For Immediate Release: May 24, 2016

For 17 years, The Ecology School’s top priority has been the safety and well-being of all of its students while providing them memorable and inspiring residential environmental learning programs at the Ferry Beach Park Association campus in Saco, Maine.

For the past few weeks The Ecology School has been working with the Saco Fire Department and has been in communication with Ferry Beach Park Association on recommended fire code upgrades to one of the dormitories on campus following a semi-annual inspection. Leading up to this current week, The Ecology School was also working closely with the Chenery Middle School from Belmont, Massachusetts to ensure that all students, teachers and parent chaperones would be safe and comfortable during their scheduled 5th grade ecology education programs this week while fully complying with the Saco Fire Department’s recommendations.

While continuing discussions with the Saco Fire Department last Friday and this Monday morning produced assurances that a workable solution was within reach, unfortunately a full working plan for fire code updates was not available until late afternoon yesterday. Lacking confirmation from the Ferry Beach Park Association on this updated plan for the residential dorm, Belmont School’s Superintendent and Chenery Middle School’s Principal, in consultation with The Ecology School, had to make the difficult decision to put their students back on the busses and return to home. Chenery Middle School and The Ecology School were in constant communication throughout this process and continually working to ensure the safety and well-being of the students.

The Ecology School is deeply sorry that the 5th grade students, teachers and parent chaperones from Chenery Middle School lost out on a transformative learning experience due to an issue outside of our organization’s control. We are continuing to work with the Saco Fire Department, Ferry Beach Park Association and our own legal counsel to remedy the situation immediately to ensure that the schools, teachers, parents and young people who depend on us and love our programs are able to continue having the full and successful residential environmental learning experiences they have come to expect at The Ecology School.

Please contact Drew Dumsch, Executive Director of The Ecology School with further questions.