Thursday, March 31, 2011

State Commissioner grants P.S. 9 parent appeal!

P.S. 9's squeeze has been stopped! Today, State Commissioner of Education David Steiner blocked the 2011-2012 move of Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School into P.S. 9's building. In a 16-page decision, Commissioner Steiner (at right) concluded that the DOE failed to justify that three schools could fairly share common facilities at 80 Underhill Ave. He annulled the February 3 majority vote of the Panel on Educational Policy (an 8-4 decision) approving the co-location. He directed DOE to stop all planning for the co-location and properly detail how the schools could fairly share the building in a brand-new Building Use Plan.
You can read the Commissioner's decision at
this link (To download, go to "File" menu, click "Download original.")

A short take: P.S. 9 won its appeal on the numbers. Starting on page 13, the commissioner cited P.S. 9's curtailed access to the library and the gymnasium, and agreed with parent advocates that DOE had not adequately addressed the apparent, embarrassing imbalance in how the schools would share the building.
P.S. 9 students now have room to breathe.

Does this mean that the co-location definitely will not happen? No such luck. DOE may try to sue in the courts to overturn this decision. Or DOE may try to meet the Commissioner's conditions (his determination of what the state's Education Law requires) and re-introduce the co-location plan for P.S. 9's building. It appears that the PEP will have to vote again for Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School to move into the building.

Final call for Pennies for Patients

Please send back your child's collection box to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Pennies for Patients drive. Return boxes to classroom teachers or drop off at room 112 (Ms. Derrell-Jacobs' office). Thanks for helping P.S. 9 help its neighbors!

Make yourself heard at DOE. Fill out a survey!

The DOE annually surveys the parents and teachers of every school. Parents' responses count in DOE's grading of the school, and cumulatively offer important public feedback. A strong response from P.S. 9 parents will benefit the school in many ways, with the DOE and beyond. Take this opportunity to speak up: go to "Your School. Your Voice."

Currently, only 19% of P.S. 9 parents have responded so far. Please encourage all the parents in your child's class to respond, whether online or on paper.

You will need a survey access code to take the School Survey online. Your 8 digit survey access code is located on the bottom right-hand corner of the paper survey sent to you in a green envelope in the mail, or sent home with your child. If you cannot find your paper survey, please call the Survey Hotline at 1-800-690-8603: in less than 2 minutes you will get your family's code.

Friday, March 18, 2011

PTO movie night: "Despicable Me"

Movie will screen at 6 p.m., until 8. In the auditorium. Ticket: $5. Hot dogs and popcorn are available for sale. All proceeds benefit the P.T.O.

About the movie: Despicable Me is a 2010 American computer-animated comedy film. The story is of a villain named Gru who plans to use three orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, only to find that their innocent love is profoundly changing him. It has generally favorable reviews (click to read), according to the Metacritic aggregation site. Click to see Kids-in-mind's review, which details the movie's few depictions of violence and other naughty behavior.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PTO Meeting info

Last night, the PTO held a meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.—time enough for lots of details about fundraisers, academics and other matters to be discussed. Here's a quick run-through of topics discussed, with posts about them to follow in coming days:

•Playground construction update
•4 upcoming fundraisers: movie night on March 18, Barnes & Noble fundraiser April 3, Prospect Heights Crafts Fair on April 9, Brooklynwide PTA 5K Run in Prospect Park on April 30th
Student life: gallery of projects from enrichment galleries open Monday March 14
March 18th Open House needs volunteers
Administrative news: $20,000 grant for expanding language studies; upcoming academic testing and Saturday classes; violin, art, and other community partnerships; early indications are P.S. 9 will lose few or no teachers to budget cuts; search to fill 2 new staff positions
•PTO organizational business: financial update, nominating committee forming, audit committee required
P.S. 9 video to be recorded soon
BCAP Summer Camp: spots and financial aid available