Tag Archives: School District 30

Jackson Heights middle school to welcome more space for students


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano

Students at one Jackson Heights middle school are getting more room to learn.

Local elected officials, Department of Education (DOE) and School Construction Authority (SCA) representatives, and members of the I.S. 230 community will come together Thursday morning to cut the ribbon on the middle school’s new annex.

Located across the street from the middle school on 34th Avenue and 74th Street, the new building has classrooms, science labs, an art studio, a library with computers, bathrooms on every floor, an exercise room and a cafeteria.

“This new annex will help alleviate overcrowding at the main I.S. 230 middle school building,” Councilman Daniel Dromm said. “In addition to providing much-needed space, the building provides rooms for science labs, the arts and exercise. These rooms are essential to a well-rounded education.”

I.S. 230 is located in School District 30, which is one of the city’s most overcrowded school districts, according to officials.

I.S. 230

I.S. 230

The SCA also purchased two lots on 74th Street which will be used as outdoor play and exercise areas, according to Dromm.

“I want to thank the DOE and the SCA for making this building so beautiful and functional,” Dromm said. “It will go a long way to improving education in our district.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the annex will take place Thursday at 9 a.m. at 74th Street and 34th Avenue.

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Parents, pols oppose temporary relocation plan for P.S. 11 students


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

A group of Woodside parents is sending the Department of Education (DOE) back to the drawing board.

Congressmember Joseph Crowley gathered with other local elected officials and parents of students from P.S. 11, located at 54-25 Skillman Ave., to voice their disagreement with the DOE’s final recommendation of sending the school’s kindergarten and first grade students to P.S. 171 in Astoria.

The temporary relocation of the students, expected to begin for the 2014-15 school year, comes as the School Construction Authority (SCA) plans to build a brand new mini-building addition to P.S. 11 with a capacity of 856 seats.

“I commend the DOE and the SCA for allocating millions of dollars towards this expansion,” Crowley said. “At the same time, though, we must ensure that our children, especially our youngest elementary students, are not displaced to a school outside of the confines of their own neighborhood.”

Last month, the elected officials sent a letter to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña urging her to reconsider the proposed plan.

According to the DOE’s proposal, the incoming kindergarten class and some first grade students would be transported by bus to P.S. 171, close to three miles away from their zoned school. Then for the 2015-16 school year the children would be relocated to a new elementary school located at 39-07 57th Street. For the third year, the students would then return to P.S. 11.

Woodside parent Julianne O’Riordan currently has a daughter in second grade and a son in kindergarten at P.S. 11, and her youngest son is expected to start kindergarten at the school next year.

“For the first three years of school he’s going to be moved around Queens like a piece on a chess board,” said O’Riordan, about her youngest son, Enda. “We love P.S. 11, its principal, teachers and staff. That is why we are upset that our younger children may not get to have the same wonderful experience that our daughter has enjoyed.”


Enda,4, and his 5-year-old brother Luke will have to go to P.S. 171 next year. (Photo Courtesy of Julianne O’Riordan)

Although the group of parents and elected officials are thrilled to be getting an expansion for the crowded school, they are calling on the DOE to look at different options that would keep the children in the community.

“Taking these kids and moving them miles away to school is going to damage their education and slow them down in their progress and it’s something we impose upon the [DOE] to fix, and fix before it becomes a problem,” State Senator Michael Gianaris said.

Throughout the process of deciding the best course of action during the estimated three year construction, consideration was given to every possible option, according to the DOE.

“Our aim is to deliver a state-of-the-art addition to the building, and as part of our newly announced engagement protocol, we will be scheduling a meeting with the entire school community,” said DOE spokesperson Harry Hartfield.

 

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Growing Up Green Charter School to welcome new middle school to LIC


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Educational Network

Education in Long Island City is getting a much-needed expansion.

The Growing Up Green Charter School, located at 39-27 28th St., will officially be a middle school by 2015.

In September, the facility will welcome 6th graders in a new building, and the following year, will grow to include the 8th grade, bringing a brand new middle school to the area and District 30.

“[I am] very, very excited,” said Matthew Greenberg, principal of the Growing Up Green Charter School. “I think that District 30 needs an additional solid middle school that will give parents additional choices for their children.”

The school, which is slated to open in September, will be located close to the 28th Street location, but a building is yet to be determined, said Greenberg. It is expected to accommodate about 90 students in the upcoming 6th grade class, and a total of about 270 students by 2015.

“As more and more New Yorkers come to western Queens to raise their families, having enough classroom seats to provide a good education is essential,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “Our schools are already stretched too thin, which is why I am pleased with the addition of a middle school at a successful institution like Growing Up Green, and why I will continue fighting to guarantee educational resources in western Queens keep up with development.”

Growing Up Green Charter School is an independent public charter school for K-5,  founded in 2009, which focuses on empowering students “to be conscious, contributing members of their community through a rigorous curriculum and engaging in green culture.”

“For five years Growing Up Green has made meaningful contributions to western Queens. Their curriculum has continued to engage countless students making them active members in our community’s efforts to protect our environment,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. With the addition of a new middle school Growing Up Green will be able to expand the positive impact it has on our neighborhoods and educate even more youth about the importance of contributing to their communities.”

There will be two open houses for those interested in applying to the new middle school. The first will be held on Saturday, March 1 at 1 p.m. at the charter school, and the second will be on March 22 at Long Island City Library, at 37-44 21st St. Applications are available here.

 

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DOE proposes rezoning plan to ease overcrowding at Jackson Heights school


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Map Courtesy of the Department of Education

One middle school in Jackson Heights may soon be less crowded.

The Department of Education (DOE) announced proposed rezoning changes to move the boundaries for I.S. 145, at 33-34 80th St., and I.S. 230, at 73-10 34th Ave. in Jackson Heights. The changes would take effect for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Under the rezoning, the boundaries for I.S. 230 would expand to serve a new annex located at 74-03 34th Ave., slated to open in September. The new building is expected to accommodate 420 middle school students.

After the rezoning, about 120 incoming sixth graders from I.S. 145 would be zoned to I.S. 230 in the 2015-2016 school year. No current students will be affected.

According to the DOE, the plan was developed through working with Community Education Council 30 in addressing the needs of the community.

“This rezoning plan reflects a year-long collaboration between the Department and the CEC to create a proposal that best addresses the needs of the entire community,” said  DOE spokesperson Harry Hartfield. “Any final approval of the plan will be decided by the CEC for District 30.”

Isaac Carmignani, co-president and chair of the zoning committee of CEC 30, said the rezoning would bring some relief to the overcrowding of I.S. 145, which together with I.S. 230, is part of School District 30 which suffers from a chronic overcrowding problem.

Currently I.S. 145’s sixth grade is 948 seats and after the rezoning, the number would drop to between 815 and 835. I.S. 230’s size would increase from 350 seats to between 460 to 480.

“It doesn’t change the fact that they are going to still be tightly packed schools,” said Carmignani. “We all are looking at the bigger picture.”

Other schools that might be affected by the rezoning include P.S. 69, P.S. 149, P.S. 212 and P.S. 222 in Jackson Heights, P.S. 228 and P.S. 148 in East Elmhurst, and P.S. 152 in Woodside.

A public meeting to discuss the proposed rezoning changes and learn more information on how it will affect students will be held on Monday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. at I.S. 145.

“What we are trying to do is have as much community engagement as possible,” said Carmignani. “We’re looking forward to continue working on this issue as the months and years go by.”

For more information, contact CEC 30 at 718-391-8380 or email cec30@schools.nyc.gov.

 

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Kids crossing dangerous thoroughfares for class


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Proposed rezoning plans might send tots trudging across a treacherous stretch.

The Department of Education (DOE) announced plans earlier this month to shift students in School District 30 to alleviate overcrowding in elementary schools in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona. Currently, the four existing elementary schools in this area — P.S. 228, P.S. 148, P.S. 149 and P.S. 127 — each serve an average of 200 students over capacity. The DOE’s initial plan involved kids crossing Astoria Boulevard, to lighten the load at P.S. 127. A revised plan sent a different group of students zoned for P.S. 148 over Northern Boulevard.

Upcoming rezoning in School District 30 is also to incorporate a new school, P.S. 329, which is set to open in Corona in 2013.

According to Jeff Guyton, co-president of Community District Education Council 30 (CDEC 30), a three-block section of residences was accidentally overlooked during planning. Those children, who under rezoning would attend P.S. 228 instead of P.S. 148, would filter into P.S. 149 after second grade. In order to get to P.S. 149, those students would need to cross Northern Boulevard.

This discovery was brought to the attention of the CDEC 30 at a public meeting several weeks ago at P.S. 127 by a member of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

According to the DOE, currently eight students cross Northern Boulevard to attend school — the same number that would need to cross if the current rezoning plan goes through.

“Northern Boulevard was taken into consideration in various iterations of the plan,” said a DOE representative. “However in this proposal, we are also balancing the need to minimize the number of students crossing Astoria Boulevard.”

According to Guyton, many families want their children to continue attending P.S. 149 and do not mind crossing the busy street. Many parents, who were former students of the elementary school themselves, look forward to continuing the tradition and do not mind crossing the street with their children. Guyton also said there is a crossing guard posted at Northern and Junction Boulevard who assists pedestrians across the street.

Guyton said CDEC 30 is working in conjunction with the DOE’s Office of Portfolio Planning (OPP) to ensure children are not required to cross a busy street to get to school.

“We try to strike a balance between advocacy and cooperation,” said Isaac Carmignani, co-president of CDEC 30. “If we’re not collaborative and we’re not partnering, we’re not going to do the best.”

On Wednesday, September 26, the CDEC 30 met with members of the OPP to review several adjusted rezoning plans. While Guyton would not divulge the details of the plan, he assured The Courier that both groups are working together to create a plan that accommodates all students.