Parents Demand Delay for Controversial School Co-Location Plan

By Nigel Chiwaya on August 20, 2013 7:31am 

 I.S. 52 Inwood — already home to a high school and a middle school— is one of two schools facing a second co-location from the Department of Education.
I.S. 52 Inwood — already home to a high school and a middle school— is one of two schools facing a second co-location from the Department of Education.
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DNAinfo/Paul Lomax

NORTHERN MANHATTAN — Parents are pushing back against the Department of Education's plan to put two additional schools into northern Manhattan school buildings next fall, asking a panel responsible for approving the process to put the brakes on it.

The District 6 Community Education Council issued a statement Monday asking the Panel for Educational Policy to yank scheduled discussion of the P.S. 192 and I.S. 52 co-location proposals off its October calendar, members said in a press release Monday.

The CEC — which covers parts of Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood — said it needed more time to meet with the community and determine the effects of the proposals before moving forward to a vote.

"Our goal is to ensure that no child's education is negatively impacted by these proposed co-locations in District 6," CEC members Miriam Aristy-Farer, Victoria Frye, Yuderka Valdez and Shenell Evans wrote in the release.

The group added: "Until schools open in September, it is impossible for our CEC to 'walk through' a school and complete the assessment required in order to advise the DOE, as required by state statute."

The co-locations, announced by the DOE at the Aug. 15 CEC monthly meeting, would place a new middle school in Harlem's P.S. 192 and a new high school in Inwood's I.S. 52. The proposed high school would be a six-year program that would allow students to graduate with a health science degree. The co-locations are scheduled to be voted on at PEP meetings on Oct. 15 and 30.

While the CEC acknowledges the need for a middle and high schools in the district, members have expressed extreme reservation about placing new schools in the existing buildings, some of which already contain co-located schools.

"Although adding middle and high school grades to D6 is important, these new co-locations will create “tri- located” buildings in our district, which has a history of unsuccessful and divisive co-locations," the CEC said.

The DOE did not respond to requests for comment at press time.

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