Plans Approved for Harlem Schools to Share Space
By Jeff Mays
HARLEM — Two plans for Harlem schools to share space and another for a school to expand were approved Thursday night by the Panel for Educational Policy.
Teachers College Elementary School will be temporarily located at P.S. 133 at Fifth Avenue and East 130th Street starting in the fall. In addition, Harlem Success Academy 5 will add an additional grade at P.S. 123 Mahalia Jackson, located at 301 West 140th St.
Another proposal that would place a GED Plus program at Harlem Renaissance High School at 22 East 128th St. was also approved.
There is concern about the plans involving P.S. 133 and P.S. 123. Parents and educators at P.S. 123 say that by allowing Harlem Success Academy 5 to add a second grade class there, the school will lose valuable space to accomodate growing demand for middle schools in the area.
City Councilwoman Inez Dickens and District 5 Community Educational Council President Dianne Johnson both come out against the proposal.
Eva Moskowitz, founder of the Success Charter Network, was unavailable for comment.
Parents and Community Board 9 members are upset that Teachers College Elementary will be temporarily co-located at the East Harlem School. The school is part of a benefits package that Columbia University negotiated with the West Harlem community as part of its $6.3 billion, 17 acre Manhattanville campus expansion.
Parents say it will be difficult to transport kindgergarten-aged students across Harlem. They are also upset at changes recently announced by the Department of Education and Teachers College that the school will now only serve K-5 students instead of K-8, and will accept applicants from just a portion of Community Board 9’s territory.
Last night's PEP hearing was also the first for new Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.