Northport-East Northport BOE, parents at impasse over plan to close elementary schools, relocate 5th grade

The proposal calls for closing Bellerose Avenue and Dickinson Elementary Schools and shifting fifth graders into two different middle schools, which currently house sixth, seventh and eighth. The high school would remain unchanged.

News 12 Staff

Apr 19, 2021, 9:55 PM

Updated 1,098 days ago

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The Northport-East Northport Board of Education is getting ready to vote on a plan that calls for closing schools and moving the fifth grade into the middle schools.
The proposal calls for closing Bellerose Avenue and Dickinson Elementary Schools and shifting fifth graders into two different middle schools, which currently house sixth, seventh and eighth. The high school would remain unchanged.
Parents like Tara Fagan think the plan doesn't benefit anyone.
"The fifth graders do not belong in the middle school, says Fagan. "It's already crowded with grades six, seven and eight."
Superintendent Robert Banzer says changes had to be made because of declining enrollment in the school district and a major LIPA settlement that impacted taxpayers last year.
"It impacts the fewest number of students and families," says Banzer. "We certainly understand that this is going to have an impact but one of our goals throughout this entire process was to impact as few families as possible."
Banzer says the public has been part of the restructuring discussion since the fall. The is a virtual town hall set for Tuesday night and then a public forum will be held on April 27.
"You're moving around children who haven't recovered from the social, emotional, and educational losses that the pandemic has caused," says Fagan.
The Board of Education will vote on the proposal April 29.


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