With dozens of schools still damaged or without power, entire school communities have re-located to temporary locations. The 2700-student body and staff at New Dorp High School on Staten Island made room for I.S. 2 which can’t move back to its building for at least a few weeks. It was a logistical feat that students and educators said went well on its first day despite a few bumps.
The city will begin replacing all of the lighting fixtures at a Staten Island elementary school on Wednesday, after toxic PCBs leaked from an overhead light onto a child’s desk and clothing.
In the latest Principal’s Office interview, the principal of New Dorp High School on Staten Island says her large high school is working for her students — and can be a model to help preserve other large high schools in the city. “There are advantages to small schools for a certain kind of kid, but there’s something about the community of a large school that you can’t replace,” she says.
The city’s education department has been working to inform families of changes coming to the way schools deliver special education services. And some parents are asking whether schools will have the resources they need to follow through.
To counter the influence of the teachers’ union, powerful forces like Joel I. Klein, Michelle Rhee, Eva S. Moskowitz, Edward I. Koch and Geoffrey Canada, backed by a number of venture capitalists and hedge fund managers, have formed a group called StudentsFirstNY, a spinoff of the national group that Ms. Rhee, the former Washington schools chancellor, had formed to press for changes in how schools are run, The Times reports today.
The number of elementary school students in classes of 30 or more has tripled in the last three years as a result of teacher attrition and budget cuts to public schools, according to a report by City Councilman Brad Lander. Although the report warned of more class size growth, city officials said they do not expect to make further cuts to schools’ budgets.
A teacher who lost her job and exhausted her appeals process convinced a state judge that she was unfairly dismissed. The city was ordered to rehire her and to pay back wages, but it says it does not have to act yet, because it’s considering an appeal.
Members of the education community on Staten Island said they don’t need to hear from Borough President James P. Molinaro or his representative to the Panel for Educational Policy to predict what will happen on Thursday, when the panel will vote on the first school closing on Staten Island since mayoral control of the schools. “The parents might be disadvantaged economically, but they’re not stupid,” said a former Staten Island representative to the panel.
The announcements came year after year: Eight schools to shut down in Manhattan. Ten in the Bronx. Six in Brooklyn. Two in Queens. None on Staten Island. It was hard for Staten Islanders not to develop a degree of superiority when it came to school closings. But now a Staten Island school, P.S. 14, is on the list of 19 city schools to be closed. Some see it as a political decision to close a Staten Island school. And many say the school is facing daunting challenges in the poverty-related problems of its students.
Because of a new program P.S. 41 in Staten Island launched earlier this month, the “college” word will be used a lot more within the school’s walls, said Elise Feldman, the principal. The program teaches students about the importance of getting a college education, and it’s based on the belief that it’s never too early to start planning for it.
Schoolbook is a site dedicated to news, data and conversation about schools in New York City.
Tell us what’s going on in your school. You can e-mail us with your tips or documents, or call 646-801-9698 and leave a voice message.
Join the Public Insight Network and help our journalists cover education in the city. Your stories and insights can help us create relevant and distinctive reporting. Join more than 100,000 people and become a trusted source.