Westbury High School freshmen start school year at 'Freshman Academy'

GARDEN CITY, Long Island (WABC) -- It's a new year with plenty of new expectations for these Westbury High School freshmen.

Their school this year is not in Westbury, it's in Garden City in the North Annex of Nassau Community College.

It's because of overcrowding in the high school building, where students already have to line up for just about everything.

The non-instructional space is also being used as a learning space.

9th graders like Ja'brei Hughes were nervous after seeing crowd pictures posted on social media last year.

"On like Snapchat and stuff, you'd just like see it, and be like, wow," Hughes said.

"We've always had an influx of enrollment. Our students are from all over the world. So we've seen this, it's not new to us, but it's reached its capacity at this point in time," said Eudes Budhai, Westbury Schools Superintendent.

They say the decision to move 9th graders only to their "Freshman Academy" nearly 4.5 miles away was the best choice possible.
They also say they had planned to insulate the freshman somehow anyway, to make it easier for them to focus on the new rigors of high school.

"I think 9th graders in general have anxiety entering high school. It would happen here, or at Westbury High School," said David Zimbler, Westbury High School Principal. "Today is their first day as a high school student."

Day one went well, the real question is about what to do in the long term, and what to do about a building over capacity as the school population that continues to grow.

The students, still to return the high school for sports and clubs, just not for the school day, where this building would have been 500 beyond its capacity.
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