Tuesday, February 1, 2011

DOE replies to your emails!

Good work, P.S. 9 supporters – all those emails and phone calls have forced DOE to acknowledge it's in a debate with you all. They blinked! Last night it sent to the PEP voters its responses to some of our arguments.

So did their response pin us to the wall? Nope. You can read DOE's whole response below. In bureaucratic fashion, the Portfolio Planning staff avoided some of our arguments and are flip-flopping under duress.

On growth, they contradicted their own statements in the EIS —they're back to capping enrollment. In the EIS, DOE projects PS 9 growing to 729 students by 2014. Now DOE is back to asserting long-term PS 9 should be at 650 students, which is only 50 more than the school serves at the moment. That is not an honest "projection" based on the neighborhood's genuine need for elementary education seats. It is a prescription, to ensure that Brooklyn East Collegiate can fit at full scale.

Offer your own rebuttals in the comments!

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "Turner Aaron" <ATurner5@schools.nyc.gov> Date: Jan 31, 2011 6:22 PM Subject: FW: K009 information To: "Panel for Educational Policy" <Panel@schools.nyc.gov> Cc: "Peterson Sarah" <SPeterson3@schools.nyc.gov>, "Fetter Sarah" < SFetter@schools.nyc.gov>, "Sternberg Marc" <MSternberg@schools.nyc.gov>, "Taveras Santiago" <STAVERA@schools.nyc.gov>

Dear Panel Members,

Many of you have received emails and phone calls related to the K009 proposal up for vote this week. The Portfolio team has responded to the major comments/concerns received:

· The DOE projects additional students at P.S. 9 but has not allocated adequate classroom space for them. Nor has it come up with a plan for repurposing rooms already in use. P.S. 9 may be short of as many as 15 classrooms in five years.

o The long-term allocation of full size spaces for P.S. 9 includes 41 full size classrooms (two of which we are allocating as administrative space), compared to 37 full size classrooms (two of which we have counted as administrative space) that P.S. 9 is currently allocated.

o The DOE projects that P.S. will serve approximately 600-650 students in the long-run ‘ this is approximately 50-100 more students that the school currently serves

o For all projected years, P.S. 9 will have more than the minimum allocation of space the Citywide Instructional Footprints would assign

o Additionally, it is important to note that almost 50% of P.S. 9’s non-G&T population resides outside of the P.S. 9 zone. Meaning, there is significant room for in-zone enrollment.

o This space allocation allows for P.S. 9 to maintain their pre-kindergarten program (dependent upon funding) and their G&T program, while still allowing for an increase in the number of zoned families in kindergarten and, in subsequent years, upper grades. It is true that the number of out of zone families being admitted into P.S. 9’s non-G&T classes will need to decrease if the number of in zone families seeking admissions increases.

· The DOE’s plan will restrict P.S. 9s ability to serve the growing Pre-K through Grade 5 needs of Prospect Heights and surrounding neighborhoods. Last year, 237 families applied for 54 seats in Pre-Kindergarten, a five-fold rise in requests from just four years ago. To meet demand during the past two Septembers, P.S. 9 added a fifth, then a sixth kindergarten class. This year, demand continues to grow: according to P.S. 9s registrar, in the first 2 weeks of registration and with 6 weeks remaining106 students have enrolled for P.S. 9s kindergarten; last year's K class was 117.

o Many pre-kindergarten programs throughout the city have higher demand than can be accommodated. State funding for pre-kindergarten limits the number of new pre-kindergarten classes we can open each year. Through a combination of CBO pre-kindergarten and DOE pre-kindergarten the City strives to meet the community’s demand for pre-kindergarten.

o As stated above, it is possible that demand from in zone families will increase and limit the number of out of zone families able to register at P.S. 9. We cannot confirm the number of in zone families that have applied to P.S. 9 for the 2011-2012 school year because P.S. 9 has not entered any applicant data into the Student Enrollment Management System (SEMS).

· The EIS erroneously asserts that the building has two gymnasiums theres only one.

o This is an error in the EIS. The Building Utilization Plan correctly allocates time for one gymnasium.

· The DOE doesn’t acknowledge the use of P.S. 9s use of the gymnasium after 3 p.m. for two different afterschool programs, serving 100 families a day. One is sponsored by the schools P.T.O., which generates revenue for the school. These programs will most likely be dislodged by the middle schools plan to use the gym after 3p.m.

o As stated at the JPH, the Shared Space Schedule included in the Building Utilization Plan is a proposal, not a binding plan. It is the DOE’s expectation that the principals, via the Building Council, will agree to a shared space schedule that meets the needs of all of the schools in the building. This shared space schedule will include the scheduling of the gymnasium during after school hours.

· The plan also doesn’t make time for cleaning up the cafeteria between shifts. Teachers have recommended that students eat lunch later than 10:30, to increase instructional time in the morning, yet sharing the cafeteria with 3 schools makes this even less likely.

o As discussed above, the Shared Space Schedule included in the Building Utilization Plan is a proposal, not a binding plan. It is the DOE’s expectation that the principals, via the Building Council, will agree to a shared space schedule that meets the needs of all of the schools in the building. This shared space schedule may include separate lunch periods for the schools in the building, or it may include shared lunch periods in order to minimize the number of lunch periods needed. That is at the discretion of the Building Council. Further, a Shared Space Committee (‘SSC’) comprised of the principal, a teacher and a parent of each co-located school, will meet at least 4 times per year to discuss the use of shared spaces.

1 comment:

Plumagirl said...

This information has been very motivating and I have asked my network of potential PS 9 parents to write and call - and they have!

Wondering if there will be a pre-hearing gathering place for supporters? I'd like to join the group and/or meet up at BK Tech tonight.

Thankful, Heather Romero