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PS 58's Pre-K Classes Slated For Move to Union Street, Principal Says

By Nikhita Venugopal | January 28, 2016 11:05am
 P.S. 58 The Carroll School in Carroll Gardens.
P.S. 58 The Carroll School in Carroll Gardens.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

CARROLL GARDENS — P.S. 58 will have its pre-K classes moved to an annex location on Union Street in hopes of easing overcrowding within the school's building, the principal said.

The Department of Education has identified a site at 131 Union St. near Columbia Street — about half a mile from P.S. 58 at 330 Smith St. 

"The big thing for next year is that our pre-K will have an off-site [location]," Principal Katie Dello Stritto told DNAinfo New York in an interview this week.

"I'm incredibly proud of our community."

Last fall, the school announced it would be "unlikely that P.S. 58  will be able to retail its three Pre-Kindergarten classrooms in the building for the 2016-2017 school year."

"I regret that we will need to either eliminate or move our Pre-K program out of the building; this move is necessary to meet the needs of our growing community," Dello Stritto said in a letter to parents dated Nov. 20.

The possible elimination of pre-K was first reported by the South Brooklyn Post last year.

The Union Street space will be able to hold two pre-K classes, the school said. It was not immediately clear how the third class would be taught.

P.S. 58 currently has almost 1,000 students, a number that's grown steadily from around 300 a decade ago as the kid-friendly neighborhood draws more families. 

The school has also taught a popular French dual-language program since 2007, which will continue for the coming years, Dello Stritto said. 

But overcrowding in upper classes at P.S. 58 has put a cap on the new families that can be accepted into the school.

Third and fourth grades — which have more than 30 students in each class — has been capped, meaning that there is no space for new students who move to the zone, according to Dello Stritto. They would reportedly be sent to P.S. 24 in Sunset Park.

The additional three pre-K classrooms in the P.S. 58 building will be used to expand upper classes, the principal said. 

The Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

School overcrowding has been a hot topic of conversation for parents in surrounding districts. The residential boom in Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO promises to bring thousands of new families to the swelled school system. 

Officials voted this month to rezone District 13's P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights to combat severe overcrowding at the school.

In District 15, Cobble Hill may see hundreds of new condo units constructed if high-rise residential towers are built at the former site of the Long Island College Hospital.

"As more residential construction keeps happening, we need to focus on ensuring that we have seats for the children," Dello Stritto said.

"I know this is not just a P.S. 58 problem. This is a District 15 problem. This is a New York City problem."