Tag Archives: DOE

Sandy leaves students, parents scrambling


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY ALEXA ALTMAN AND MAGGIE HAYES

Kids may have received an unscheduled week-long vacation from school after Sandy, but they returned to a system turned upside down.

Roughly 79 schools across Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island suffered structural damage, 13 lost power and nearly 70 boilers required repairs.

Students from 43 damaged schools citywide were relocated, some further from home than parents would have preferred.

P.S. 146 PTA President Terri Fonal was still without a temporary facility for her two children, third grader Kasey and sixth grader Matthew, a week-and-a-half after the storm hit and damaged their Howard Beach school. Late on the night of Wednesday, November 7, Fonal received a call from the Department of Education (DOE), alerting her that her children could attend classes at Spring Creek Educational Campus in Brooklyn the following day. Fonal said it was a lack of information that caused parents to panic.

“That’s why a lot of parents were so up in arms because [the DOE was] telling us one thing and doing something else,” said Fonal. “From the beginning we were told they were [trying] to fix the school but there was a possibility they may be relocated. There were a lot of parents who didn’t know what was happening.”

According to Fonal, only 90 kids attended class at their temporary school at Spring Creek Educational Campus on Thursday, a significantly steep decline from their typical student body of about 600. She decided against sending her kids to school, saying the storm caused too much confusion already.

Published reports show 200,000 students citywide were absent that same Thursday.

Of the 8,000-bus fleet serving the New York City school system, 700 were out of service in the week after the storm, affecting students’ commutes to school. Last week, the DOE began distributing MetroCards to displaced students and their parents to smooth their journey to their new location.

“We will continue to work hard to make sure schools are back online and get kids back to their home schools,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott at a meeting to brief faculty and parents about changes due to Sandy at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Long Island City.

Some schools acted as shelters for Sandy victims, including Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, which had over 100 refugees staying on campus full time as of last week. Some of these shelters had sanitary and hygiene problems. Brooklyn’s John Jay High School was plagued by a brief bout of stomach virus that was quickly eliminated. The school has since undergone a thorough cleansing and been signed off on by the Department of Health (DOHMH).

To help get damaged schools back to normal, the City Council approved a $200 million grant to city schools. P.S. 207 in Howard Beach — one of 23 school buildings housing 37 schools closed for repairs – requires new oil tanks and electrical wiring.

After missing two weeks of classes, P.S. 146 students were eager to return to their home school.

“The kids were very excited to go back,” said Fonal. “They missed their friends, they missed their teachers. They needed to go back to the routine.”

The DOE is undecided as to how students will make up days missed due to the storm.

City to shell out $500 million to repair schools, hospitals damaged by Sandy


| brennison@queenscourier.com

To hasten the process of restoring city schools and hospitals to pre-Sandy conditions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $500 million emergency plan to repair buildings damaged during the storm.

The New York City Health and Hospital Corporation will receive $300 million while $200 million will be appropriated to the Department of Education.

More than $130 million has already been approved for emergency spending in disaster relief.

The announcement was made at P.S. 207 in Howard Beach, one of 23 school buildings that remain closed after Sandy.

“These school buildings and public hospitals are resources that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers rely on every day — and we are not waiting for federal aid to begin the work of repairing and re-opening them. This emergency capital spending is vital investment in our recovery and future,” Bloomberg said.

Comptroller John Liu said the city’s finances can withstand the payment, but that he will work to recover the funds from FEMA.

The city council will vote on the plan tomorrow.

 

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The Afternoon Roundup

No bail for accused ‘cannibal cop’

Alleged “cannibal cop” Gilberto Valle will have to stew behind bars a while longer after a federal judge denied his request to get out on bail. Valle — who the feds say had been cooking up a plan to kidnap, rape, torture and eat as many as 100 women — was not in court, but the lawyer for one of his alleged victims was. Read more: NY Post

David Petraeus resigns as CIA director, admits extramarital affair; reports point to his biographer being the other woman

David Petraeus has given new meaning to the term “being embedded” in Afghanistan. In a stunning turn from hero to heel, the CIA director trashed his storied career by having a top-secret affair with his biographer. Paula Broadwell — who has called Petraeus “a very high-energy person” who is “relentless in everything he does” was outed Friday by Slate.com as the disgraced general’s other woman. Read more: Daily News

DOE: Some relocated schools to open in regular buildings Tuesday

Several schools forced to be relocated by Sandy are expected to reopen in their regular buildings Tuesday, according to the New York City Department of Education. Read more: NY1

Hurricane Sandy recovery workers save restaurant employees from burning fire

Three employees at an East Side restaurant were burned — one badly — Friday after a worker spilled gasoline in the kitchen and it ignited, fire officials and witnesses said. A chef, busboy and waitress were all injured about 10 p.m. at Eno restaurant on First Ave. at E. 58th St. Witnesses said the workers’ arms caught fire, as did their clothing. Read more: Daily News

‘Boozed-up’ Brooklyn ADA busted after Brooklyn Bridge attack: sources

An allegedly boozed-up Brooklyn assistant district attorney was arrested after he attacked an EMS worker early this morning on the Brooklyn Bridge, police sources said. EMS spotted Michael Jaccarino, 30, walking across the bridge intoxicated shortly before 1 a.m. and tried to bring him to Beth Israel Hospital, sources said. Read more: NY Post

Aqueduct racino rakes in dough despite Superstorm Sandy’s wrath

The Aqueduct racino’s earning power appears to be hurricane proof. The gambling hub operated by Resorts World Casino New York City raked in more than $8 million during the week that the city was under siege from Superstorm Sandy, according to recent State Lottery figures. Read more: Daily News

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Today’s Weather

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 54. Northwest wind 13 to 16 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

Event of the Day: William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”

E Phoenix Idealis Theater, Inc. delivers this classic story for a modern audience. Directed by Rachel Alt and Ben Fabrizi, it opens November 9 for a limited run at the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point. Find our more or view more events

Gas rationing begins today in NYC

More than a week into the gas shortage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an emergency order rationing gas to begin Friday morning at 6. Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers or a letter will be able to purchase gas on odd numbered days; vehicles with plates ending in even numbers can purchase on even numbered days. Read more: Queens Courier

Housing Authority scrambling to restore power to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn by this weekend

The Housing Authority is scrambling to restore power by this weekend to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn that went dark more than a week ago. It doesn’t look promising. NYCHA Chairman John Rhea on Wednesday said he hoped to accomplish this, but a day later Mayor Bloomberg was saying, “I’m not sure we can make it.” Read more: Daily News

Residents displaced by Sandy are staring at life in Staten Island ‘jail’

The state is eyeing the recently shuttered Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island as a temporary home for people displaced by the ravages of Sandy and this week’s nasty nor’easter, officials said yesterday. Closed last December, the medium-security prison could feed and sleep as many as 900 people with nowhere else to go. Read more: NY Post

Students in displaced schools can now attend nearest school they can get to

On Thursday, for the first time since Oct. 26, every New York City public school was open. But nearly 200,000 students were still out, like a Coney Island third grader whose school building was damaged and relocated miles away in Bensonhurst. His elderly grandmother couldn’t get him to the new site. Read more: NY1

Personal items battered by Sandy litter temp landfill in Jacob Riis Park

Baby toys, photo albums, broken china—these are just some precious items that can be found in fast rising heaps of waste at a temporary landfill in Jacob Riis Park. Debris from storm battered Far Rockaway has been piling up at the park’s parking lot –by thousands of tons a day—thanks to sanitation workers who have been clearing thrash and sand-clogged streets. Read more: NY Post

Iran fires at U.S. drone over Persian Gulf, but misses: Pentagon

Iranian attack aircraft fired multiple rounds at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace over the Persian Gulf last week, the Pentagon revealed Thursday. The rounds missed. But the incident — the first known attempt by Iranian warplanes to take out a U.S. drone — added intrigue to the extremely tense relationship between between America and Iran. Read more: Daily News

65 Queens schools to remain closed Monday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Mike DiBartolomeo

While a majority of city students will return to school after a week off due to Hurricane Sandy, some buildings sustained significant damage in the storm and are still not ready to hold classes.

Forty-six Queens schools will remain closed on Monday and will not reopen until Wednesday, November 7; 19 others will be relocated to a temporary location beginning Wednesday.

Robo-calls have already been going out to parents letting them know of the changes.  Principals and parent coordinators have also reached out to parents.

Some of the relocated schools will be split among several temporary sites.

Click here to see which schools remain closed or will be relocated.

The Department of Education is working on providing busing for students heading to the relocated schools.

Schools with power but without heat will open on Monday.

“Some of the buildings may not have heat, some of the school buildings, and they’ve been without heat for a while, so please dress your children with that in mind. If the schools were dangerously cold we obviously wouldn’t open them, but if they’re chilly, extra sweaters for the kids is something that should make some sense,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

 

 

City schools closed Monday, possibly Tuesday


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Mike DiBartolomeo

With the city’s transportation shutting down tonight, the mayor also announced the closure of schools on Monday.

Heavy rains and strong winds have also forced evacuations of low-lying areas throughout the five boroughs.

“Due to anticipated inclement weather conditions from Hurricane Sandy, all New York City public schools will be closed to students tomorrow, October 29. Administrative offices will be open. All after-school activities and Public Schools Athletic League events will also be cancelled. We are asking that school staff and employees assigned to a shelter site to report to their posts,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

A decision has yet to be made regarding school openings on Tuesday, though the mayor said he hopes that children will be able to return by then.

 

 

Parents fume over dwindling gifted and talented program


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Expanding demand and dwindling supply of middle school gifted and talented seats in Long Island City have parents fuming over the possibility of their children getting dropped from the program.

Kids from P.S. 122 and P.S. 150 were previously promised seats through 8th grade, filtering into the middle school program at P.S. 122. In line with new gifted and talented programs across the city, the proposal for District 30 aims to increase the number of seats in the district by forcing students to retest after elementary school to determine if they should remain in the accelerated class.

“It’s not fair to just tell parents ‘OK well you’re going to have to retest in 5th grade and make all these kids compete with one another,’” said Isaac Carmignani, co-president of Community District Education Council 30. “That wasn’t what they were promised.”

According to a spokesperson from the Department of Education (DOE), the switch is to create a more equitable admissions process by allowing students who may not have performed well on the kindergarten exam to have a second chance in fifth grade.

The spokesperson said the number of gifted and talented students in District 30 is relatively small compared to other districts.

School District 30 currently has approximately 120 seats per grade for gifted and talented students. The new program, according to the DOE, will add 60 new seats.

“As with any competitive admissions process, the highest scoring students would have priority for placement in these programs,” said the DOE spokesperson. “Students would be placed in descending order based on the admissions criteria established for the program.”

Carmignani said parents fear that if their kids are removed from a gifted and talented program, they won’t be admitted into a top city high school and possibly a stellar college.

Melissa Lee, the parent of a kindergartner and a first grader in P.S. 166’s gifted and talented program, believes the DOE needs to provide a seat for every eligible student, regardless of when they apply for the program. Lee added that 40 percent of the gifted and talented students in the district are from ethnic minorities, something the city agency should give high importance to giving the recent reports illustrating that enrollment for minority students at top high schools is incredibly low.

“If the DOE is really trying to recruit more of these kids, why not nurture it now?” said Lee.

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Quinn leads crowded field for 2013 mayoral nod

Council Speaker Christine Quinn remained at the head of the field in the 2013 mayoral race, though her once wide margin has shrunk. NY1-Marist Poll released a poll surveying registered city voters on next year’s race for mayor with Quinn coming out on top with the support of 23 percent of Democrats. Read more: Queens Courier

Witness has two versions of NYPD detective’s fatal shooting of unarmed National Guardsman

A key witness in the fatal police shooting of an unarmed National Guardsman told cops that she took her eyes off the victim’s hands just before the gunfire erupted, the Daily News has learned. Witness Diane DeFerrari’s statement, contained in an Oct. 4 police report, contradicts her later assertions that Noel Polanco had both hands on the wheel when he was shot on the Grand Central Parkway. Read more: Daily News

Queens principal forced to retire over offensive remarks

A Queens high-school principal made a host of discriminatory remarks against Jews, blacks and gays — as well as off-color quips about sex and sexual favors among co-workers, city investigators found. Nancy Casella was forced to retire from Information Technology HS in Long Island City this month after the jarring comments were confirmed by the city Department of Education. Read more: NY Post

1 dead in head-on crash in Queens

An investigation is underway after one person was killed in a crash in Queens. It happened Friday night at 48th Street and Laurel Hill Boulevard in the Sunnyside section. Two cars collided head-on. Read more: ABC

Mexico cops hunt Orlando Orea, suspect in Union Square soccer coach Mike Jones slaying

The hunt for the fugitive who escaped to Mexico after the stabbing death of soccer coach Mike Jones has begun in earnest after the NYPD won cooperation from authorities there. Interpol has flagged the suspect, Orlando Orea, meaning if he attempts to flee to a third country he will be stopped, said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman. Read more: Daily News

Queens beauty school sued by attorney general

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sued a Queens beauty school, claiming it convinced hundreds of students to pay course fees but failed to train them as nail specialists. The suit, filed this week, names Tinny Beauty Inc. and two of its officers, saying it used ads in Chinese-language newspapers and word-of-mouth to find and mislead students about obtaining nail specialty licenses. Read more: ABC

7-inch iPad tablet to hit stores on Nov. 2

The long-rumored downsized clone of Apple’s iPad tablet is set to hit stores on Nov. 2, according to technology blog TechCruch. Apple is hosting an event in San Jose on Tuesday, and while the company hasn’t released details, it’s widely expected to unveil a 7-inch tablet that’s being called the iPad Mini. Read more: Daily News

Still time — and space — for Universal Prekindergarten


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Parents looking to enroll their tiny tots in a free education program have until the end of the month to do so.

Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) programs throughout the five boroughs still have several thousand seats left to be filled, according to city leaders.

The program, hosted by a select group of local public schools and community-based organizations, offers at least two-and-a-half hours of educational services at no cost to city kids born in 2008. Eligible early childhood providers have until October 31 to submit applications to the State Education Department.

“It is never too early to think about college and career readiness,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, “and high-quality prekindergarten options set our children on that path.”

According to the city’s Department of Education, third grade students who had attended UPK were 28 percent more likely to score proficiently on the state’s English exam, and 54 percent more likely to make the grade on the state’s math exam, compared to peers who did not attend pre-k.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn also touted the program’s success, saying toddlers who receive early education are more likely to graduate from high school and less likely to drop out or repeat a grade.

“The most powerful thing we can do, as a city, to show our commitment to our children’s and the city’s future is make sure that every child who is eligible to attend universal pre-kindergarten programs enrolls,” she said.

The Flushing YMCA is among the scores of organizations that still have program vacancies. Officials say there are currently 12 spots open.

To find a UPK program that may still have availability for the 2012-2013 school year, call 3-1-1 or visit schools.nyc.gov/prek.

OpEd: The advantages of Universal Pre-Kindergarten


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY WILLIAM NELSON

We at the Flushing YMCA are once again delighted to have the opportunity to serve families through the Department of Education funded Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program (UPK). Research supports that high quality early childhood programs such as “Universal Pre-Kindergarten” give four-year-old children the best opportunity to be prepared and gain the readiness skills necessary for kindergarten.

From a social standpoint the UPK program provides children with the opportunity to develop confidence and a positive self image while forming friendships and engaging in classroom activities.

From an educational and developmental standpoint the UPK program provides meaningful and appropriate learning experiences in a caring, respectful environment.

Experienced teachers facilitate children’s learning across all areas of the curriculum, focusing on literacy, math and science, emotional, physical and aesthetic development.

Programs like ours at the Flushing YMCA have special programmatic enhancements such as computers, a lending library, take-home activity backbacks, an enclosed private outdoorplayground, an indoor gym, and on-going activities for families.  Parents have the opportunity to enroll their children in special enrichment programs as well as ballet.  Extended days are available to meet your needs as we are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and provide FREE swim lessons as part of our program.

What you may not know, is that there are still plenty of free UPK slots available at quality programs through the YMCA network and through other non-profit organizations in your neighborhood.  Some of your children may be on waiting lists, but could be in a program now, where they can be establishing relationships with quality teachers and new friends.

If you are interested in UPK programs at your local YMCA, please check out the YMCA website at www.ymcanyc.org/flushing, or stop into the Flushing YMCA located at 138-46 Northern Boulevard.  Our number is 718-551-9356 or email Lois Rothstein at lrothstein@ymcanyc.org.

Let’s get slots filled and get your children enrolled so that they can get the great head start that they need to succeed!

William Nelson is executive director of the Flushing YMCA

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with a chance of rain, then a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 72. Winds from the SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain showers in the evening, then partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 52. Winds from the WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Taste of Sunnyside 

At the third annual Taste of Sunnyside, for $25 you can sample Japanese, Mexican, French, Italian, Thai, Filipino, Irish, American Eclectic and other cuisine from local restaurants. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Parents petrified by Skyway Shelter housing homeless men who are convicted sex offenders in South Ozone Park 

Parents are fuming over the presence of homeless men from a nearby shelter, which also houses sex offenders, hanging out near their children’s isolated South Ozone Park school. Read more: New York Daily News

NYPD: Woman killed by Nassau County bus in Queens

A woman is dead after being hit by a Nassau County bus on Saturday night. Read more: CBS New York

MTA to unveil proposals for upcoming fare hike

The MTA is releasing new details Monday about the next fare hike coming down the rails. If the hike is approved as expected, it would be the fourth increase in five years. Read more: ABC New York

Politicians caught collecting Albany per diems when they’re not there

In Albany, politicians can make money in their sleep. Claiming she spent a marathon 12 consecutive days in Albany on “legislative business,” Queens Assemblywoman Vivian Cook pocketed $171 for each reported overnight stay — a total $2,197 in taxpayer money from March 21 to April 1, 2010. Read more: New York Post

Parents concerned that school records could be used to make money

Some city parents have expressed concern that their children’s school records could be used to make money. Read more: CBS New York

Moon rocks, chunks of Mars auctioned in New York

Meteorites from Mars and the biggest piece of the Moon ever offered for sale went on the block on Sunday in New York in what organizers billed as history’s largest meteorite auction, which brought in over $1 million. Read more: Reuters

Sept. 11 Trial rules under scrutiny at Guantanamo

A U.S. military judge is considering broad security rules for the war crimes tribunal of five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks, including measures to prevent the accused from publicly revealing what happened to them in the CIA’s secret network of overseas prisons. Read more: AP

Four schools in Queens on the chopping block


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

schools

Four Queens schools are on the chopping block after receiving poor marks on the Department of Education’s (DOE) progress reports.

The four — I.S. 59, J.H.S 8, P.S. 140 and P.S./M.S. 156 — are from a list of roughly 40 borough schools that received low grades. Their fate was finalized after the department reviewed grades; past performance; quality reviews; plans already underway to improve the school; leadership performance and district and community needs. The four are part of a group of 36 schools citywide.

“We have begun conversations with 36 schools that we have identified as struggling. These are difficult conversations, but it’s important to have this dialogue and hold our schools to the highest of standards,” said DOE Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg. “The goal of these discussions is to gain a better understanding of what’s happening at these schools and give them the opportunity to talk about the challenges they face, the strategies and interventions already underway, and what strategies or interventions will be most meaningful to the school as they move forward.”

Conversations between the struggling schools and the DOE will continue, and within the coming weeks will be set for closure, or given a chance at redemption.

DOE’s ‘temporary’ fix to classroom overcrowding


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Sweetina Kakar

Freshmen at Richmond Hill High School may soon have to don their jackets just to get to class.

Across the borough, Temporary Classroom Units (TCUs) are used to supplement classroom space to accommodate the massive number of students coming in.

Richmond Hill High School, one of these schools, currently has 11 TCUs, a Department of Education (DOE) spokesperson said, and eight of those have recently been replaced due to wear and tear.

While students find only some problems with the units, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) says the trailers do not provide the right atmosphere for learning.

“The UFT has received numerous complaints about these trailers and their current conditions — most of them are over 10 years old,” a May report read. “Providing instruction under sub-standard conditions compromises children’s education. Parents need to know what is going on in their schools and the earlier in the school year, the better.”

The study concluded that the number of these temporary classrooms had dropped little over a 10-year period, from 2001 through 2011. Ten years ago 3.9 percent of permanent students — at elementary and high schools — were in temporary classrooms, according to the UFT report. Since then, the number has only dropped by about 1,000 students, to 2.9 percent.

Because of poor conditions in the trailers boroughwide, the facilities had been failing over time, affecting the quality of education.

James Vasquez, the Queens high school district representative for the UFT, said the problem with these trailers was the notion that they were a temporary correction to a larger problem. Although referred to as temporary, Vasquez said trailers have been at some high schools for up to 15 years.

“These trailers are not holding up well, so what do they do over the summer? They replace them with new trailers,” he said. “These temporary trailers have really become permanent fixtures in many of these schools.”

The DOE was not able to respond for comment regarding the department’s time frame on how long these classrooms would be there.

Students at the school don’t seem to mind the trailers, with the exception of a few complaints.

Suraia Munia, now a senior, said she had classes in these units as a freshman, and didn’t mind the conditions, only that transferring from place to place could be a hassle.

“I think the condition was not bad,” said Munia, 18. “It was kind of hard because afterward I had to go to the third floor and it takes time to go to the third floor from outside. [When it was winter] we had to get our jackets and everything when we were going to the trailers. Right now they’re making changes in the classrooms in the trailer. I think they’re trying to make it better.”

Other students, like Chris Leom, a sophomore who was in one of the units last year, said that while conditions are bad, the difference in education does not have much of a difference, possibly even better.

“[Teachers] will actually say ‘Chris why aren’t you doing your work.’ They actually care about their students,” he said. “You can actually learn something and have a teacher that makes you want to actually do work. The only downside about classes outside that it was cold, snowing or it’s a rainy day, but other than that I loved the trailers. The trailers were better in technology; they have air-conditioning and they had smart-boards and the same thing they have inside.”

— With additional reporting by Sweetina Kakar

41 Queens schools could face closure


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

It could be final bell for 217 city schools whose progress reports showed dismal grades.

The progress reports include “A” through “F” grades of 1,193 elementary and middle schools. The schools who scored a “D” or an “F,” or no higher than a “C” for three years, could be on the chopping block, with this year’s citywide number up from last year’s report of 116.

Among those in Queens could be the 31 schools who have scored three consecutive “Cs” or below, nine schools with a “D,” and the one Jamaica school with an “F,” P.S. 140 Edward K. Ellington.

“It’s the staff,” said Nikieva Millian, mother of two students at the elementary school, who shook her head when she heard the grade.

Out of a total score of 100, the school scored a 21 based on the Department of Education (DOE) standards.

According to a DOE statistical breakdown, grades are based on a compilation of student progress, performance and school environment. Progress and performance mainly come from standardized test scores, and English and Math scores at P.S. 140 are down.

“The teacher [my son] had wasn’t teaching him anything. They like to argue with the kids,” said Millian. “Call the parents, don’t argue with students.”

Since 2010, a study indicates that performance at the school, that recently added a pre-kindergarten, has decreased.

Principal David Norment did not return calls or emails for comment.

“The principal doesn’t like to talk to anybody,” said Millian. “If you have a complaint, you have to deal with the people in the office.”

It is not yet confirmed whether P.S. 140, among other schools with bad marks, will indeed face closure. The DOE will be releasing a list of schools on notice within the week, though they did not respond to repeated calls for comment.

This year, school standards have expanded and coursework has become more demanding so as to build a more solid foundation for students who continue to higher education.

“Our elementary and middle schools build on the foundation of early learning to set our students on a path for college and career readiness,” said DOE Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Elementary and middle school curriculum now has higher standards, including good performance in critical thinking, defending arguments and executing experiments.

In Queens, which is home to school districts 24 through 30, school progress reports overall surpassed those of any other borough. District 26 came out as the highest performing district.

Millian, a concerned parent, does not wish for P.S. 140 to close, but believes there is a need for a more adequate staff.

“They should have more monitors,” she said. “As an adult, you’re supposed to take care of the kids.”

Poor performance could mean final bell for city schools


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

It could be final bell for 217 city schools whose progress reports showed dismal grades.

The progress reports include “A” through “F” grades of 1,193 elementary and middle schools. The schools who scored a “D” or an “F,” or no higher than a “C” for three years, could be on the chopping block, with this year’s citywide number up roughly 120 from last year, as reported by the Daily News.

The Daily News also reported that DOE officials said they would consider closing a fraction of the schools, but did not say which those would be.

Despite the drop in marks, Queens emerged as the highest performing borough, with District 26 coming out as the highest performing district.

According to a DOE statement, all grades are based on measurements of student progress, performance, attendance and feedback from students, teachers and parents about their schools. This year, the standards have expanded and coursework has become more demanding so as to build a more solid foundation for students who continue to higher education.

“This year, our students are engaging in more challenging coursework,” said Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky.

Elementary and middle school curriculum now has higher standards, including good performance in critical thinking, defending arguments and executing experiments. Middle school progress reports in particular now measure the percentage of students with a passing grade in core courses. These measures have been implemented in order to create greater accountability for how well city schools are preparing students for future success.

“Our elementary and middle schools build on the foundation of early learning to set our students on a path for college and career readiness,” said DOE Chancellor Dennis Walcott.