A school district on Long Island is opting to close a pair of elementary schools over the summer due to declining enrollment.
The Northport-East Northport School District voted 5 to 2 this week to shutter the Bellerose Avenue and Dickinson Avenue elementary schools, despite protestations from parents.
It is estimated that closing the schools could save the district upwards of $7 million following a difficult year fiscally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to reports, there was a rally held before the Board of Education meeting in an effort to put a pause on the vote, but the Trustees opted to move forward with the closures.
“This decision was made after careful consideration of the impact on students, staff, families, and community members,” Schools Superintendent Robert Banzer said. “The district firmly believes that this scenario not only allows us to be fiscally responsible now and into the future, but also provides enhanced opportunities for our students that are only possible due to the efficiencies this scenario provides.
The schools are set to officially close on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
“I know this is an emotional process, and can assure you that district administration and staff are here to support all of our families through this process,” Banzer stated. “While we process this change, we want to emphasize that students have always been, and will always be, our first priority.
“Ensuring that this transition is a positive experience for our entire district community will be our focus over the next few months and throughout the next school year.”
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