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Feb 24, 2016 4:37 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

New Company To Take Over Management Of Child Development Center Of The Hamptons

Kevin Gersh, Founder and CEO of Gersh Management, who recently led a English-Spanish bilingual presentation at Child Development Center of the Hamptons COURTESY OF GERSH MANAGEMENT INC.
Mar 1, 2016 2:24 PM

The Child Development Center of the Hamptons announced last week that Gersh Management Services Inc. would begin running the Wainscott charter school by the end of the academic year.

The deal is still pending approval of the State University of New York’s Charter School Institute, however, Kevin Gersh, founder and CEO of the Huntington-based Gersh Management, said that once the company receives approvals, the goal is to be “completely integrated by the end of the school year.”

The CDCH, which serves general education, special education and gifted students in kindergarten through fifth grade, will remain a public charter school open to all children free of charge. The preschool will continue services for children up to 5 years old.

“We anticipate a seamless transition in this interim period; services will not be disrupted in any way,” said Mr. Gersh.

Although the company said there may be administrative and leadership changes, most staff and teachers are expected to stay on as employees.

Previously, the CDCH has been managed by Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. The company, which has been managing the schools since 2010, is known for its focus on supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury.

According to Mr. Gersh, he first approached the venture a year ago when he heard the school and FREE were “contemplating their options” due to financial troubles related to low enrollment. In an effort to increase enrollment, he said his company has begun to conduct a regional awareness campaign offering information sessions for parents to learn about CDCH and the benefits of a CDCH education.

Mr. Gersh has also begun to conceptualize improvements for the school that would cater specifically to the students enrolled there.

“We’re going to customize the education around strengths and weaknesses,” Mr. Gersh explained. “We’re going to look at testing, academics and ask, what do they need?”

Mr. Gersh said that he himself struggled with traditional education throughout his life. However, he said he has seen firsthand that if you customize the academic experience then students can find success.

“If you put the children first, everything else will work out,” he said.

Gersh Management currently operates four programs for children and adults on the autism spectrum including four campuses of the Gersh Academy, located in Hauppauge, West Hempstead, Huntington and Puerto Rico, the Gersh Experience in Patchogue, West Hills Montessori, Gersh Academy at West Hills Day Camp and the Gersh Social Club in Huntington.

Mr. Gersh’s work with CDCH marks his first venture into public education, he said.

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