Legacy by Gersh closing Crotched Mountain school

  • Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Greenfield. STAFF FILE PHOTO BY BEN CONANT

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 10/19/2022 2:53:41 PM

Legacy by Gersh’s Crotched Mountain location in Greenfield will be closing its doors Nov. 18.

According to Kevin Gersh, chief autism officer at the school, the decision to close was due to staffing shortages. Gersh stated that the COVID-19 pandemic compounded the staffing issue and made hiring even more challenging.

“Unfortunately, staffing issues in mental health care are a widespread and ongoing problem,” he stated. “For months, we worked exhaustively to shore up our workforce to ensure we could provide the high degree of safety and care we promise students and families. Unfortunately, we simply could not find a way to properly staff our campus in the future and keep our students safe.”

There are 53 students in the school, according to Katy Springer, communications director for Gersh Autism.

“In the days ahead, we will be working alongside the students’ school districts as they lead the effort to identify appropriate educational and residential placements. Our goal is to provide support for the families and help ease the transition for students as they find a new place to grow and thrive,” Gersh stated.

Legacy by Gersh has 173 full- and part-time employees at the Crotched Mountain school, and Gersh stated the plan is for them to stay on board during the transition period and provide students with the services and support.

“We are looking into transition plans and staffing opportunities for employees affected by the closure and are addressing their individual needs on a one-to-one basis,” he stated, adding that the school is committed to preserving the beauty and history of the Legacy by Gersh Crotched Mountain campus and will continue to be a conscientious steward of the property. “We are in early discussions with prospective partners about the future use of the facility and surrounding lands. In the meantime, all public spaces will remain open.”  

Gersh Autism acquired Crotched Mountain School in 2021 after the Crotched Mountain Foundation announced it would be closing the school because of unsustainable operating costs. It had taken ove r management of the school in November 2020.

A statement from the  Crotched Mountain Foundatio n (CMF) says the foundation was saddened to hear  the news of the closure. 

“Despite the fact that Crotched Mountain Foundation is no longer affiliated with the special education school in Greenfield or Legacy by Gersh, having sold the school to Gersh Autism in 2021, our hearts go out to everyone affected,” the statement reads.  “All programs of the  Crotched Mountain Foundation continue unaffected.”


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