PEEKSKILL, N.Y. ? The Peekskill School District has begun budget planning for next year, a task complicated by the uncertain fate of the city's Catholic elementary school.
Peekskill's Assumption School, run by the Church of the Assumption Catholic parish, may be one of dozens closing in the spring under a school reorganization by the Archdiocese of New York.
Peekskill school leaders are anticipating the worst and may have to make room for students who are unable to attend a Catholic school elsewhere, according to Superintendent James Willis.
"We had a meeting with their pastor on Monday, and it's not official yet because they're preparing the notifications, but it's probably going to be closing," Willis said at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting. "The archdiocese won't make an official statement until the end of the month."
There are about 200 students currently enrolled at the Assumption School, in grades K-8, as well as a sizable class of preschoolers. Some of those students would likely be enrolled at Catholic schools in Ossining and Cortlandt, but those schools will only have a limited number of spots.
Peekskill schools saw a large bump in kindergarten enrollment this fall, with three additional classes created to accommodate 60 more students than the prior year. It was not yet clear if this year's influx was a sign of an enrollment trend or a one-time event, Willis said. Church of the Assumption spokesman Father John Higgins said he had no new information on the fate of his school.
"We’re waiting for the archdiocese to make a decision towards the end of January," Higgins said in a statement Wednesday. "We’re still praying for Assumption School. I’m still of the school that says no news is good news."
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