ch-ch-ch-ch-changes in district 15 for fall of 2013

We have been waiting for word on several changes that are expected to land on the neighborhoods (particularly Park Slope) before the new year. It appears that the DoE is flying some trial balloons. Let me stress that nothing is set in stone yet! This should be decided by Jan. of 2013.

  • Here are the players: District 15 schools that are full to bursting (321, 39, 107)
  • District 13 school, PS 133, that is getting a brand new and lovely, large building on 4th Ave. and Butler on the border of Gowanus and Park Slope - is moving back to that new building in the fall of 2013
  • St. Thomas Aquinas School building on 4th Ave. and 8th St. where the students from PS 133 are being housed until their new building is done, will be vacant for a new program in fall of 2013.

Districts 13 and 15 had pooled their capital funds to build the new building on 4th Ave. and Butler. Even though PS 133 is a District 13 school, the plan is - to have significant room there for D15 kids. The early planning involved rezoning PS 133, but that was a fraught conversation. The current conversations address PS 133 as a "school of choice" for both districts with no rezoning. We are waiting with baited breath to find out exactly what that means. PS 133 in the past couple years has become a focus for many families - they have a terrific Principal in Heather Foster-Mann, who has opened Dual Language French and Dual Language Spanish classes in the school. So far - nothing but glowing reports from the families attracted to these programs and the school has had strong arts and small gen ed classes for years.

What has come to light very recently is the DoE's new proposal to possibly rezone a portion of PS 321 and PS 39 to create a new K-5 program to be housed in the St. Thomas Aquinas building. There has been lots of talk and support in the neighborhood to create a public Early Childhood Center in that building to house prek and k classes from surrounding overcrowded schools and relieve the pressure on the physical plants at the upper grades. That plan is not dead, but it is also not what the DoE is proposing.

Also, PS 107 has lost its prek class and carried an in-zone wait list for the last two years. A rezoning for PS 107 and PS 10 is also on the table. The proposed plan will take a portion of PS 107 and rezone it to the popular PS 10, which currently doesn't hold an in-zone wait list.

The CEC (Community Education Council) is the local body that deals with rezoning issues among other things. According to their calendar, there is a meeting scheduled for Wed. Oct. 17 at 7pm. The calendar lists the location of the meeting at PS 38 in Boerum Hill. To confirm meeting details: the administrative assistant for the D15 CEC is Romaine Smith 718-935-4267, CEC15@schools.nyc.gov

This is not their plan, they are your representatives to the DoE in this process. Time is running short. I am hoping this will be addressed at that meeting. I will see you there.