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Christian school ‘suspends’ classes for the year


KINDERHOOK–The Academy of Christian Leadership (ACL) is suspending operations for this year. The decision was confirmed Wednesday, September 5, by the school’s Assistant Principal Benjamin Hart in the phone interview.

Dr. Hart said the private school on Route 9 north of the villages, is “taking the year off to restructure and realign.” The school had 22 to 29 students in grades 5 through 12 signed up for the 2012-13 school year and about 9 staff members, according to Dr. Hart. He said that part of the issue with opening the school this year was getting financial commitment from parents in these difficult economic times.

In a press release from the school, Board President and Acting Principal Pat Cavagnaro wrote, “Our student numbers have been declining since 2008 and it is apparent that our families are struggling financially. The immediate reason to close for a year is low enrollment. But the decision was about more than money.”

Dr. Hart would not be specific about when the decision was made to shutter the school for the year, but he did say that all parents had been notified.

“We are not closing,” Dr. Hart stressed, of the school, which was started in 2003. “There are a lot of things that are up in the air,” he said.

The school is a member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International, and is chartered by the state of New York with authority to issue Regents and ACL diplomas.

The press release also said the school is going to take the next several months to evaluate all of the issues facing it, from location to what grades to serve, as well as take a hard look at mistakes made in the past.

Ms. Cavagnaro is quoted as saying, “Our plan is to hold forums with parents and decide how we can best serve the community. As a Christian mission, we are here to help those in need. Dr. Hart is staying on to head up this effort, and we will be working with a team of consultants to implement best industry practices. We expect to start the 2013-14 school year stronger than ever.”

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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