Poughkeepsie Day School Ceases Operation After 86 Years
Poughkeepsie Day School will close their doors at the end of the school year.
Founded in 1934, at the intersection of Hooker and South Grand Avenues in the city of Poughkeepsie the renowned school had a humble beginning with just 35 students and three faculty members. In 1963 Poughkeepsie Day School moved to the campus of Vassar College, eventually moving again thirty years ago to their final location, a 35-acre campus on Boardman Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
The school is known by most people in the Hudson Valley for its outrageously expensive tuition and students of celebrity parents. The Poughkeepsie Day School lists its high school tuition as $33,000 per year. The children of Pete Seeger, David Strathairn and James Earl Jones all attended Poughkeepsie Day School, with Jones being very active in donating and raising funds for construction. The school's theater was even named for the acclaimed actor after he made a generous contribution to have it built.
On Tuesday morning Poughkeepsie Day School announced that the school will close at the end of this fiscal year, June 30, 2020. The closure is being blamed on low enrollment, coupled with declining revenues and the high expenses of maintaining the school's campus. The school says that the COVID-19 global pandemic has made their financial situation even worse.
Ben Chant, head of the Poughkeepsie Day School, says that the school launched several initiatives to try and boost its finances. Despite these efforts, the school's revenue has fallen by over two million dollars. Even drastic cost-cutting measures wouldn't help get the school back on track without severely reducing programs and compromising the education of students.
The Poughkeepsie Day School says they have decided to make the announcement now, instead of over the summer, to give students more time to make new arrangements.
Board member, Courtenay Caramico, said that the school's priority is supporting their “wonderful teachers and staff" who are "the heart of our school." Members of the school’s Board of Trustees are organizing a support team to provide assistance for the soon to be former employees. Poughkeepsie Day School also says that they will work closely with parents and local schools to ensure a smooth transition for current students.