The state of Ohio revoked the license of a Summit County Montessori school to operate a day care center. The school is appealing the decision to the court.
Copley-Fairlawn Montessori School Inc., which operates as Discovery Montessori School at 707 Schocalog Road in Copley Township, filed the appeal on Tuesday in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
The school, which opened a daycare center in 2012, is seeking to overturn a May 21 order from the Ohio Department of Employment and Family. After carrying out eight inspections from May 2016 to November 2019, the state agency revoked the school’s license on the basis of numerous infractions.
During the four years of inspections, the state documented 30 violations, including:
- Sizes in classes larger than those permitted by state law
- Unattended toddlers.
- Safety issues with play equipment.
- Medicines and other “potentially dangerous” substances within reach of children, including a “pesticide” on the floor of the toddler’s room.
- Non-prescription drugs on file for children who take them.
- And a table set where she could have run into children playing.
According to the ODJFS, many of the problems have not been corrected after being discovered during previous inspections. For example, the state requires one teacher for eight toddlers. But in 2019, during the seventh inspection of the four-year period, ODJFS staff observed four teachers supervising two classes totaling 55 children. In one of the two classes, the ratio was one teacher for 17 children, more than double what the state requires and higher than the 1:14 ratio seen the previous year.
School administrator Lakshmi Mohan did not respond to multiple phone calls asking for comment last week.
During a visit to the school on Friday, office principal Kala Bagley confirmed that the school year ended on Thursday. But she did not say whether the unlicensed daycare would continue to operate during the court appeal process.
Multiple attempts to reach ODJFS by phone and email were also not returned.
A revocation of a child care license is rare, according to state records and the testimony of the ODJFS employee who recommended removing the license from the school.
The state database of child care facilities lists 187 in Summit County. The Discovery Montessori school is the only one to have âapplicationâ status, which means that the ODJFS is actively working to remove the license required by the state.
In her testimony to an administrative hearing officer, licensing supervisor Aimee Weekley said she had seen “maybe a dozen” licenses revoked during her 16 years of supervising licenses at Akron’s office in ODJFS.
The Montessori School is represented by Columbus lawyer Brian Garvine, who did not respond to a message left at his office.
In his license revocation appeal request, Garvine wrote that his client had reduced non-compliance issues by 50% during the final inspection conducted in November 2019, which is the progress he has made. said the state wanted to see.
The school reduced the eight documented infractions in May to four in November.
In a transcript of the administrative license revocation hearing, Weekley said halving the infractions was only part of what the school needed to demonstrate to keep the daycare open.
âThis is what we were looking for,â said Weekley, âbut there was not to be any repetitions. [sic] and, unfortunately, it was still there, those four moderate risk nonconformities.
Lawyer Garvine also asked why the hearing officer did not include the final inspection in his report.
Contact Doug Livingston at [email protected] or 330-996-3792.