huzzah! new ms 839 in district 15

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!

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ps 9 fights city hall and wins

PS 9, located at 80 Underhill Ave. has spent the past several years rallying the community and becoming the "go to" program in Prospect Heights for new families. All of this momentum seemed to be doomed when the city announced that they were phasing out MS 571, colocated in the building (not bringing in a new 6th grade in 2011), and adding Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School from outside of the district to the building. Since schools need to share facilities but don't use them at the same time, it would mean that strained facilities would now need to be shared between 3 programs, instead of 2. The DOE's plan was a very strangely inequitable allocation of space. From what I saw, the time allocated to the common spaces didn't correspond in any way to the numbers being served. What followed was months of contentious meetings.

A few days ago a group of parent advocates from PS 9 won an appeal to the New York State Commissioner of Education, David M. Steiner, requesting an annulment of the vote by the Panel on Education Policy (PEP). "The Commissioner found that the DOE did not comply with NY Education Law, and ordered that 'the resolution of the PEP approving the co-location of the Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School in the K009 building is annulled.' The Commissioner further ordered the 'DOE to be prohibited from moving forward with any aspect of the proposal regarding the co-location until the DOE complies with the requirements of the NY Education Law. Specifically, the Commissioner found that the DOE's Building Utilization Plan for the co-location failed to address 'how the proposed allocation of shared spaces ensures equitable and comparable use of impacted students.'"

Essentially, the DOE is back to square one. It would have to substantially revise its Building Utilization Plan and hold a new vote for proposal, which could still happen. What PS 9 now needs to do is to complete their plan for a k-8 expansion. For more information.

Millennium Brooklyn at the John Jay Campus

On Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 6pm at the John Jay Campus on 7th Ave. at 4th St. there will be a public hearing to discuss the co-location of Millennium Brooklyn in the John Jay Campus.

On Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 6pm at Brooklyn Tech High School at South Elliott St. between DeKalb and Fulton there will be a Panel For Education Policy (PEP) vote on the co-location.

If you are interested in this issue you need to attend and speak up on the matter.

The DOE's proposal is outlined here.

And I have included this passage from their statement:

While there is not an immediate need to create additional high school seats in Brooklyn, the community has made the DOE aware of the need to provide more high-quality high school options. Allocating underutilized space to open a new selective high school in Brooklyn would expand the range of options available to students and families, and, in the long-run, would increase the number of students retained in the borough. Over the last few years the number of students enrolled in Brooklyn high schools has steadily declined, suggesting that students and families are seeking options outside of the borough that are better matched to their interests and needs. All students deserve access to an outstanding education regardless of their zip code. The DOE is committed to investing in schools that optimize student performance and ensure that every student graduates from high school equipped with the skills necessary to achieve success in college, careers, and in life.