To address aging infrastructure, the Yonkers School District is set to close two of its oldest institutions by the end of this school year.
The district announced the decision to close Thomas Cornell Academy and School 9 during meetings with parents and staff. The move came in light of the need for costly repairs to the schools averaging an age of 75 years.
During the meetings at the two schools, the officials assured staff members that their jobs would be retained. However, the specifics on reassignments remain unclear. The Yonkers Federation of Teachers‘ president emphasized the importance of supporting educators during this transition.
New school on the way
For the students, the district is offering an opportunity to apply for enrollment at the still-unopened Sonia Sotomayor Community School. A district spokesperson noted that students qualifying for the dual-language program receive preference in the enrollment process.
This transition holds particular significance for the student bodies from Thomas Cornell Academy and School 9. Namely, because 64% of School 9’s 239 students and 87% of Thomas Cornell Academy’s 260 students identifying as Hispanic or Latino. Therefore, the shift to the Sonia Sotomayor Community School aims to create an inclusive environment for these communities. The new school being built at 73 Lawrence St. is located close to the soon-to-be shuttered schools. Both are less than a 10 minute drive away.
The district hopes that this relocation will not only address the urgent infrastructure concerns, but also provide an improved educational environment for students. So, as the city bids farewell to two educational landmarks, it anticipates the promising dawn of a new era with the inauguration of the Sonia Sotomayor Community School this fall.