IS 278 was officially re-opened this morning after yesterday’s roof fire and overnight air quality testing There was a fear that there may of been leaking asbestos into the school after firefighters poked the roof.
Officials say plywood caught fire near a construction site on the roof of 278 7:40 a.m yesterday just as students were arriving.
After a two year fight, Councilman Lew Fidler announced today that IS 278 will, in fact, get the program that the school and community have asked for: the NEST program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This is a sharp turn around from a series of prior DOE proposals for other uses of available space at the school, each of which was fiercely opposed by the community.
Prior DOE plans included a charter school, a high school and an elementary school, each operating independently in the Intermediate School’s building. In response, the IS 278 community asked the Department to allow the school to run a NEST program. There are no other intermediate school NEST programs in the entirety of southern Brooklyn, forcing children with autism of middle school age to travel long distances to either northern Brooklyn or Queens. Often, the bus trip takes an hour and a half each way.
IS 278 Principal Debbie Garofalo identified the need for this program to come to Southern Brooklyn, and began the process of establishing the program at her school. Once the necessary evaluation work was done, it was determined that ~IEST would be a perfect fit to fill the void, white utilizing the available space most effectively.
“The dire need for this program, combined with the availabie space at the school, resulted in a win-win situation” Councilman Fidler said. “lt’s been a long and, at times, confrontational journey, and I am thrilled that the needs of the community are finaliy being given the credibility that’s desewed. Having worked closely with Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg and with my colleagues in government, I am thrilled that we have prevailed. This is truly a sweet victory. ” Fidler continued.
“Credit goes to our active and involved parents, to our dedicated school administration, to our local Community Education Council, to our local civic associations and community boards each of whom Worked for this together with my office and Assemblyman Alan Maisel, Senator Marty Golden and Congressman Anthony Weiner,” added Fidler. “Just as was the case with PS 114, this proves that DOE can, in fact, listen when you maintain a positive dialogue and you have merit to your case. I cannot express my gratitude strongly enough.
Assemblyman Maisel added, “I am very pleased that the NEST program has been approved for IS 278. A program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder is long overdue in our community. Credit for this amazing accomplishment goes to Principal Garofalo and Councilman Fidler for their foresight and diligence in bringing this to fruition. I also must commend the DOE for again proving that they are listening and responding to the needs of children in southern Brooklyn.”
The NEST program will open at IS 278 in September, 2012.
The students, their families and members of the Marine Park community had a great time at the Carnival on Thursday, March 10. The money raised will help provide the students with items not in the DOE budget. Thanks to all who braved the bad weather to make it so successful.
The annual I.S. 278 Carnival will be open to the Marine Park community on Thursday, March 10 from 6:00-8:30 PM. This event features over 20 game booths with hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and more also available for purchase. This an important fund-raiser for our local junior high school which helps provide many things for our students that our DOE budget cannot. Please come and enjoy an old fashioned evening out with your neighbors.
HLA Protest 2009 - Which brings the score Marine Park: 2 DOE: 0
Unofficial word is spreading that the parents, teachers, and Marine Park community have won yet another battle with the Department of Education. The DOE has pulledthe idea of putting the New American Academy or any school in Marine Park IS 278 for the upcoming school year.
We are told, that persistent parent and community pressure as well as strong letters from Anthony Weiner, Marty Golden, Lew Fidler, Alan Maisel, was the tipping point for the decision, made by Chancellor Black.
As of right now there is nothing officially planned for the September school year, so stay tuned.
Parents are preparing to fight the DOE’s decision to place the New American Academy inside Marine Park IS 278, instead of a NEST program.
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!!!
Hebrew Language Charter Academy Protest Outside Marine Park JHS - May 2009
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.