LONGWOOD — A pair of South Bronx elementary schools will merge at the start of the next school year, but no teachers are expected to lose their jobs under the plan, according to the Department of Education.
The Museum School and The Academy of the Arts, both located at 888 Rev. James A. Polite Ave., will be combined starting in September 2017, with students, staff and resources at The Academy of the Arts becoming part of The Museum School, according to the DOE.
Museum School principal Robert German is slated to stay on as principal of the combined school, while Academy of the Arts principal Glorimer Lopez is slated to become principal of a new school opening up in the same district.
German said he anticipates having jobs for all teachers affected by the merger at the new combined school, adding that if this turns out not to be the case, they will be placed at another school in the district.
The consolidation will allow for a sorely needed expansion of special education seats in The Bronx, as it will enable the borough's P.S. 10, currently at 1007 Evergreen Ave., to move into the building on Rev. James A. Polite Avenue and start serving eight grades instead of five, according to the DOE.
It will also address issues with declining enrollment and demand at The Academy of the Arts and allow for a stronger investment in after school programs, which neither school currently offers, the DOE said.
During the 2015-2016 school year, there were 418 students enrolled at the Museum School and 282 at the Academy of the Arts, according to DOE data. P.S. 10 currently has 36 seats at its Evergreen Avenue location, according to the DOE.
The consolidated school will have a new name that parents, students and teachers will help come up with, and German said he is not concerned about any difficulties in the merger process going forward, noting that the schools already have a history of collaboration.
"We really worked together before consolidation was even in the picture," he said. "This work really started before any consolidation talk was happening, and it's just a continuation of that."
He maintained that the consolidation would benefit both the students and the neighborhood.
"I think it’s going to be a great thing for our community, for our students, and for our parents to be able to leverage all our resources and come together as one community," he said.