The New American Academy is an experiment in class sizes, which hopes will change how students learn and how teachers are trained. Four teachers are assigned to sixty students in one large, open classroom. Which works out to be about one teacher to roughly twenty-five children, in the New York Times example.
In past meetings with the CDEC and the DOE , parents made clear that another school wasn’t wanted; they wanted a highly specialized NEST program for higher functioning children with autism spectrum disorders. Only one other Nest program of it’s kind exists in Brooklyn.
The reason the DOE chose the New American Academy:
The primary components of the New American Model are: a 15:1 student to teacher ratio with flexible grouping for instruction and opportunites for collaboration through modeling techniques; a career ladder where teachers are designated as Master, Partner, Associate, or Apprentice teachers, depending on expertise and experience, with opportunity for advancement and adult-mentorships amongst the teachers; looping, where teacher teams teach the same group of children from kindergarten through fifth grade; 90-minute daily collaborative planning time for teachers, and in some cases a trilingual language model where students are exposed to three languages beginning in kindergarten.
The DOE is only placing this school inside IS 278 because the school is at 79% capacity, or in DOE speak, 79% utilization. Currently, IS 278 enrolls about 990 students with the capacity to serve 1,309 students. When both schools have full enrollment combined in 2016-2017, estimated enrollment amounts to 1,255 – 1,315 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, plus 18 students in pre-kindergarten. At that point, the projected utilization for K278 would be 101%.
The New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) is proposing to site New American Academy 2 (22K144, “NAA2”), a new DOE district public school that would serve students in kindergarten through fifth grade at scale, in building K278 (“K278”), located at 1925 Stuart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11229, in Community School District 22. NAA2 would be co-located in K278 with J.H.S. 278 Marine Park (22K278, “J.H.S. 278”), an existing DOE district middle school that serves sixth through eighth grade. A “co-location” means that two or more school organizations are located in the same building and may share common spaces like auditoriums, gymnasiums, libraries, and cafeterias
Parents and the community are gearing up for March 14 at Marine Park Junior High School. According to one parent:
We have won the last two battles when they tried to put another school in IS 278, but this is the “WAR” and we will win. Let’s all come together on this for the sake of our children and our community!!! Let’s remember what the Mayor has forgotten — we are a democracy, not a dictatorship!!!
Educational Impact Statement
Sharing Your Concerns and Questions
The DOE is seeking your feedback.
In addition, parents, staff, and other community members may submit questions and comments at any time:
Joint Public Hearing
Date: March 14, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: J.H.S. 278 Marine Park, 1925 Stuart Street, Brookyn, NY 11229
Panel for Educational Policy Vote on the Proposal
Date: March 23, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Brooklyn Technical High School, 29 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217
For more information, see the PEP website.