These kids may get a neighborhood middle school
Photo by Joshua Kristal
Some parents and the PS 32 Elementary School staff will be celebrating: PS 32 is in the clear. A new middle school/high school is coming to Carroll Gardens/Gowanus, but it will not be located in the PS 32 elementary school at Hoyt, between Union and President.
At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced that the New York City Department of Education is no longer pursuing the temporary relocation of Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, a new middle school/high school, to PS 32, a move that would have threatened the continued success of a pioneering program for high-performing autistic kids, the ASD NEST program, that takes place in the red trailers behind PS 32 elementary school. The move would have added 300 kids from grades 6,7 and 8 to the elementary school, and also would have displaced two excellent public preschool classrooms located at PS 32 (disclosure: my daughter attends preschool at PS 32).
Many kids and families are affected by this. To read more about the elementary school and the new middle school coming to our neighborhood, read our analysis here.
The announcement comes after two days of swift and loud action by parents and staff at PS 32, and by local elected officials including City Councilman Brad Lander and state Sen. Daniel Squadron. A barrage of media coverage (the first story ran late Monday in South Brooklyn Post) on Tuesday certainly played a role.
“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,” 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.”
The ASD NEST program launched at PS 32 and is copied in 20 schools throughout the city. It is the only public school program for high functioning children with autism.
More on education:
DOE announces moving middle school into PS 32
The Kindergarten Crunch looks at shrinking space for preschoolers and kindergartners in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill.
New French Program to Launch looks at second french-immersion in Carroll Gardens/Gowanus area. PS 133 to move to newly renovated elementary school building at Fourth Avenue and Baltic in September 2012.