer lower school parents tours of the upper school campus and the middle school building tomorrow at 9 and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and will meet with and answer questions from eighth-grade and high school parents that day at 4 p.m. along with Mr. O’Hearn.