If ever you doubted how serious the kid-crunch is getting in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, look no further than Cobble Hill’s beloved PS 29 elementary school, on Henry Street.
This year, the school had nearly 150 kindergartners, with only the budget for five kindergarten classes. That resulted in 28 to 30 kids per class, with a legal limit of 25, as set by the city Department of Education.
Principal Melanie Renarie Woods is nothing but resourceful. She found funding just this week to add a sixth kindergarten class. A lottery was held Tuesday morning to determine three to four kids from each class to be moved to the new classroom. So now, the number of kids per class is down to 23 or 24. Each kindergarten class has a full time teacher’s assistant, as paid for by the Parent Teacher Association.
The school was inundated this summer with new residents, many of whom are moving into the new 2- and 3-bedroom condominiums getting built around the neighborhood. One wonders what will happen as the new buildings continue to go up, such as the luxury apartments and town homes under construction at 340 Court Street, between Sackett and Union. That property is zoned for PS 29.
Also this year, Woods had to deal with parents lying on their registration about where they lived. At least one family was “thrown out,” after a full investigation revealed the child did not live in zone.
At PS 58, the school is also bulging, and has seven kindergarten classes with 24 children in each. The school does not have teacher’s aids for kindergarten, as the administration and PTA leadership was not in favor of such a move.