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Last night the D15 CEC (Community Education Council) held a meeting at PS 130 in Kensington to begin the process of community education and review. The topic was possible rezoning to relieve overcrowding in the surrounding school zones (154, 130, 131 essentially) and to determine what the heck is going to happen with mystery sparkle school on E.8th between Kermit and Caton.
It was a very crowded with neighbors and parents from Windsor Terrace and Kensington. The CEC invited Carrie Marlin, Director of Planning for Brooklyn Schools, and City Council-person Brad Lander, to speak along with Anita Skop District 15 Superintendent and members of the community. Here's the deal:
We don't have any maps to show because things are in the planning stages.
Rezoning for the PS 58/32 border seems to be off the table in District 15. The DoE has declined the D15 CEC's push to rezone.
There will be some kind of rezoning or other plan for the new Sunset Park Avenues School on 4th Ave. that will open in fall of 2014 in the St. Michael's School building. The grave overcrowding in several of the Sunset Park schools, particularly 169 and 94 will be addressed with 75 new kindergarten seats in this building (with growth vertically over the next years), but no plans about exactly where and how have been brought forward.
The DoE has been having "dezoning" talks in several districts around the city, including D13 (I think that their CEC may have already voted it down, but that doesn't mean that it won't come back), 14 and 17 and a few others that are out of my region in Brooklyn. It is in the interest of parents of preschool children to understand this issue. There are lots of implications to this move including, taking power from the local District CEC - Community Education Council (parents only real muscle in local school issues), the ability of parents to try for seats at more than one local zoned school, the dismantling of local neigborhood programs including making children travel out of their neighborhoods, and the possibility of the unchecked spread of charter schools (charter schools aren't evil, there just needs to be local imput and not all programs are necessary appropriate).
I attended the meeting at John Jay last night where the new version of zone lines where announced. As DNA info leaked, the 39 zone changes have been taken off the table. The 107/10 zone lines remained the same. The 321 zone has been cropped at 5th Ave.
The PS 39 parents pledged to remain active to help the new St. Thomas building program ramp up their new PTA. There will be meetings, yet to be scheduled, so that rezoned families can meet Elizabeth Garraway, the proposed new principal, see the building, and get more details about the new program. This will probably be after the vote has occurred.
Office of Portfolio Management: Subject: District 15 zoning, email@example.com
District 15 Community Education Council (the body which will vote on the proposal in November) CEC15@schools.nyc.gov
Brad Lander, City Council firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign the petitions here:
Close to 200 parents and neighbors crowded the PS 38 auditorium last night to hear proposed zoning changes to schools in Park Slope/District 15. Carrie Marlin, Director of Planning for the DoE, gave the presentation to present the proposed changes. The DoE is putting the presentation on their website later today for review for parents who were not able to attend.
Jim Devor, CEC (Community Education Council) President, explained that these discussions began almost 2 years ago around the collaboration between District 13 and District 15 to build a new and larger building in Gowanus to house PS 133. That building will be habitable in fall of 2013 and will become a “school of choice” for both districts. When the students assigned to the new construction vacate the small St. Thomas Aquinas building at 8th St. and 4th Ave. it will be available to District 15. Over time the conversation shifted to rezoning talks for the center and south slope for District 15 as it became clear that capacity issues at PS 107 and PS 321, two strong an popular programs in Park Slope, had reached a critical point.
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.