Plan In Place For Assumption Students If Peekskill School Closes

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Students and teachers at Peekskill's Assumption School would be transferred to another school if the school closes this spring. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – If Peekskill's Assumption School is forced to close this June, the Archdiocese of New York said it will work to help place students and staff elsewhere.

Assumption is among dozens of schools in lower New York state being considered for closure by the Archdiocese. But Archdiocese spokesperson Fran Davies said students would have a place at another nearby school.

"Part of the in-depth evaluation that was done for all of the schools in the Archdiocese took into account that there were other options for these children," Davies said. "Zip codes were analyzed from where children came from to go to every school and whether there were other schools in the vicinity."

Busing is available through public schools for up to a 15-mile radius in Westchester County, Davies said. That would allow students to attend other Catholic schools in Cortlandt and Ossining.

Assumption teachers and other staff would also be relocated, Davies said.

"There is a clear process with the teacher's union for rehiring teachers at other schools based on tenure and what is in their contract," she said.

The school has had about 200 students for grades kindergarten through eighth in most recent years, with a high of 230 students in the 2009-10 school year, according to Davies.

The Archdiocese will announce what schools will be closed in the third week of January. Placement counselors will be brought in to the closing schools to work with each family to find another Catholic school to attend.

"Our goal is to have a desk for every child who wants one in a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of New York," Davies said.

Parents picking up children from the school Thursday said they hoped they would not have to think about transferring their children. Jonathan Diaz of Cortlandt said his son is in the pre-kindergarten program at Assumption and would likely send him to the Hendrick Hudson district if the school closed.

"It's an inconvenience for my son and I'm going to have start looking around for another school and most of the schools don't have pre-k," Diaz said.

Other parents said they would miss what a Catholic school offered if they had to send their child to public schools.

"I hope they don't close – this is the best school in Peekskill," said Biny Lemus of Peekskill, a parent of a second-grader. "Everything is strict. They learn about God and they have the best teachers."

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Comments (4)

Billy Bubba Jones:

So I read today that St. Patricks Cathedral had their bronze doors removed for cleaning as part of a $175 million makeover. Let's see, clean bronze doors or the education of the next generation. I see where the archdiocese interests lie... Next time the collection basket comes around for the archdiocese, think twice.

Lovetoteach:

The process for "relocating" teachers is not even close to being that easy. There are already teachers on the list from prior years who were not fortunate enough to get "relocated". There are now going to be an additional 250+ teachers added to that list, if all of the schools close. There are going to be fewer schools to offer positions to the teachers.

Billy Bubba Jones:

This is only partially true. Let's look at the whole story. Ms Davies states that teachers would be relocated. In reality the 250 teachers from the closed schools would be placed on a list for rehiring in other schools and based on seniority be offered positions in other schools as they become available..But with the closure of these schools who would be hiring? As for the students, they will not be transferred to other parochial schools. The parents would have the option of going to another school. But where would Assumption students go? Could all 200 students be absorbed into the closest school, st Columbanus? Im thinking no since that school has about 200 students of their own. St Augustines in Ossining already has a waiting list for some classes and they are expected to absorb the kids from St. Theresa's in Briarcliff. The reality is that most kids will go to Peekskill public schools where they will have to absorb almost 200 kids with no increase in tax collections. Will they have to reopen Uriah Hill?
The Archdiocese is blowing smoke up our skirts.
Is it a coincidence that these schools have been closing as the Archdiocese has been paying out millions of dollars settling the lawsuits from the pedophile priest scandals? The kids lose a second time. They have said this is the last round of closures, of course that is until they cut and close again. They have failed the children and for that they should be ashamed.

Laureefrench:

Maybe if tuition was collected....as when we were in school...the Assumption would be able to stay open.

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