PATERSON, N.J. - Paterson education officials and advocates are left wondering when the site of the old Don Bosco High School will be vacated by the Paterson Arts and Science Charter School to pave way for demolition.
John McEntee Jr., president of the Paterson Education Association, said, “The Paterson Education Association is hopeful that a quick resolution to this issue will be forthcoming. We are closely monitoring this situation and are keeping our fingers crossed that any commitment made by the charter school to the Paterson School District was placed in writing.”
The Paterson Arts and Science Charter School first operated at the old Paterson Catholic in Riverside. That building was later purchased by the state for district use, so Paterson schools made an agreement to allow use of the Union Avenue facilities until the school's new Grand Street building was ready.
Although district Superintendent Donnie Evans said that the charter school should have been out already, he said the district made a formal inquiry to the New Jersey School Development Authority (SDA). Teachers who work for the charter school have said they have been told by their employer, Elmwood Park-based iLearn Schools Inc., that the school plans on operating at the Union Avenue site through the remainder of the school year.
In the meantime over 600 students who formerly used the Don Bosco School - students who will utilize the new Union Avenue school when built - are being bussed across town to the Paterson Catholic building. Board of Education President Chris Irving called the situation "painful" for the parents and students.