Eugenio Maria de Hostos Microsociety School and Cedar Place School expand to prekindergarten through grade 7 in September 2012, growing to prekindergarten through grade 8 in September 2013. The change for the schools, which currently house prekindergarten through grade 6, aligns with the District’s ongoing initiative to transition elementary schools to a prekindergarten through grade 8 (Prek-8) construct. In September, the District will have 19 Prek-8 schools.
“This is something about which we feel strongly,” said Superintendent Bernard P. Pierorazio. “Research shows that the continuity of instruction and environment that our students receive in PreK-8 schools has had a positive effect on achievement. We want to extend that benefit to as many children as possible.”
A 2009 study conducted by the Yonkers Public Schools, A Model for Success, Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Schools, shows that the PreK-8 construct gives students an advantage, both academically and socially. When comparing District sixth through eighth grade students at PreK-8 schools versus middle schools, the students at PreK-8 schools were absent less and performed better on New York State assessments. Further analysis by the District found that, of the District students compared, those who attended PreK-8 schools generally performed better on Regents examinations than those who attended middle schools.
This week, Superintendent Pierorazio joined the principals of de Hostos and Cedar Place at meetings to announce the expansion to families. “The feedback we received was extremely positive,” said Superintendent Pierorazio. “There is sense of relief for the parents, who have grown to love these elementary schools and their staff. Families want what is best for their children, and the data supports that the PreK-8 construct is what is best for most.”