Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Teachers, Parents And Kids Win A Round! DoE Abandons Its Plan To House Charter School At PS32


No one messes with PS 32 and with the ASD Nest Program for autistic children, not even the NYC Department of Education, which had announced a few days ago that they intended to temporarily house a charter school in PS 32's movable classrooms. PS 32 parents and teachers feared that co-sharing the space would negatively affect the program.

It seems that the outcry from the PTA and our local politicians, who got behind the issue immediately, has worked. It was just announced that the DoE has backed down. All the media coverage probably helped as well.

Here is a press release from Borough Prez Marty Markowitz:


“The Department of Education got our message loud and clear,” said BP Markowitz

Today, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced that the New York City Department of Education is no longer pursuing the temporary siting of Brooklyn Prospect Charter School at PS 32, a move that would have threatened the continued success of the ASD Nest program at the school.

“I am relieved to announce that the Department of Education has agreed to find an alternative to placing a charter school at PS 32—allowing their ASD Nest program to continue,” BP Markowitz said. “Parents, students and my office made it clear to the Department of Education that placing a charter school at this location would severely damage existing educational programs. The Department of Education got our message loud and clear and I am pleased that they responded to our efforts by cancelling the proposed charter school.”

If there were to be a charter school at PS 32, the ASD program would lose unique components which make them the only public school option in NYC for high functioning children with autism. The services the children receive are contingent on their regularity and frequency, and they need to be administered in a proper setting.

Speech, occupational therapy, sensory activities and social development integration need to have adequate class space to support children’s development. Removing rooms dedicated to servicing these compulsory mandates would be antithetical to the mission of the ASD program that the DOE so wisely created.



Melissa Sarno said...

Thanks for posting about this. I didn't know anything about it. It truly stinks that there is not enough room for two programs trying to educate our community and that there has to be a choice between one or the other. I hope the charter school finds an alternative space. And I'm glad ASD Nest Program remains where it is.

Katia said...

The Charter School will eventually move into a brand new school building in the Gowanus area, which is cool. This community certainly needs another middle school, especially one that will grow into a high school.
However, re-locating it into PS 32 even just for a year would have meant a real disruption in the lives of the elementary school kids.
I am glad that the DoE saw the error of its way in this instance.

Cynthia said...

It does truly stink. However, the charter which is currently co-located in the new state of the art Sunset Park High School, has signed a lease in a new building on Douglass. However, that building is still under construction.

What stinks even more is that the DOE won't support the existing schools or provide them with crucial learning materials and resources. This includes some of the new smaller schools. I can't imagine how demoralizing it must for students that have to attend closing schools.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised anything gets done at this school. I mentored a pair of brothers there who were always being held back. One boy needed glasses and he was never fitted or tested for any. Yes, parents are suppossed to do all of this but why his teacher did not notice the boy couldn't see is beyond me.