Last Thursday,Despite what parents, local politicians, and the IS 278 school administration want, and despite protests, the Department of Education’s Division of Portfolio Planning DECIDED to put a kindergarten-through-fifth-grade school inside Marine Park Junior High.
The DOE is already beginning to lay the physical and logistical groundwork for NEW & Separate School.
If you remember back during when HLA was the hot topic, everyone wanted a local high school inside 278 but that was shot down after the DOE said it did not have enough space for the high school. Apparently today, the DoE says there is enough space for a K-5 school within IS 278.
The parents, administration and local officials made it abundantly clear that they wanted an ASD Nest program. The Nest program is a Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT) program for higher functioning children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The Nest program is a serious undertaking, and according to meetings, the 278 administration was pushing hard for the program; by all accounts they are fully willing and prepared for the program.
Despite ALL THAT, the DoE is going to be placing a kindergarten-through-fifth-grade school there instead
Perhaps it is all because this is not an election year.
Here is a letter from Councilman Lew Fidler and Assemblyman Alan Maisel:
We are writing to express our outrage at the latest developments in the ongoing discussion concerning the proposed use for the underutilized space at IS 278/Marine Park. We learned today that DOE is now proposing that a non-zoned K-5 school be co-located within the building at 1925 Stuart Street.
While we understand that the long history of proposed usage for this site predates your recent tenure as Chancellor, we believe that it is imperative that you be briefed on the needs and wishes of the community.
At the December 2, 2010 meeting of CDEC 22, one of the agenda items was the proposed opening of an independent high school within the building. The response from the community and elected officials was a resounding rejection of this proposal. Many speakers, including the two of us, spoke adamantly in opposition. Additionally, there was full disclosure that the school’s administration had already begun the process of establishing an intermediate level NEST program, which would be fed by local elementary schools. As students from this area must currently travel either to downtown Brooklyn or Queens to attend a NEST program, the need for a southern Brooklyn location clearly meshed with the available space within IS 278. This program would fill a distinct void that exists within services for students who have special needs. At that time, no objections were voiced by DOE officials who were in attendance.
To briefly recap a small portion of the extensive history concerning this school, there was an attempt to place an elementary level charter school there in 2009. The community and all elected officials vehemently opposed this. Ultimately the Charter School did not open at I.S. 278. At that time, we were promised that the request for internal expansion that had been denied for several consecutive years would be back on the table. This, ín fact, did not happen, so the school came up with their “Plan B”, the NEST program.
We still stand by the many concems that were stated in 2009 as to why placement of an elementary would be inadvisable, and implore you to allow the NEST program to proceed, as planned.