Tag Archives: public school

Opening ceremony held for new school in Ozone Park


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

School is officially in session for a lucky group of Ozone Park kids.

Queens Explorer’s Elementary School held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 2 to formally celebrate the opening of the new campus. The school, which is also known as P.S. 316 and located at 90-07 101st Ave., opened up for its first school year in September.

“It’s a beautiful building that will inspire our young people to reach their full potential,” said Councilman Eric Ulrich. “This school is a tremendous investment in our community and a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. Clearly, the architects, engineers and contractors really went out of their way to build a school that we can all be proud of.”

The school will house pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.  It’s designed to serve up to 450 children.

As of now, the school only has pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes, but it will continue to grow as those classes move to the next grade. As those children finish their year, a new grade will be developed until pre-K through fifth grade is housed.

Photo courtesy of Councilman Eric Ulrich

Photo courtesy of Councilman Eric Ulrich

The new school cost about $38 million and took a little over a year to build. It occupies the plot where the former St. Stanislaus Catholic School was.

There is also a new playground that is currently under construction across the street from the school.

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Stats show universal pre-K’s limited reach in western, central Queens


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio

Only 30 percent of 4-year-olds in parts of western and central Queens got into the pre-K of their choice, the lowest percentage of matched applicants in all of New York City.

Parents in Queens District 24 — Corona, Glendale, Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Long Island City, Maspeth and Middle Village — must now search for an alternative to public schools.

According to the Department of Education, the majority of parents with 4-year-olds — 70 percent — in the district recently received letters informing them that the public pre-K of their choice was already full.

In comparison, in Manhattan’s District 1 only 10 percent of applicants were unmatched and, overall, 38 percent of applicants throughout New York City were unmatched.

“Every single school in this district is overcrowded,” said Nick Comaianni, president of School Board District 24. “In the past we’ve actually had to get rid of pre-K seats to make room for kindergarten to fifth grade.”

As the city changes gears for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aim to make pre-K universal, the DOE is using community-based organizations like local YMCAs and mom-and-pop pre-K programs to scoop up the applicants that didn’t get into a public school pre-K.

But Comaianni, who has been president of the board for 11 years, believes that the mayor’s office and the DOE are moving too fast.

“Someone should’ve done their homework before pushing pre-K through so quickly,” he said, noting that since the schools in the district are already overcrowded, there is no extra space for more students. “You can’t have pre-K if you don’t even have second grade.”

The DOE is opening up 53,000 full-day seats through community-based organizations in time for the new school year in September. While this will still leave some toddlers behind, by next year there will be 73,250 seats, enough to put every 4-year-old in New York City in school, according to education officials.

Which is just fine, Comaianni said, but warned: “In our haste to open these seats let’s hope we have qualified people who can teach pre-K and it’s not just a baby-sitting center.

Queens by school district:

Source: Office of Student Enrollment

 

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Woman dragged into Hunters Point parking lot and raped by group of men


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Woman dragged into Hunters Point parking lot and raped by group of men

Cops are hunting for a group of men they say raped a woman on a dark Queens street early Sunday. The 20-year-old woman was walking near Vernon Boulevard and 10th Street in Hunters Point when two men grabbed her and dragged her into a parking lot at about 3:45 a.m., police said. As the two suspects held her down between two cars, a third man — who is in his late 20s and about 5-foot-10 with blond hair and blue eyes — raped her, cops said.  Read More: Daily News

Queens rape victim was falsely imprisoned for robberies; now she sues city cops for falling for her attacker’s story

A QUEENS rape victim who was locked up for robberies she didn’t commit is suing city and Long Island cops for falling for her attacker’s “preposterous hoax” of a revenge plot. In a federal lawsuit, Seemona Sumasar claims NYPD cops protected her attacker, Jerry Ramrattan, because he was secretly funneling them information about other crimes while working as an informant. Read More: Daily News

Parents and officials say Department of Education has turned back on Jamaica High School

Even though the Department of Education’s (DOE) decision to close Jamaica High School was finalized in February, current students are still hoping for a quality education. Currently in the process of being phased out, Jamaica High School no longer accepts new students and is expected to close its doors for good in 2014. Read More: Queens Courier

At Top Public Schools, the Arts Replace Recess

All of this concentrated learning — activities parents commonly think of as enrichment — was taking place not after school hours, but during recess, the once-unstructured midday break that for some elementary school students is slowly being squeezed out of the day. Jump rope, freeze tag and the jungle gym have some new competition. At some of the city’s highest-rated public elementary schools, recess is now being seen by parents and educators as a time to pack in extra learning. Read More: New York Times

Giants, Mets Trade: New York Trades Angel Pagan To San Francisco For Andres Torres, Ramon Ramirez

Walking across the hotel lobby, New York Mets manager Terry Collins smiled. “We rebuilt our bullpen in one day,” he said. In a rapid-fire series of moves at the winter meetings that took 1 1/2 days to put together and 1 1/2 hours to finalize, the Mets agreed to trade center fielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez, and reached agreements with free-agent relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. Read More: Huffington Post

Ex-corrections officer acquitted of attempted murder charges in Queens

A former correction officer who was facing up to 25 years in prison for shooting two men outside of a Queens bowling alley was acquitted of double attempted murder and assault charges. “His defense was one of self-defense,” said Michael Lavecchio’s trial attorney, Stephen Worth, after a jury cleared his client of all charges on Monday night. Lavecchio, 55, was working as a security guard at the AMF bowling alley on 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights on February 6, 2010 when he asked Justin Donaghy and Gerard Hourigan to leave the building.  Read More: New York Post

MTA forgot about stranded blizzard train

The MTA’s subway boss admitted yesterday that transit officials got so overwhelmed during last year’s Christmas-time blizzard they “forgot” about an A train stuck on the tracks for nine agonizing hours with 500 passengers on board. Read More: New York Post

Two Queens men charged in Connecticut pharmacy thefts


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Two Queens men charged in Connecticut pharmacy thefts

Two New York men were charged by Westport police Monday night with stealing $5,000 in merchandise from pharmacies here and area communities. The men, accompanied by an underage girl, were taken into custody shortly after 8 p.m. Monday when workers at the CVS on Post Road East called police to report that a man had fled after shoplifting merchandise. One of the men, Jeffrey L. Vaughn, 26, of Jamaica, and the girl were found in a car nearby with goods from the CVS as well as other area pharmacies, police said. The merchandise included teeth whitener, hair regrowth treatment, razor blades and allergy medicines, police said. Read More: Westport News

Mitt Romney selects Queens councilmember to lead campaign here

Councilmember Eric A. Ulrich has been named the New York City chairman for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The New York GOP primary will be held on April 24, 2012. First elected in 2009 at age 24, Ulrich was the youngest serving member of the Council and serves as Minority Whip of the Republican delegation. He is a former president of the Our Neighbors Civic Association of Ozone Park, and was active with the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach, Jamaica Rotary and the 102nd Police Precinct Community Council.  Read More: Staten Island Live

Students rally against bullying at P.S. 11

The students of P.S. 11 are urging kids across the city to “give peace a chance.” Parents, faculty and all 1,300 children from the school, located at 54-25 Skillman Avenue in Woodside, united on November 22 for a peace march and anti-violence rally. The parade was in protest to the increase in bullying and violence that has become a perpetual problem plaguing schools. Students carried hand-made signs and photos and chanted cheers calling for peace. Read More: Queens Courier

Queens woman tries to stiff cabbie after ride to Poconos

A New York City woman is in jail after trying to bilk a car service out of a big bill. State police in Swiftwater said Riley Radha, 42, of Flushing, hired the Big Q Car Service in New York City to take her from Queens to Paradise Stream Resort in Marshalls Creek. The driver accepted $30 up front and Radha promised to pay the remainder of the bill upon her local arrival. However, police said Radha was unable to pay the remaining $320 when she got there around 7 a.m. Sunday, and was charged with theft of services. Unable to post bail, she was taken to Monroe County Correctional Facility. Read More: Pocono Record

Jackson Heights Straphangers Sickened By Droppings-Covered Subway Station

City Councilmember Daniel Dromm and Jackson Heights residents have raised a stink for a long time about the pigeon waste that falls down from the beams of the Roosevelt Avenue/Jackson Heights subway station, but Dromm says he has a tough time getting the MTA to regularly clean it. Read More: NY1

Help The Queens Courier play Santa

To kick off the season of giving, The Queens Courier will be collecting items to be donated to the South Queens Boys and Girls Club (SQBGC) for our annual holiday gift drive. Founded in 1957, SQBGC strives to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem and developing values and skills during critical periods of growth. The group’s mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from at-risk and disadvantaged circumstances. Donations can be dropped off at The Courier’s office, located at 38-15 Bell Boulevard in Bayside. Read More: Queens Courier

Parts Of Far Rockaway Nursing Home Are Without Power For Nine Days And Counting

One day after a Bronx nursing home resident died due to a faulty cable, Lisa McDivitt reports how a nursing facility in Far Rockaway marked day nine of a power outage of their own. Read More: NY1

Local Airports Confiscate Dangerous Weapons Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Transportation Security Administration officials showed off some dangerous weapons confiscated at area airports over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Port Authority police arrested a man bound for the Dominican Republic on Saturday after screeners at John F. Kennedy International Airport found a combination brass knuckles and knife in his checked bag. They also nabbed a man who they say was headed to Germany from Newark Liberty International Airport with a set of brass knuckles in his carry-on bag. On Sunday, authorities took a man into custody after they say he tried to carry a butterfly knife on board a plane at LaGuardia Airport. Read More: NY1