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Chesapeake Academy Merging with Severn School

The new school will offer preschool through 12th grade classes to nearly 800 students, becoming the largest independent school in Anne Arundel County.

The Severn School in Severna Park and the Chesapeake Academy in Arnold have signed an agreement to merge into one school over the summer, according to a release.

The Severn School's Board of Trustees made the announcement Wednesday, saying the school will be able to retain its name, and extend its grade offerings from preschool through 12th grade. The Chesapeake Academy will be renamed to the Severn School Chesapeake Campus.

“We’ve long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Chesapeake Academy, welcoming students into our Middle School and sharing a reciprocal faculty tuition remission,” said Severn School Headmaster Doug Lagarde. “While the idea of joining forces with Chesapeake Academy is not new, the timing now is ideal.”

The school merger will become effective July 1. By joining Chesapeake Academy's 209 students with Severn School's nearly 600, the new school will become the largest independent school in Anne Arundel County.

A release from Severn School noted that this was not being considered an acquisition. Both schools are nonprofit organizations, and will join to form one entity. However, Chesapeake Academy will be funding any costs incurred as a result of the merger.

"Chesapeake Academy brings significant resources to the merger. Any costs incurred to combine the two schools will initially come from those resources," according to the release.

School officials said the  merger was the result of years of discussions, meetings and careful study. The move is being done during a leadership transition at Chesapeake Academy, as head of school Jay Scheurle prepares for his departure, and Severn School is preparing for its centennial celebration in the fall. 

"Both institutions recognize the competitive advantages presented in coming together as a preschool through 12 comprehensive school for the future," according to the release.

Students in preschool through fifth grade will be taught at the newly named Severn School Chesapeake Campus in Arnold. Students in grades 6-12 will continue to be taught at the Severna Park campus, according to the release.

Severn School and Chesapeake Academy are each still accepting applications for admission for the 2013‐2014 school year. Chesapeake Academy’s next open house is scheduled for Feb. 13 at 9 a.m. at the Arnold campus.

Severn School Headmaster Doug Lagarde will be there to answer any questions for interested families.

James Dale January 24, 2013 at 02:42 AM
Actually Archbishop Spalding High School remains the largest independent school in Anne Arundel County.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) January 24, 2013 at 03:27 AM
That's a good point. That proclamation was made in the press release. I did double check the numbers, considering Indian Creek, but didn't consider Archbishop Spalding. I'll make an inquiry as to how they can make that statement. Thanks for bringing the inconsistency to my attention.
D. Frank Smith (Editor) January 24, 2013 at 02:24 PM
James, I have received an answer on this from Severn School's head, Doug Lagarde: "Spaulding is not an Independent School since it is part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. It is a private school but not an independent school. These two labels are often used interchangeably, but do have different meaning."
Ironboar January 24, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Spalding is a Catholic high school
Pat Troy January 25, 2013 at 01:51 AM
As a founder of Chesapeake Academy, I am excited about the opportunity that the merger of these two extraordinary and successful schools brings to our community. I look foward to the amazing preschool through grade 12 school that will result.

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