New Elementary School P.S. 267 Opens on the Upper East Side
By Gabriela Resto-Montero
UPPER EAST SIDE — As far as omens go, the cockroach that snuck into 5-year-old Gabriella Ramos' first day of school pictures at P.S. 267 Wednesday was a little unusual.
But where Gabriella saw a creepy crawly, her mom saw a sign for a good school year.
"Since she was 15-months-old she's said that she wanted to be an entomologist," Kimberly Ramos said. "This is hands-on learning."
P.S. 267 is the newest school on the Upper East Side and it opened its doors to its first three Kindergarten classes on Wednesday. It's also called the East Side Elementary School and is sharing space with P.S. 158 at 1458 York Ave.
The school will focus on science, math, literacy, social studies and the arts, said Medea McEvoy, the school's principal.
The school will start with three Kindergarten classes of between 20 and 25 students, then move to the former Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat building at 213 East 63rd St. when the current tenant there, P.S. 59, moves back to its location at East 56th Street.
Opening a new school with new teachers will give parents and students the opportunity to define the school's values, McEvoy said.
"There was no last year, and so it's a really incredible time to come together," said McEvoy, who previously served as the Department of Education's Executive Officer for Instruction.
"We're very excited," said Ramos, who chose to enroll Gabriella at the school, despite it being 10 blocks from their home, because it was brand-new.
"How often do you get to say you were the very first class?" she said.
Parents who were wait-listed for neighborhood schools this year lobbied the Education Department to be able to rank their alternate school placements in the spring.
As a result, some of the new students at P.S. 267 live in areas zoned for other schools.
Twins Evan and Remi Young, 4, were zoned for P.S. 290 at 311 East 82nd Street, but didn't get in there.
"We're a little anxious because we really don't know anything," said their mother, Keri Young.
Some parents were cautious about the new school.
"The whole process was nerve-wracking but I guess it all worked out in the end," said Darin Cohen, whose daughter, Alana Cohen, 5, was starting Kindergarten at the school.
"You hope that they get it right."