Legacy HS Students Ask DOE to 'Save Our School' at Union Square Walk-Out

By Andrea Swalec on February 1, 2012 8:54pm 

Nearly 100 students gathered in Union Square on Weds., Feb. 1, 2012, to ask the Department of Education to spare the school from closure.
Nearly 100 students gathered in Union Square on Weds., Feb. 1, 2012, to ask the Department of Education to spare the school from closure.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

UNION SQUARE — The city Department of Education will vote next week on whether to close a struggling Greenwich Village high school —  a proposed move that saw students walk out of class Wednesday to plead for the school's future.

Nearly 100 students from Legacy School for Integrated Studies on 34 W. 14th St. gathered in Union Square Wednesday afternoon to ask the Department of Education to keep the school open despite its poor marks.

Senior Janill Mateo, 17, who chanted "Legacy" and "save our school" along with the crowd in Union Square Park, said Legacy's attentive teachers helped her raise her grades. 

"I think instead of trying to close the school, [the DOE] should try to help it," she said. "I know with even a little bit of support, we can improve." 

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Sen. Tom Duane and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick penned a letter to the department urging it to reconsider the proposal.

The officials cited recent improvements at the school, which received an "F" on its most recent progress report and has a 43 percent graduation rate, according to InsideSchools.org. 

"We believe that the school community has recently made great strides in turning Legacy around and should be given the opportunity to make improvements," read the Jan. 31 letter to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

The DOE's Panel for Educational Policy will vote on the closure of Legacy and 24 other schools on Mon., Feb. 9. 

Janill Mateo, 17, said Legacy HS helped her raise her grades.
Janill Mateo, 17, said Legacy HS helped her raise her grades.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

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