Trying to understand the irrational decisions of the NYC Department of Education is futile.
That goes without saying. But this latest DoE maneuver, affecting Samuel Mills Sprole School (PS 32) on Hoyt Street, is particularly bizarre.
During the Presidents Week, when the school was closed (and empty) for winter break, Deborah Ann Florio, the principal of PS 32, received a call from NYC Department of Education officials. A delegation wanted to tour the school.
DoE is intending to move the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School from its home in Sunset Park to the portable classrooms currently parked in PS 32's schoolyard. Ultimately, the charter school is supposed to occupy a brand new building being built at Douglass and Third Avenue in Gowanus.
Officials say that Brooklyn Prospect's temporary move to PS 32 will only be for one year.
However, teachers and parents at PS 32 say that the school can not accommodate the additional students without severely undermining the education of the children that are already there. The building currently houses an elementary school and a middle school. PS 32, the Pre-K to 5th grade school, has about 300 students and is part of the ASD Nest Program, a successful collaboration between N.Y. University and the DoE, that helps integrate autistic children into mainstream classes.
New Horizon Middle School (MS 442) has about 200 students.
Giving up extra classrooms to the 300 charter school children would mean that students already attending will lose their science room, the music room for their beloved keyboard instructions, as well as a planned improved library.
According to a staff member at PS 32:
One has to wonder why the DoE feels it necessary to disrupt not only the lives of the charter school students with a temporary move before a more permanent one a year later, but also to take away educational opportunities for the children of PS 32 and New Horizon. Who is this benefiting? Certainly not the kids.