2 Yonkers schools to close; Sonya Sotomayor Community School to open
Two schools in Yonkers are set to close at the end of this school year, according to a spokesperson for acting Superintendent Dr. Luis Rodriguez.
Thomas Cornell Academy and School 9 will cease operations while the district prepares to open the new state-of-the-art Sonya Sotomayor Community School.
Rodriguez conducted meetings at both schools with parents and staff this week to discuss the closures and the reasons behind them. Both Thomas Cornell Academy and School 9 are among the oldest buildings in the district and are in dire need of costly repairs. The average age of buildings in the district is approximately 75 years old. Additionally, both schools have experienced low enrollment, which is a trend occurring across the state, according to a district spokesperson.
The closures will entail significant changes for staff and students. The president of the Yonkers Federation of Teachers stated that staff have been informed they will retain their jobs, but it is currently unclear where teachers will be reassigned.
Regarding students, a district spokesperson says that students from the two closing schools will have the opportunity to apply for enrollment at the new Sonya Sotomayor Community School. Those who qualify for the dual-language program will have first preference.
This transition is crucial for the students at these two schools, as both of their populations are predominantly Hispanic or Latino. School 9 has 154 out of 239 students who are Hispanic or Latino, constituting 64% of the entire school, while 15% are English language learners. At Thomas Cornell Academy, 227 out of 260 students are of Hispanic or Latino descent, comprising 87% of the student body, with 38% also learning English.
The new Sonya Sotomayor Community School will be located at 73 Lawrence St., approximately a 10-minute drive from School 9 on Fairview Street and a seven-minute drive from Thomas Cornell Academy on Saint Mary Street.