Local School District’s Plan of Merging Schools Concerns Parents
Recently news broke regarding a Hudson Valley School District and its decision to take two of its schools and merge them together. From the outside looking in, it appears to be a decision that was made rather quickly and without much if any warning. The recent news also seems to have given some parents in the district cause for pause thinking of potential concerns due to the decision.
Mount Vernon City School District's School Merging Decision
On Wednesday the news was made public that the Mount Vernon City School District had made the decision to merge two of their schools together. The schools that will be merging are the Rebecca Turner Elementary School and its neighboring school the Benjamin Turner Middle School.
On paper, the plan is that the Rebecca Turner Elementary School will be the home for the district's Pre-K program and at the same time, it will also serve as an alternative high school. In total, 180 students will be on the move from Rebecca Turner Elementary over to Benjamin Turner Middle.
In a report by News 12: Hudson Valley it was stated that...
Administrators say they have schools that are underutilized, and the move saves the district money.
The same report also states that the decision was made by the school district a week ago but wasn't announced until Wednesday. Administrators also say that this plan will be ready to go into effect for the upcoming school year which starts next month.
School Merging Decision Has Some District Parents Concerned
News of this magnitude coming about so abruptly and seemingly without much warning has local parents of students that attend the schools feeling concerned. Specifically, it was mentioned that parents' concerns seem to center around the subject of "safety." Parents also expressed their concern over how quickly all of this came together.
Late on Wednesday night, Mount Vernon parents had their first opportunity to voice their concerns in a virtual meeting. In another report by News 12, the Rebecca Turner Elementary School PTA President Ben Bakke was quoted saying...
This either happened really quickly or it's been going on for a long time and they kept everybody in the dark...Change is inevitable but what we really don't understand is why such a major decision is being hoisted on us at the last minute.
In response to the parental concern, the Mount Vernon Schools acting superintendent Dr. K. Veronica Smith chose to highlight the school's emphasis on safety by referencing the number of security officers that the school will have. In addition, the school will also have additional faculty members and collectively they will keep all of the different age groups separated throughout the school day.
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Parents present for the virtual meeting did not overall seem to be entirely satisfied with the answers that they were given, as the meeting ended "abruptly." In fact, when the meeting was over, reports stated that parents were still demanding more answers. Ultimately, Mount Vernon parents reportedly are asking and calling for the district to delay the merger plans until all of their concerns can be properly addressed.