In an email to Lawrence Woodmere Academy alumni, the board of trustees said there is a possibility that the nonsectarian private school in Woodmere might not reopen after the 2022-2023 school year.
“In sum, a proposed sale and leaseback of the remaining LWA property may no longer be feasible and, as such, the school may not be able to reopen in September 2023,” the board stated. Adding that, “Fortunately we have secured funding to complete the current academic year in good order.”
Just last week, it was announced the summer camp run by the school would not reopen.
Considered a 111-year-old institution, Lawrence Woodmere Academy dates to 1990 when the Woodmere Academy, founded in 1912, merged with Lawrence Country Day School, founded in 1891, to form LWA.
Several successful people have graduated from both schools, including Jake Burton Carpenter, the father of snowboarding; Neil Levin, who was the executive director of the Port Authority and was killed on Sept. 11; sportscaster Bob Woolf, Pediatric Aids Foundation founder Elizabeth Glaser ad actor Andrew Barth Feldman. Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for Donald Trump, is also a graduate.
The school’s enrollment had declined in recent years, but was boosted by an influx of students from other countries, including China and South Korea. On LWA’s website the school boasted a 100 percent graduation rate, stated the student to faculty ratio as 5 to 1 and noted that 90 percent of its teachers hold advanced degrees.
The school’s boys’ basketball team is a regional power and consistently one of the best teams in the Private Schools Athletic Association.
Before the Covid pandemic, LWA was planning to set up a sister school, the LWA Asia International School in Shenzhen, a city that borders Hong Kong, in an area known as China’s Silicon Valley.
LWA sold a 1.33-acre portion of the school’s campus to the Friedman Group in 2018. The Town of Hempstead denied the group’s plan for a three-story, 33-unit development.
Last year, the Nassau County Planning Commission approved the building of 17 single-family residential lots on a 3-acre, horseshoe-shaped parcel on land LWA sold to Campus Estates LLC at the intersection of Woodmere Boulevard and Greenfield Road. Neighbors in the immediate area remain upset.
In its email, the trustees urge people to contact them at LWAtrustees@LawrenceWoodmere.org or by calling (516) 374-9000 to partner with them or any ideas “as to how we can keep LWA open.”
"Due to ongoing discussions, we have no comment at this time," the trustees stated when pressed on the status of the school.