Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beach Channel, Jamaica High Schools on DOE Chopping Block

Fourteen schools are in danger of closing, as the city Department of Education (DOE) has released its proposal of school closures this week.

In Queens, P.S. 30 in Jamaica, I.S. 231 in Springfield Gardens, Beach Channel High School in Rockaway and Jamaica High School are slated for closure.

The schools, consistently on the city’s list of persistently failing schools, would likely slowly phase out students by restricting incoming classes.

Public hearings must be held for each of the proposed schools and the DOE has said it will do everything possible to disseminate all necessary information to teachers and parents. The Panel for Education Policy (PEP) will make a final decision in February.

Last year, without holding hearings, the DOE closed 19 schools and was sued by the teachers’ union and NAACP. The groups won the lawsuit, keeping the schools open for another year.

"At least they're answering questions this time and going to the schools to try to figure things out ahead of time,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, according to NY1. “That is not what they did last year. And they are doing that because we filed a lawsuit and won last year."

Two schools in the area that were in danger of being closed last year were John Adams High School in Ozone Park and Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood. For now, both schools will remain open and will receive extra funds, along with thirty other schools on the city’s persistently failing list, to improve student performance.

These schools, explains Dmytro Fedkowskj, Queens Appointee for the Panel For Education Policy, will undergo a “transformation” or a “turnaround” process funded by federal grant money to implement systemic education interventions within the school.

“I’m confident that these interventions, along with the schools’ dedicated staff, will improve the learning environment for our students,” Fedkowskj said.

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