For nearly a century, Aquinas High School has been a fixture in Belmont. Sadly, last week, the school announced it will be closing in 2021.
The school, located at 685 East 182nd St., will remain open for juniors and seniors for the upcoming school year.
Eileen Gannon, president Aquinas Board of Trustees, sent a letter to the community on June 25.
“The financial realities and declining enrollment over the past several years coupled with unprecedented and catastrophic impact of the pandemic this year make it impossible to sustain a superior 4-year academic experience for our bright and deserving young women,” Gannon said in the letter. “As a result, the board of trustees accepted the recommendation of the school board to discontinue operations of as of June 2021.”
Gannon said the school, which is designed to accommodate over 800 students, only has 200 and they now anticipate that will decrease due to COVID-19. The school will help sophomores and incoming freshmen find other schools.
“We are working hard to provide solutions to help ease the transition for our young women by providing a good path forward,” Gannon said. “We continue to believe in the potential of each Aquinas student to reach for the stars and achieve her dreams just as so many of our remarkable alumnae have done for these past 97 years.”
Some highlights over its history include being granted “Electronic Doorway” status by New York State, and the entire building wired, providing Internet and database access to all classrooms, its Glee Club performed on the “Today Show,” in 2000 it was named as a Blue Ribbon School 2000 by the U.S. Department of Education and in 2002, First Lady Laura Bush visited Aquinas on the first anniversary of 9/11.