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Dozens Wait-listed After New Corona School Cuts 4 Kindergarten Classes

By Katie Honan | April 24, 2015 11:37am
 P.S. 330 will cut their classes from six to two next year, the DOE said
P.S. 330 will cut their classes from six to two next year, the DOE said
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

CORONA — Dozens of students were left on a waitlist at a public school built to alleviate overcrowding in the city's most jammed school district after kindergarten classes were cut from six to two, according to officials.

P.S. 330, at Northern Boulevard and 111th Street, is cutting four kindergarten classes and wait-listed 85 kindergartners zoned for the school because of "space constraints," the Department of Education said.

The school opened in September 2013 to serve the spillover of students from P.S. 133. It was a welcome addition to District 24, which is known as the "epicenter" of overcrowding in the city.

P.S. 330 can safely serve up to 600 kids, and there are 568 students enrolled in the school currently. But it's welcoming its first fifth graders this fall, adding five classes, so the city had to make room for them, according to the DOE.

"Our goal is to ensure we are doing whatever possible to accommodate every student in their zoned school," a DOE spokesman said, adding that the city plans to bring back two kindergarten classes at P.S. 330 after the 2015-2016 school year.

Some of the students who didn't get into P.S. 330 were selected to attend P.S. 315, a brand-new school opening in the fall at 96-18 43rd Ave. near Junction Boulevard, the spokesman said. 

The DOE plans to add 3,331 seats in District 24 by 2019, but some parents say it's still not enough to meet demand.

Earlier this month, parents rallied at P.S. 143, on 113th Street and 34th Avenue, with Sen. Jose Peralta to demand the DOE build a permanent addition at the school, where students have been learning out of trailers.

Families are especially frustrated by the kindergarten crisis at P.S. 330 because siblings are sometimes being separated, said Maria Urena, the school's PTA president.

Siblings do take priority during enrollment as long as they are zoned for the school, the DOE said.

But that isn't the case for Urena, whose daughter is attending P.S. 330 as a fifth-grader this fall, while her younger son will have to attend a different school for kindergarten, she said.

"It feels like [the city is saying], 'Yea, yea don't worry. We'll ship those kids somewhere,'" she said. "Kids can't wait for two years, parents can't wait for two years."