MITCH may have new home in Tigard

Calvin Presbyterian Church facilities include classrooms and a gymnasium for MITCH students to use

TIGARD - MITCH Charter School may have found a new temporary home at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard.

The school is working with the city of Tigard for approval to operate at the church's facility. If approved, the school reportedly will enter into a one-year lease with the church with the possibility of an extended lease if all goes well.

'We're just thrilled to have MITCH of all schools come to Calvin,' said congregation member and MITCH parent Kay Smith.

Smith was responsible for suggesting that the school relocate to the church.

Classrooms and a gymnasium at the church campus built less than five years ago have gone relatively unused, Smith said, and the church wanted to change that.

Just last month, the MITCH school staff had packed up all their belongings from modular buildings at Tigard High School and placed the boxes in storage. The school and its officials at the time had no idea where the school might hold classes for next school year.

The kindergarten through eighth-grade school functions as a charter school within the Tigard-Tualatin School District. However, the district, according to the contract, is not responsible for finding a location for the school to operate.

The lack of a permanent home has caused the charter school to relocate several times. The school was first located at First Baptist Church on Gaarde Street, the old Tualatin Elementary School and the modular buildings at Tigard High.

MITCH Board Chairman Lee Weislogel sent out an announcement Monday about the school's newest location.

'The MITCH Charter School Board is grateful to the members of Calvin Presbyterian Church for their willingness to host our school,' Weislogel said. Weislogel also noted that 'joining with Calvin Presbyterian Church is a considerable relief to the school, the students and the parents.'

The school has about 170 students enrolled. The Multi-sensory Instruction Teaching Children Hands-on school has attracted quite a following. Last school year, MITCH started a branch school in Sherwood for kindergarten through third-graders, and school founder Debi Lorence has boasted that the waiting list for the school is large enough to start a whole other school if space allowed.

The school is working to open its doors at Calvin in September. The church will be holding a neighborhood meeting about the charter school's relocation to the church's facilities Thursday, July 27, at 7 p.m. in Calvin's Courtyard, 10445 S.W. Canterbury Lane. The public is welcome to attend.