Parents express concerns about fate of Soundview school
Parents of students at Antonia Pantoja Preparatory Academy in Soundview are concerned after they say they heard from employees that the school may shut down after this year.
Parents say the school represents safety for their children and provides a good education. They say fear and uncertainty only continues to grow.
Following a meeting between teachers, the board, the principal and parents, they say there is still no clarity on the future of the school. They also say the tension was visible during the conversation.
The school teaches children in grades six through 12. Parents say they're hearing that the middle school maybe closed or phased out grade by grade each year.
In a statement, the Department of Education tells News 12, "We are not proposing to close Antonio Pantoja Preparatory Academy."
"Look at this school, the system and everything as if it was your family. How would you feel if somebody takes away your family? That's the same way we feel about you taking away the school from our kids," said parent Gloria Jones.
"Don't shut down our school. Our community needs this school. We don't have the resources. We don't have the means to travel to other schools. This school is safe for us. We the parents have no complaints," said parent Katherine Jimenez.
Sources say that the DOE is happy to see strong support for the school. They also say they are engaging with the school community to create a proposal with configuration changes -- not closure.
Sources also say their goal is to include the communities in the planning process. However, despite this, parents still feel like their concerns aren't being considered.