The message was pretty clear last night at the CDEC 22 meeting. The Marine Park Community, the parent community, and the IS 278 administration, does not want a secondary High School in the IS 278 building.
The issue at hand is that IS 278 Marine Park, and most area schools have empty seats. IS 278 Marine Park is no exception as they have about empty 300 seats. The Department of Education wants to fill those empty seats for the next upcoming school year.
If you remember the DOE wanted to put a Hebrew Language charter school two years ago to fill that space. That was swiftly defeated due to protests and the benefit of an election year. Then the community wanted a seemless 6-12 high school. The 6 – 12 school idea was shot down by the DOE when they cruhced the numbers that it would need more than seats than what was currently avaiable.
As of right now the DOE says there is NO proposal or plan on the table and that they are looking for community input on what to place inside IS 278.
The solution proposed by the audience was an ASD Nest program which is the New York City Department of Education’s Collaborative Team Teaching program for higher functioning children with autism spectrum disorders. They made their case with a few compelling arugments. First, the nearest ASD schools are very far from this area. One school in rockaway and the other in downtown brooklyn. Which would translate into a three hour a day commute for ASD kids. Secondly, The nest program can be run by the existing IS 278 administration not a seperate administration which would be needed for a High School. Which is a very big deal as Mrs. Garofalo has turned around IS 278 and is constantly praised for her skills.
Ideally what the community invisions is a Marine Park 6 through 12 ASD Nest program which would allow the same age group to stay in the same school through High School. Instead of traveling to schools which are more than an hour away.
ASD Nest is place Within supportive neighborhood schools, the ASD Nest program helps children with autism learn how to function well academically, behaviorally and socially in school and in their community.
Each classroom has two teachers with training in the specialized curricula and instructional strategies used in the program. In addition to the standard academic curriculum, specialized curricula and instructional strategies to foster relationship development, adaptive skills, language and communication development and sensory/motor development are infused throughout the day, thus minimizing the need to service children outside the classroom. Staff receive pre and in-service training in these curricula and strategies.