By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun
5:45 PM EST, January 27, 2013
Severn School and Chesapeake Academy will merge July 1 to create the largest independent school in Anne Arundel County, school officials said last week.
The merged school will be known as the Severn School.
Severn School in Severna Park, which will celebrate its centennial next school year, serves 600 students in grades six through 12. Chesapeake Academy in Arnold, which was founded in 1980, has more than 200 students in preschool through fifth grade.
School officials said students in preschool through fifth grade will attend classes at the Chesapeake site, which will be renamed Severn School Chesapeake Campus, and will adopt Severn School's colors and uniforms, officials said.
The upper grades will remain on the Severna Park campus, with grades six to eight forming the middle school and grades nine to 12 becoming the upper school.
Severn School spokeswoman Kristyn Kuhn said Friday the faculty and staff at both schools will remain the same, and that some board members of Chesapeake Academy will merge into Severn School's board.
"We've long enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Chesapeake Academy, welcoming students into our middle school and sharing a reciprocal faculty tuition remission," Severn School Headmaster Doug Lagarde said in a statement.
Last year Chesapeake Academy Headmaster Jay Scheurle announced he would step down. Scheurle will be replaced at the school by Chesapeake Academy academic director Cathy North, Kuhn said.
Lagarde alluded to the transition in connection with Scheurle's departure, saying, "While the idea of joining forces with Chesapeake Academy is not new, the timing now is ideal."
Severn School officials said the merger also comes as the school was seeking a way to offer instruction for students from preschool through 12th grade.
Both schools will raise tuition next school year. Kuhn said Severn School will implement an increase of about 2 percent. Currently, tuition at the school is $22,695, Kuhn said.
Chesapeake Academy offers tuition on a sliding scale. Christine Schaaf, Chesapeake Academy director of marketing, said that next school year tuition will range from $4,285 for two half-days of preschool to $17,260 for first through fifth grade. The costs are a 2.5 percent increase over the current school year's tuition, she said.
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