New Gifted and Talented Program Could Open in East Village

By Serena Solomon on February 20, 2013 3:47pm 

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EAST VILLAGE — A new gifted and talented program could be headed to an East Village elementary school this fall.

P.S. 15/The Roberto Clemente School, on East Fourth Street near Avenue D, could be the site of a new K-5 gifted program, provided there is strong demand for it, the Department of Education said.

"We strive to create more G&T seats around the city, and — if there is enough demand among qualifying students — we're excited to offer families in this community a new G&T option at P.S. 15," said Devon Puglia, a DOE spokesman.

The DOE will decide in March or April whether to move forward with the new program, which would join the only other district G&T program in the area, at P.S. 110/The Florence Nightingale School, just south of Delancey Street near the Williamsburg Bridge.

District 1 is also home to NEST+m, a citywide K-12 gifted school that does not give preference to local children.

Before deciding on P.S. 15, the DOE evaluated space throughout the district and spoke to local principals and parents, as well as District 1's Community Education Council.

Lauren Salmon, the literacy coach at P.S 15, said the school has already identified the necessary space should there be demand for the extra G&T class.

"P.S 15 is honored that it would be selected to host the program," she said, adding that the school is "a hidden gem" in the neighborhood.

Lisa Donlan, head of District 1's Community Education Council, said the choice made sense for several reasons.

"It meets all the criteria, and it is in a corner that is served by other elite programs — the NEST school and the Bard School," she said.

Families will learn in April whether their children qualified for a gifted and talented program, and applications to schools will be due April 19.

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