Cramped school gets new fourth grade


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan
THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A new fourth grade class has been added to relieve overcrowding at P.S. 209 in Clearview.

A new class has been added to aid a cramped Clearview elementary school, after parents said students were packed like sardines in some classes that held close to 40 pupils, the city’s Department of Education (DOE) said.

P.S. 209 shuffled programming and opened up a new general education fourth grade class at the overcrowded Clearview Gardens school on Thursday, September 27, according to a DOE spokesperson.

The change frees up classrooms by removing 13 general education kids from one class that once held 36, the spokesperson said. The new class also means 11 fewer students in the school’s single integrated co-teaching classroom, while the one gifted and talented class remains the same with 29 students.

“I know the teachers are great, but the overcrowding disrupts the learning,” said Iry Arroyo, a parent of a third grader at the school. “I’m happy they’re doing something about it. An extra class is great. It’s needed.”

According to State Senator Tony Avella, congestion within the building is exacerbated because P.S. 209 shares space with P.S. 9. Special education students, the local legislator said, were even pushed out to conduct physical education tests in the hallway as a result of space restraints.

“Classrooms of close to 40 students are simply unacceptable, no matter any budget constraints,” Avella said. “Every student in this city deserves a classroom where their teacher can check their homework assignments and they can get the individualized attention they need. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, students at P.S. 209 will be able to concentrate on their studies, not whether they fit into a classroom.”

Parent Silvania Karageorge welcomed the new class with open arms.

“The fewer students, the more they learn,” she said. “The fourth grade is overcrowded. Teachers can teach better when there are fewer kids in the class.”