Parents and students worry that adding another school to Cambria Heights’ Campus Magnet High School could crowd artistic minds.
The high school is home to four separate schools, all geared towards enhancing students’ artistic and professional ambitions. There is the Humanities and Arts Magnet High School; Law-Government High School; Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship (BCAE) High School and a Mathematics, Science, Research and Technology High School.
“It can get crowded in there,” said one sophomore student. “Sometimes it’s hard to walk through the halls.”
Each school has a population of roughly 400, said Dmytro Fedkowskyj, Queens representative on the Department of Education (DOE) Panel for Educational Policy. This coming fall, BCAE and Law-Government will start to be phased out, and a fifth school will be added to the building. However, proposals for a sixth school to be added September 2014 has the community concerned about crowding.
The Panel for Educational Policy was set to vote on the addition of a sixth school in their June meeting, but tabled the matter until October.
Parents are reportedly attempting to block the plan to put in a new school and Fedkowskyj said groups at Campus Magnet proposed ideas to instead increase enrollment in the existing schools.
“It’s something the building desired and the counsel could work with,” he said.
The increased-enrollment proposal could theoretically give schools more opportunities to offer more programs for its students and also eliminate the administration fee of adding another principal and teachers to run another school.
“Adding another school and another administration is a lot of work,” Fedkowskyj said. “Principals have enough on their plate to deal with educational matters, they don’t need to deal with programming matters, too.”
“I guess it’s hard to say what [the DOE] will do,” he added. “The engagement they’ll make with the community will hopefully benefit the community and give them what they want.”