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Interim superintendent of schools: Low enrollment, age of buildings led to decision to close 2 schools

Cornell Academy and School 9 will shut their doors to students for good at the end of the school year.

News 12 Staff

Jan 27, 2024, 1:47 AM

Updated 143 days ago


Interim Yonkers Superintendent of Schools Dr. Luis Rodriguez explained that low enrollment numbers and the age of the buildings as factors that led to the decision to close two schools.
Cornell Academy and School 9 will shut their doors to students for good in at the end of the school year.
Rodriguez said a lack of students was a factor that contributed in the decision to close the schools.
"Well below what we need by way of having there be a critical mass to be able to support a sound educational environment," he said.
Rodriguez also said that the two schools need millions and millions of dollars in improvement work.
"School 9 was built somewhere in the late 1800s," Rodriguez explained. "And Cornell is of younger vintage but in significant need to upgrade."
Cornell Academy is not even a city or school building but a leasing the space.
Impacted students at both schools will have first priority to ballot for admission to the district's first new school in two decades.
The Justice Sonia Sotomayor Community School is set to opens this fall. Those who qualify for the bilingual program will have first priority to ballot for admission.
While the Yonkers Federation of Teachers was told that teachers will keep their employment in the district, it was not immediately clear where they'll be going.
Parents who spoke with News 12 said they have had mixed emotions about the decision. Some are OK while others said they are stressed about the changes they now face.
Rodriguez met with families and staff earlier this week about the decision. He said from just those conversations they had, he could tell just how much the schools meant to people.
Rodriguez said they have additional social workers on staff to help with the transition and that those people were already been deployed.

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