Recode has obtained a memo from a school principal that outlines plans to close the highland school in New York, according to sources familiar with the document.
Highland is one of the school’s five campuses in the state, and the school has operated in a state of crisis since the December 2016 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The principal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, is recommending that the school close, the sources said.
The principals memo, obtained by Recode under the Freedom of Information Act, outlines the school district’s plan to close on July 15, 2019.
“There are no immediate plans for a new school or to open a new facility,” the memo said.
“Instead, we are working with our principal to explore a new, permanent and equitable alternative.
The school will not reopen until we have been able to conduct a full investigation into the incident and to determine the truth of what happened.”
The school district has also hired a law firm to examine the school.
In addition, the district has been considering moving schools across state lines, according the memo, which said it would “evaluate all options, including the relocation of the schools in order to provide our students with a safe environment.”
“We remain committed to the continued excellence and excellence of our schools,” the superintendent said in a statement, adding that the district “is taking steps to address the safety of our students and staff.”
In an interview with Recode in early 2018, a former school board member said the school had been operating at about 60 percent capacity.
He said that the staff had been told by school officials that closing the school was the only option to ensure the safety and well-being of the students and their families.
The former board member, who asked to remain anonymous to discuss his experience in the school, said the board had been informed by the superintendent that closing would mean closing all of the high school.
The board’s previous superintendent, James D. DeCarlo, was fired in 2016 after the school came under fire for a lack of discipline and an alarming lack of security.
In that period, the school also faced multiple lawsuits, including a wrongful death suit by the father of one of its victims.