About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Snowden Academy closing
Snowden Academy, the private day school operated by Mary Washington Healthcare, will close at the end of the school year.
A Mary Washington official said last week that the closing will affect about 30 children in grades three through 12.
“Providing education is not the core mission of Mary Washington Healthcare,” said Eric Fletcher, senior vice president for marketing and communications. “We’re going to let the schools do what they do well, and we’ll concentrate on what we do well.”
The school was founded in 1997 and is located within Snowden at Fredericksburg, a 40-bed, psychiatric hospital, across the street from Mary Washington Hospital.
The school’s closing means that local school systems must find alternate placements for the children who are enrolled at the academy. “I’m really disappointed,” said Sue Clark, director of special programs for Stafford County schools. “They were an integral part of what we do here daily within our special education program.”
The closing also will allow Mary Washington to expand its mental health services at Snowden at Fredericksburg. These expansions will allow some of the patients who now go elsewhere for mental health services to remain in the community, Fletcher said.
(For more on the closing of Snowden Academy, see the story soon in the paper.)