Tag Archives: Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott

Maspeth school renamed in honor of Geraldine Ferraro


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

A Maspeth elementary school is paying tribute to a trailblazer.

Public School 290 has been renamed the Geraldine A. Ferraro Campus in honor of the first female vice presidential candidate and three-term U.S. congressmember. She passed away in 2011. The A.C.E. Academy for Scholars will open on the new campus in September of next year. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Assemblymember Catherine Nolan announced the move.

P.S. 290 Assistant Principal Shawn Porter said A.C.E. is an acronym for the school’s core values of accountability, courage and excellence,

“We’re happy to honor a trailblazer and also reflect our community and values,” Porter said.

“I am thrilled to announce the name of this new campus after a congresswoman who continues to be an inspiration to youngsters around the country,” Walcott said.

Walcott added that Ferraro, a former teacher, will inspire youth interested in public service.

“I could think of no other person more fitting to have a school named in their honor,” Nolan said. “Geraldine

Ferraro was a great role model to me and countless other women in politics, a champion for our community, city and state.”

Porter said students’ families participated in the renaming process.

 

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Schools Chancellor Walcott meets with parents over gifted and talented cuts


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Ana Musmat Alam

True to his word, Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor Dennis Walcott met with parents, teachers and elected officials from across School District 30 to talk about the proposed cuts to the prestigious gifted and talented program at P.S. 122.

“When families have a great experience in their school, we celebrate that and we appreciate the thoughtful way that parents at P.S. 122 approached this proposal,” said DOE spokesperson Devon Puglia.

The meeting came after the concerned and outraged community members confronted Walcott at a Panel for Education Policy in Brooklyn on March 20, where he agreed to meet with them at a later date.

For over a month, the members have been getting together to speak out against the DOE’s plans to extend P.S. 122’s general education classes from fifth to eighth grade at the expense of fewer classes for the gifted and talented middle school program, The Academy.

“We are feeling optimistic that the DOE has heard that the District 30 community has not asked for and does not want a change to our balances and harmonious district structure,” said Deborah Alexander, a District 30 parent. “At the end of it, we feel like we could not have laid our case out any better. Logic should dictate what they do now.”

According to Alexander, although Walcott did not say much at the meeting, he was apologetic in not contacting the community earlier, applauded the community’s advocacy and said he would get back to them within a week with some answers.

“The Chancellor listens – he did that at his meeting with P.S. 122 parents, as he does with school communities across the city. We will incorporate the feedback we received, and will ultimately make a decision that best balances equity and excellence for students in this district,” said Puglia.

Alexander hopes a decision will be made by April 17, when parents have to submit their ranking for gifted and talented schools for their children.

“Fix the rule, don’t fix the school,” said Alexander.

 

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Schools Chancellor Walcott to meet with parents over gifted and talented cuts


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Isaac Carmignani

After weeks protesting proposed cuts to the gifted and talented program at P.S. 122, the voices of the parents in District 30 have finally been heard by Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

The parents, along with other concerned and outraged school and community members, confronted Walcott at a Panel for Education Policy meeting in Brooklyn on Wednesday night, March 20, where the chancellor agreed to meet with them at a later date to go over the changes.

“We are feeling cautiously optimistic, given the chancellor’s previous thoughtful interactions with parents from District 30,” said Deborah Alexander, a District 30 parent whose son, Augustus, is set to attend the prestigious program in middle school. “A united community can really make a change.”

The group of District 30 parents has been getting together for over a month to speak against the Department of Education’s (DOE) plans to extend P.S. 122’s general education classes from the fifth to eighth grade, cutting down classes at the gifted and talented middle school program, The Academy.

“It’s just the first step, but we’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished and thrilled that the chancellor listened and heard us,” said Alexander.

In order to extend P.S. 122 into the eighth grade, by 2019 there will be room for only one class per grade in The Academy, down from the three to four classes offered now. These changes would go into effect in 2019 and would begin with this fall’s incoming kindergarten class.

The DOE has stated that the changes are required in order to allow each student the chance to stay in the same K-8 until they finish middle school.

The meeting between parents and the chancellor was confirmed by DOE spokesperson Devon Puglia, yet no date has been set.

“Chancellor Walcott and his team are very responsive and listen closely to feedback from families. We look forward to meeting with this community once again and articulating our rationale for this plan: equity and fairness for all students,” said Puglia in a statement.

Yet, worried the meeting will not bring negotiations, as the parents wait for the date to be announced they will be filing a petition with the State Education Commissioner.

“The day we can withdraw that petition because the DOE has heard the unified voice of District 30 will be a joyful day,” said Alexander.

 

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Maspeth community welcomes new high school site


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley

A year after its opening, Maspeth High School now has a new, state-of-the art building to call home.

The Maspeth community welcomed the new school building to the neighborhood in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, February 25, with Borough President Helen Marshall, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, various elected officials and school administrators.

“Maspeth is a better place to live and raise a family because we have this high school,” said Crowley. “The new building is providing the facilities for 21st century learning for our students.”

The opening ceremony featured performances by the school’s string orchestra, the International Thespian Society and the dance company.

Maspeth High School first opened for the 2011 to 2012 school year at the Queens Metropolitan High School campus on Metropolitan Avenue. The school’s new site is roughly three miles away, on 74th Street in Maspeth. It was one of the last public high schools in the city to receive local priority zoning, which ensures local residents have the opportunity to attend.

 

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Citywide school bus strike over


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

FILE PHOTO

The month-long citywide school bus strike has come to a screeching halt.

Drivers and matrons are expected to be back at their posts on Wednesday.

According to a statement issued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, city officials and members of Local 1181 met on Thursday to bring an end to the strike which left more than 150,000 children stranded.

“We appreciate the hard work our bus drivers and matrons do and we welcome them back to the job. In the city’s entire history, the special interests have never had less power than they do today, and the end of this strike reflects the fact that when we say we put children first, we mean it,” said Bloomberg.

Bus strike leaves parents, students scrambling


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alexa Altman

Dodging icy sleet, first-grader Tarunima Bhowmik and her father Gola grabbed a cab from their home in Sunnyside on their way to Tarunima’s school, P.S. 166  Golain Astoria. Fare cost about $10, a necessary evil with New York City school buses out of commission.

“It’s a very hard time for the kids,” Gola said of the school bus strike as he dropped off his daughter. “The bus drivers and the city authorities should come to an agreement as soon as possible.”

Riding the bus is first-grader Aviva Kaufman’s favorite part of the day. Every morning, the six-year-old hops on the big yellow rig in her Bay Terrace neighborhood and rides to P.S. 130 in Flushing with her classmates. Her mother Kari covets the spare time she gains in the morning when Aviva takes the bus, running errands and catching up on housework before heading to her job at a nearby preschool.

When Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union announced that school bus drivers would begin striking on Wednesday, January 16, parents panicked over wrecked routines and tricky transportation alternatives. Nearly 152,000 students, who rely on city-contracted buses to get to class on time, are now stranded.

“I’ll have to drive her and pick her up every day,” said Kari. “Instead of having time in the morning, I have to go straight to work. [The strike] really impacts the number of things I can do during the day, in order to do them safely.”

Local 1181’s motive for striking rests in job security after the city announced attempts to find new contractors for more than 1,000 bus routes. Drivers want the city to ensure job stability, a request city officials have deemed “illegal,” adding that any kind of discrepancies are between the employees and the bus companies.

“This is not about safety,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “It’s about job protection that the city cannot offer.”

According to Bloomberg, the city spends $1.1 billion annually on student transit, equaling $6,900 per child, which the mayor said is far greater than any other American city, including Los Angeles which he cited at $3,100 per student. Bloomberg claimed that over the last five years, altering bus routes and opening contracts to other bidders has saved the city $95 million in taxpayer dollars, allotting more money for teachers’ salaries and schoolhouse improvement projects.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott called the lockout “a strike against our students,” that will have “a devastating effect” on them.

Michael Cordiello, president of Local 1181, stood by his group’s decision to begin striking on Wednesday, stating that their justification lies in their increased responsibility to “handle and transport the most precious cargo in New York City.”

“I heard it was said today that if we strike, we are striking the children of the city of New York,” said Cordiello. “In fact, we would be striking for the city of New York’s children.

According to Cordiello, starting pay for bus drivers is $14 per hour, amounting to $38,000 annually, and pension plans for operators are private and don’t impact taxpayers. Cordiello also stated that contrary to what city officials have claimed, the drivers’ objective of job security does not break any laws.

To ease transit tension, students in grades kindergarten through six will be issued MetroCards with students in kindergarten through second grade eligible for an extra MetroCard for parents who wish to accompany their children to school. Parents driving their children to school can receive gas reimbursements at 55 cents per mile.

Gola said he hopes his daughter’s school will reimburse him for their morning cab ride, but hasn’t heard anything yet.

Kari fears the bus strike could jeopardize student’s safety, adding that drivers undergo diligent training as well as a thorough screening process before they are put behind the wheel. Substitute drivers may not be as equipped to care for students, she said.

“I don’t want my child riding on a bus with someone who hasn’t been trained and tested,” said Kari. “The safety of my child is not clear then.”

Though the strike affects 152,000 students, some school buses were still running Wednesday.


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NYC school bus drivers won’t strike Monday, but walkout still possible


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

After threatening to strike, New York City school bus drivers were back to work Monday, but they could still walk off the job within the next few days.

A strike would affect 152,000 students, including 54,000 with disabilities, and those in public, private and parochial schools.

“The union is asking for something we cannot legally deliver and are putting a central and necessary service at risk,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. “A strike would be irresponsible and would adversely impact our students and their families who rely on bus service to get to and from school.”

In an effort to cut costs,  the city wants to put contracts out to bid for 1,100 routes for the first time in 33 years.

New York City spends $1.1 billion, or $6,900 per student, on busing each year. That figure is more than any other school district in the country and almost double what the country’s second largest school district, Los Angeles, spends.

Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents 9,000 drivers, is objecting to the lack of  job guarantees in the contract bid specifications and safety issues that could arise if current drivers are replaced with less experienced ones.

“I’ve been working 35 years driving kids to school in the Bronx, and now you’re going to tell me, ‘You don’t have a job no more’?” 67-year-old union member Rick Meli told the Wall Street Journal. “How do you tell this many people they could lose their jobs?”

If a strike does happen, the city will robocall affected families.

Additionally, students and parents with children in pre-school to 2nd grade or with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and require transportation from their home directly to their school will receive free MetroCards. Parents who receive yellow bus service from their homes or are in grades K through 6 and do not live in areas where public transportation between home and school is available, can request reimbursement for transportation costs.

“As the city continues to take all possible precautions in advance of a potential strike, we are asking parents to make a plan in the event that busing is disrupted,” said Walcott.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 45. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 34. Winds less than 5 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Japanese Classical Dance for Kids at Resobox

This workshop for kids ages 8-11 at Resobox in Long Island City teaches the 400-year-old nichibu dance popularized in kabuki. Performer and writer Helen Moss leads the class in the elegant Soke Fujima style. All experience levels are welcome, and all materials, including fans and kimonos, are provided. Starts at 5:30 p.m. Classes for ages 12 and above follow at 6:30pm. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

NYC school bus drivers will not strike Monday: union

New York City school bus drivers will not strike on Monday, a union spokesperson told NBC New York Sunday night, but that doesn’t mean a work stoppage still isn’t possible in the days ahead. Read more: NBC New York

Marketing campaign targets Sandy victims with threats of hefty fines

A firm that cleans up oils spills is preying on Sandy-battered homeowners by circulating an official looking letter threatening hefty fines, angry residents said. Read more: New York Daily News

Teachers irate as Bloomberg likens union to the N.R.A.

Of all the polarizing things Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said and done over the years, from banning large sugary drinks to supporting congestion pricing, few have generated the sort of viral backlash that has unexpectedly mounted after his weekly radio show on Friday. Read more: New York Times

Obama signs bill for federal flood insurance for Sandy victims

President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that releases $9.7 billion for a flood insurance program for Hurricane Sandy victims. Read more: NY1

Storm panel recommends major changes in New York

A new commission formed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, charged with figuring out how New York should adapt in the long term to cope with worsening storms amid climate change and population growth, has recommended an extensive menu of programs: it includes turning some of the state’s industrial shoreline back into oyster beds, hardening the electric and natural gas systems, and improving the scope and availability of insurance coverage, according to a draft version obtained by The New York Times. Read more: New York Times

Business interest group takes on New York’s run-down airports

Business leaders embarrassed by the sorry state of the city’s airports have formed a new advocacy group to press for improvements. Read more: New York Daily News

Obama taps Hagel for Pentagon, Brennan for CIA

President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Chuck Hagel as his next defense secretary and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, two potentially controversial picks for his second-term national security team. Read more: AP

 

 

12 Sandy-damaged schools reopen in Rockaways, Brooklyn


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor's office / Spencer T. Tucker

Twelve schools that were closed because of Superstorm Sandy reopened this morning, including  four that started class ahead of schedule.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott marked the occasion with a visit to P.S. 43 in Far Rockaway Monday.

Because of flooding, power outages, and other damage from Sandy, the school was not supposed to open until November 30.

“Our most important task was getting students back in the classroom as soon as possible,” said Walcott. “Teachers, principals, custodians and facilities personnel have been working around the clock to get the vast majority of students back to their schools, and today we can welcome back 5,400 students to their original buildings. We will continue to make repairs as quickly as possible in order to get the remaining 18 schools reopened.”

Including the schools that reopened today, 26,000 students who were displaced from their schools because of the superstorm have returned to their regular buildings, but 7,800 still remain at reassigned locations.

Last Monday, Bloomberg announced a $500 million plan to help repair public schools and hospitals that were damaged by Sandy.

 

Where to go in Queens for National Night Out


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

National Day Out 107th 002

National Night Out, an annual event of anti-crime rallies organized by police precincts, is tonight. At the precincts, community members can meet local officials and participate in activities for adults and children.

In Queens, Mayor Bloomberg will be at he 113th precinct at 6:30 p.m., and NYC Department of Education Chancelor Dennis Walcott will be at the 103rd at 6:30 p.m.

Check QueensCourier.com tomorrow morning for all the pictures from National Night Out in the borough.

National Night Out locations in Queens: 

100 PRECINCT and TRANSIT DISTRICT 23
Beach 108th Street and Shore Front Parkway
Rockaway Beach
5:00PM to 8:00PM

101 PRECINCT
BAYSWATER PARK
Beach 32nd Street and Beach Channel Drive
5:00PM to 9:00PM

102 PRECINCT
FOREST PARK MONUMENT
Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South
6:00PM to 9:00PM

103 PRECINCT
150th Street and 89 Avenue
6:00PM to 9:00PM

105 PRECINCT
CABBELL PARK/CAMBRIA HEIGHTS PARK
121st Avenue and Francis Lewis Blvd.
5:00PM to 9:00PM

106 PRECINCT 1730
PS232 HAROLD SCHNEIDERMAN PLAYGROUND
153-23 83rd Street
Howard Beach
5:30PM to 9:30PM

107 PRECINCT
ELECTCHESTER SHOPPING MALL
Parsons Blvd. between 71st Avenue and Jewel Avenue
7:00PM to 10:00PM

113 PRECINCT
BAISLEY POND PARK
155th Street and Baisley Blvd.
6:00PM to 9:00PM

104 PRECINCT
MAFERA PARK
between 65th Street and 68th Avenue
5:00PM to 8:00PM

108 PRECINCT
JOHN ANDREWS PLAYGROUND
49th Avenue between Vernon Blvd. and 5th Street
5:00PM to 9:00PM

109 PRECINCT
PS20 PLAYGROUND
Barclay Avenue from Union Street to Bowne Street
5:00PM to 9:00PM

110 PRECINCT
FLUSHING MEADOW PARK
Zoo area
6:00PM to 9:00PM

111 PRECINCT
DOUGLASTON SHOPPING CENTER
Upper level in front of Modells
6100 Douglaston Parkway
7:00PM to 9:00PM

112 PRECINCT
MACDONALD PARK
Queens Blvd. and Yellowstone Blvd.
6:00PM to 9:00PM

114 PRECINCT
ASTORIA PARK – Great Lawn
Shore Blvd. between Ditmars Blvd. and Shore Road
5:00PM to 8:00PM

115 PRECINCT
NORTHERN BLVD. PARK
Northern Blvd. between 93rd Street and 94th Streets
6:00PM to 9:00PM

TRANSIT DISTRICT 20 (QUEENS) and PSA 9
Rear of 35-35 21st Street
between 23rd Street and 21st Avenue
5:00PM to 9:00PM

Eight high schools to ‘Turnaround’


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

The city’s failure to successfully negotiate with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) may spell doom for more than half a dozen high schools across Queens — including the subtraction of half their educators.

Due to the inability of the two parties to come to an agreement regarding teacher evaluations, the Department of Education (DOE) has moved eight high schools — Flushing, William Cullen Bryant, Long Island City (L.I.C.), Newtown, Grover Cleveland, August Martin, Richmond Hill and John Adams — into the School Improvement Grant Program known as Turnaround.

Turnaround involves the closure and immediate reopening of the school under a different name, along with the replacement of the principal and 50 percent of the teachers. The schools, which are state-designated Persistently Low Achieving (PLA), were initially slated for Transformation or Restart, which do not involve closure and are less severe programs with regards to expulsion of faculty.

“A school’s performance is judged on multiple measures, and when there has been important progress but there is also significant room for improvement, we believe students will benefit from intervention,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott. “This is an opportunity to assess and keep what is working and also bring in a new wave of talent that will be able to build on the progress already made.”

As part of the Turnaround program, school-based committees will be formed to assess and replace half the teaching staff based on merit — replacing the least effective teachers and keeping the best. Each school will be reopened by the fall of 2012, and every current student will have a seat in their respective school.

In total, 62 schools from across the five boroughs have been assigned to one of the DOE’s intervention programs.

Of these, 18 schools will be phased out over several years by not accepting any new students and officially closing after current classes graduate.

Five will close at the end of the current school year in June, forcing current students to transfer. Six will lose their middle school grades but stay open as either high schools or elementary schools only, and the remaining 33 schools will close in June and reopen immediately with a different name.

P.S. 215 in Woodmere has been slated for phase-out, and the Peninsula Preparatory Academy, a charter elementary school in Rockaway Park, is also lined up for closure.

Since negotiations between the DOE and UFT failed, the city’s School Improvement Grants (SIG), which are used by 27 of the 33 schools designated for Turnaround, has been suspended by the state. The city, however, is hopeful its actions will once again make it eligible to receive the funds.

“The unfortunate thing is that we see this as the mayor playing politics with our schools, and they are holding these PLA schools and their communities hostage,” said James Vasquez, Queens district representative for the UFT. “The turnaround model has no educational value other than the mayor’s unwillingness to come to an agreement in negotiations. We have been and continue to be open to negotiations.We are not the ones who walked away from the table, they were. In the end, these school communities are the ones who will suffer.”

Vasquez says the city abandoned negotiations roughly 36 hours before the state’s January 1 deadline. He claims the mayor opposes the state’s new holistic evaluation approach — which the UFT supports — and is searching for a scapegoat for the precarious situation in city schools.

Despite the distraction, some teachers are concentrating on their students, attempting to prevent the ambiguous situation from causing a digression in their education.

“A lot of things are in motion and we’re sorting out what it means,” said Debra Lavache, a teacher at Flushing High School. “We’re just focusing on the students. We still have students to teach.”

The majority of students, parents and faculty have expressed tremendous outrage regarding the city’s plans, furious that the students’ education is being placed in the middle of a bureaucratic war.

“We have worked around the clock to try and improve the school,” said Mirit Jakab, an English and Theatre teacher at Grover Cleveland High School. “Many parents and kids are very disappointed. This is tearing our community apart. It is a shame that what seems to be politics is hurting our kids.”

Other teachers believe the Turnaround will do more harm than good.

“I think the city has not given us enough support to implement structural changes that would help the students achieve. It is designed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to fail,” said Maria Karaiskos, an English teacher at L.I.C. High School. “The worst thing you can do is implement this Turnaround model, because what will turn around is the students, and they will go back home. They will turn their backs on education.”

Students at L.I.C. echoed their teacher, emphasizing the lack of excitement and energy most will exhibit while attending the “turned around” school.

“I think this is a terrible idea,” said Amara, a 17-year-old senior. “This is only going to psychologically harm the kids and teachers. Rearranging the system is going to make students get used to a whole new set of teachers. It will drive us away from learning.”

Barbara Loupakis, who graduated from L.I.C. in 1987 and currently has a daughter in 10th grade at the school, believes the Turnaround is the latest example of the city not prioritizing education

“This year things have been going crazy,” Loupakis said. “First there were not enough teachers. A lot that they had were substitutes because they didn’t want to spend money to hire teachers. They have books that are over 20 years old. My daughter brought home a book that my husband had. We don’t have money to give new books and now we are firing teachers? My daughter is not going to want to come back. Because of these changes, these kids are not going to have the spirit and drive to get up in the morning. Bloomberg is sending a message to these kids that they are nothing.”

Funding for failing schools suspended


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Federal funds for the city’s failing schools are on the line following negotiation deadlocks between the city and the union.

Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced on January 3 that he has suspended “School Improvement Grant” (SIG) funding throughout the state. The $60 million in SIG grants would have provided “adequate resources” — including extra instructors and materials — for the city’s lowest-performing schools.

“Sadly, the adults in charge of the city’s schools have let the students down,” King said. “This is beyond disappointing. The failure to reach agreements on evaluations leaves thousands of students mired in the same educational morass. Until the grown-ups in charge start acting that way, it won’t be a very happy New Year for the students at the SIG schools in the city.”

The suspension came shortly after Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott wrote to King, declaring disagreements in several key negotiations with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) regarding teacher evaluations.

In order to receive the funding, Walcott and the UFT had five months to agree to “implement a comprehensive and meaningful teacher evaluation system” for the state’s 44 failing schools.

However, the two parties clashed on ideas “almost every step of the way,” Walcott said in a statement, including basic negotiations over appointing arbitrators to handle cases.

“Our goal is to ensure that we have the best teachers in our classrooms. Unfortunately, the union is more interested in setting up procedural roadblocks to protect the very worst performing teachers,” Walcott said. “This disagreement — regarding both policy and principles — leads me to conclude that we will not be able to come to an agreement on a fair and progressive teacher evaluation system.”

According to UFT President Michael Mulgrew, the agreement — that has not yet been reached — must focus on creating a process to help teachers improve their performance by providing them with feedback on the specific classroom issues that need to be addressed, among other resources.

“Teachers look forward to the opportunity to improve their practice. If the DOE’s major focus is on penalizing its employees for their perceived shortcomings rather than to devise a process that will help all teachers improve, it is doing a disservice to the schools and the children they serve,” Mulgrew said.

Several struggling schools in Queens could suffer from negotiation stalemates, including The Law, Government and Community Service High School in Cambria Heights, which was the lowest scoring school in the borough and falls in the bottom 6.7 percentile of city high schools.

Other low-performing schools like Flushing High School, Richmond Hill High School and August Martin High School in Jamaica received a “D” during the most recent progress report, as well as Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village and Pan American International High School in Elmhurst.

News Briefs: Small Business Workshop in L.I.C.


| bdoda@queenscourier.com

LONG ISLAND CITY –

The Queens Economic Development Corporation will offer workshops and clinics for small business owners this fall. While the clinics are free, workshops will cost $25 in order to cover costs.

Topics covered will include networking, taxes, pricing and compliance with city regulations. The workshops and clinics will take place at the Entrepreneur Space at 36-46 37th Street in Long Island City from 6 to 8 p.m.

Speakers include Bianco Di Salvo, a professor in the marketing department at Fordham University, Gail Roseman, a partner at Sholom & Zuckerbrot Realty, LLC, and Susan Harkavy, an instructor on guerilla marketing at New York Designs.

For more information regarding scheduling, call 718-263-0546 or visit www.queensny.org.

Family Fright Night

FLUSHING –

The Flushing YMCA will hold their Family Fright Night on Friday, October 28 at 138-46 Northern Boulevard. Activities will include a haunted house, costume contest, face painting, dancing, spooky stories, carnival games and more. Call 718-961-6880 for more details.

Fall Festival

FLUSHING –

Councilmember Peter Koo and the Parks Department recently announced this year’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 29 from 1 until 5 p.m. at the P.S. 20 playground (Union Street and Barclay Avenue). Activities will include free rides, games, pumpkin patch, live entertainment, karaoke and more. To sponsor this event, contact Judy Chen at 718-888-8747.

I.S. 178Q celebrates 16th Anniversary

FRESH MEADOWS –

Councilmember Mark Weprin addressed the students, parents, teachers, and fellow alumni who gathered at P.S./I.S. 178Q, the Holliswood School located at 189-10 Radnor Road in recognition of the school’s 60th anniversary.

“The Holliswood School has provided students with an outstanding education for six decades, and I know that it will continue to shine,” said Weprin.

Talent showcase at Cross Island Y

BELLEROSE –

Auditions are still open for this year’s “Y Kids Got Talent” live event to be held on Saturday, October 22 at 6 p.m. at the Cross Island YMCA, located at 238-10 Hillside Avenue. Anyone with acting, singing, dancing, acrobatics, marital arts or musical talent is encouraged to contact Jamé Cohn at 718-551-9314 or by email at jcohn@ymcanyc.org for audition scheduling information.

Chancellor speaks to ACA

ASTORIA –

New York City Public Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott was the featured speaker at the monthly Astoria Civic Association meeting.

Walcott answered a number of questions from teachers, students and parents from Astoria and other parts of Queens during the hour-long meeting, ranging from the Department’s no tolerance policy for bullying to exploring the possibility of implementing additional gifted and talented programs at Astoria’s middle schools.

The association meets on the first Tuesday of every month at Riccardo’s and features a new speaker and topic. The meeting time has changed to 7 p.m. For more information visit the Astoria Civic Association Facebook page, or call 718-545-5353.