DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Do kids living in District 13 need a new charter school?
One Manhattan dad thinks so. Matthew Levey, father of three, plans to open The International Charter School of New York (ICS) In Downtown Brooklyn in time for the 2014 school year.
"There are no shortage of parents in the neighborhood who are asking for more school options for their children," he said. "There are more than 15,000 children on wait lists for charter schools in central Brooklyn."
Levey's charter school would accept 100 kindergarten and first-grade students in the first year.
The former diplomat for the U.S. State Department also believes that New York City students need a more global curriculum than most schools are currently offering.
"Most public schools are so overwhelmed with standards that students don't benefit from their very diverse New York City classrooms," he said. "There are parents and students from all different backgrounds and we need to do a better job at addressing and learning from those differences."
Levey is working hard to get the word out about his school and seek community support for its opening.
He has met with Community Board 2 members and several parent groups to get feedback and is open to one-on one meeting with local parents. He has also started a petition in hopes of getting 1,000 signatures of support for his school. He currently has 134 signatures.
One supporter, Ms. Chrystel Garipuy, was excited about the potential of the International Charter School.
"We need more good (and free) schools!" she wrote. "Brooklyn does not currently offer this option to parents who cannot afford private schools and [we] are getting very stressed."
Levey filed a letter of intent for the new charter school to the State University of New York and will submit a full proposal by the April 15 deadline.
He said he hopes that parents can get behind a new school option that prepares children for an increasingly international world.
“The world is becoming a smaller place,” he said. “It is important that children begin to understand each other’s cultures.”