Tuxedo lowers tuition to non-district students

For those who qualify for a $7,000 scholarship, high school tuition would be $4,000 annually

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By Nancy Kriz

— The Tuxedo School District has lowered tuition for non-district residents for the upcoming school year, hopeful the lower cost will encourage families looking for a small, “private-like” school to consider George F. Baker High School and George Grant Mason School.

The tuition for the 2018-19 school year is $11,000 to attend George F. Baker High School (grades 7 to 12) and $9,000 for George Grant Mason School (grades K to 6).

In comparison, tuition for the recently completed school year was $14,312 for Baker and $11,108 for Mason.

Tuxedo Superintendent Nancy Teed said the new tuition rates could be significantly lower for students who qualify for scholarships through the Rockland Community Foundation, which would make “our tuition rates even more attractive to potential non-resident families.”

The numbersScholarship opportunities are:

• $3,000 for students with an 80 to 84.99 GPA;

• $5,000 for students with an 85 to 89.99 GPA; and

• $7,000 for students with a GPA of over 90.

“So ultimately, a student who is eligible for a $7,000 scholarship would be paying $4,000 in tuition,” Teed said in a note to The Photo News. “Tuxedo is now very competitive with surrounding school districts.”

ComparisonsIn contrast, tuition at Burke Catholic High School in Goshen is $9,700, excluding additional fees or financial aid opportunities; $14,600 for Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., excluding additional fees and financial aid opportunities; and $15,900 at Immaculate Heart Academy in Paramus, N.J., also excluding additional fees and financial aid opportunities.

Additionally, freshman year tuition at Tuxedo Park School is $34,500, excluding additional fees and financial aid opportunities. Cornwall-based Storm King School’s tuition is $32,500 for day students and $59,900 for resident students, also excluding additional fees and financial aid opportunities.

The Tuxedo district offers a fully integrated, STEM-infused curriculum in both schools “and actively engages students in project-based, collaborative learning environments that incorporate and promote the use of higher level thinking, digital technologies, content-driven problem solving skills, and alternative assessments in every class,” according to its website.

The challengeBut recruiting students to come to Tuxedo, once the Greenwood Lake School District stopped contracting with Tuxedo to send its high school students there after over 30 years of doing so, has remained a challenge.

Some community members, including the developers of the currently stalled Tuxedo Farms housing development project – which could add more than 400 students to the district once the project is completed - believe the district should close the high school and contract with the Suffern School District in Rockland County to send its students to Suffern High School.

Others steadfastly believe Tuxedo must have its own high school and note there are other small school districts in Orange County and New York State who continue to be successful.

'Here we are'“We will be starting our fourth year in September without the Greenwood Lake students attending our high school,” Teed said in an email. “Many counted us ‘down and out’ at that point and here we are, four years later, strongly performing and sometimes out-performing neighboring districts. Our STEM program has been integrated in K-12 (curriculum) for three years and we are continually working to enhance the program for our students.”

Teed said the district is currently pursuing a National Certificate for STEM Excellence (NCSE) designation.

“The National Certificate for STEM Excellence recognizes individual school campuses for their commitment in having their teachers trained in the most recent research and best practices in STEM,” she said. “Once completed, this certificate will give Tuxedo the opportunity to become a 21st Century STEM campus.”

The recently completed school year included seven non-resident students; and current projections are for six non-resident students, with some scholarship applications being reviewed.

There were 30 members of the Class of 2018.

“We are excited to have tuition and scholarship rates at these levels and look forward to speaking with any family who is interested in attending our schools,” said Teed, adding she welcomed interested families to call the district at 351-4799 to learn more and make an appointment to visit the campus.

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