huzzah! new ms 839 in district 15

New school alert. We knew it was coming- the beautiful new building on E. 8th St. between Kermit and Caton is almost done. PS 130 has been rezoned and "split-sited" and will be occupying part of the building. MS 839, a small school (300 students when they are at capacity in 3 years) will be opening in the fall. If you are interested, sign up for email alerts on their website. All District 15 5th graders can apply by asking for a "New School Application form" from your school. That application is separate from your main application. If you receive an offer to MS 839, you will still have your main round middle school offer and you choose between the two. A little more school information here. Can't wait to learn more!

Now that it is March, we do know more!
The school has a charismatic new head in the person of Michael Perlberg. They have designed the school with lots of input from parents and it showed in the delight of the parents sitting around me at the info session. There will be a focus on personalized environments where the kids will be very well known, with strong advisory. They are not going to require the kids to specialize. It will be an environment of exploration in many interests. There will be lots of hands on/real world project based learning. Families will be deeply involved in the school, particularly in the portfolio process. A couple other things that I loved - a rich culture of serving special needs kids and a truly ingenious (and kind) homework policy. You know how homework can get out of control when you have 5 different teachers each giving a little something each night? They are following a model pioneered at East Side Community HS where there is a night reserved for each subject. Why hasn't anyone else thought of this?!

As far as admissions go for fall of 2016, we will wait and see, but this year's separate lottery is a special "new school" deal. This is not a charter or citywide school and it will likely be on the regular district wide application like all the rest in future.