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Private School In Area Attended By Children Of Celebrities Will Close After 86 Years

The Poughkeepsie Day School
The Poughkeepsie Day School Photo Credit: Goggle Maps street view

After 86 of educating Hudson Valley children and guiding them to success, a tradition-rich private school has announced it will close its doors.

The Poughkeepsie Day School Board of Trustees said the school does not have the resources to open next year, even after exploring and pursuing funding associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The school said in a letter to parents and students that the challenging financial picture it faces is spurred by lower enrollment, coupled with declining revenues and high expenses to maintain the campus. 

"Unfortunately, the COVID-19 global pandemic has exacerbated the school’s unfavorable financial position," the letter said. "We are not unique in our challenges: shifting demographics are impacting most independent (and many public) schools."

The school is known throughout the area for being a preferred choice for wealthy and famous families. Reportedly, the children of Pete Seeger, David Strathairn, and James Earl Jones all attended the school. The annual tuition can run as high as $33,000. 

The school said revenue has declined by more than $2 million over the past few years, and even with reducing expenses, they are not able to operate and match the continuing decline in funding.

"The decision to close was made in the spring, rather than hope for a turn around in late summer, in order to allow families and faculty time to look for another school," the said.

School employees have been notified of closing at the end of the 2019/2020 school year.

For parents, remaining enrollment deposits will be returned by the business office. Transcripts for alumni and former students will be available and held by the school through the summer. 

"This announcement is no small decision, and we understand the impact on the members of our community," the board of trustees said. "Our hearts are breaking with you, but please know it is not for lack of trying. PDS is a special place. It has meant so much to all of us and our families over the years."

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