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.

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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.

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Google Maps

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.

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Google Maps

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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

A Teachers Dream: Converted Kingston School House

You could learn to love living in this 1800s converted schoolhouse in Kingston, New York. Currently listed on Airbnb's Global "Most Liked" Properties as #6 I wonder if you could book a stay to imagine what it would be like to have it as your own. With a blend of old meets new this place really shows off how you can give an old building a new life.

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A New Museum Will Open In The Catskills Featuring Hollywood's Biggest Stars

The Borscht Belt Museum will open in Ulster County,NY. This allows for the history of the Borscht Belt to carry on in the Hudson Valley.

While celebrities in the past visited the Borscht Belt region, there will be more involved in the community when this museum opens in 2025.

Fran Drescher And Fellow Celebrities Will Sit On A Hudson Valley Museum Board

Fran Drescher is a celebrity that almost everyone likes. Known for her role as Fran Fine in The Nanny, the world couldn't help but laugh at her jokes, statements, and relatable interactions with other members of the show.

According to Yahoo News,

Fran Drescher isn't the only celebrity who will be in the Catskills.

"The museum’s list of advisory board members includes Fran Drescher, Harvey Fierstein, Judd Hirsch, Robert Klein and Richard Lewis — a fitting cast for a place where some of the nation’s top comedians got their start."

Have You Ever Heard Of The Borscht Belt?

"For generations of Jews in the New York metropolitan area, there was no doubt about the location of those “mountains.” Less than 100 miles from the cramped, sweltering tenements of Manhattan’s Lower East Side was a lush patchwork of forests, farms and bustling rural towns that hosted a summertime population of nearly a million urban strivers hungry for the clean air, fresh food and familiar camaraderie that even a garment worker or cab driver could afford."

Spending the summer in the Catskills sounds ideal.

"From the turn of the 20th century to the 1970s, more than 1,000 hotels, bungalow colonies, summer camps and boarding houses dotted the Catskill Mountains of southern New York. At first they came by train, and later, by bus and car along The Quickway, now known as Route 17."

Some may know this area or region to be called Solomon County, Jewish Alps or The Mountains. The Borscht Belt was also another term that most people remember the most.

 How Can You Visit The Borscht Belt Museum In Ellenville, NY?

I took a day trip to the Borscht Belt Museum in Ellenville, NY. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a humorous sign stating "Come in and schmooze, free admission".

When I entered the museum, I was greeted by a volunteer. I was able to walk around and see memorabilia from the different resorts of the Borscht Belt region and community.

I was also told that this museum is a pop up for now, they will continue to change the set up as well. 2025 marks the year that the Borscht Belt Museum will officially open.

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