BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A proposal to move a high-performing Crown Heights middle and high school to the Boys and Girls High School campus in Bedford-Stuyvesant is on hold, the Department of Education announced this week.
The proposal to co-locate Medgar Evers College Preparatory School to the Boys and Girls building at 1700 Fulton St. was withdrawn by the agency for the next school year, 2016 to 2017, according to an announcement on the DOE’s website.
The decision was made to allow additional community input regarding the co-location, the agency said in a statement, and to “avoid operational challenges of a two phase re-siting,” referring to a previous plan which would have moved middle schoolers from Medgar Evers Prep to Boys and Girls next fall, followed by high school students in 2017-2018.
The DOE said it plans to issue a new proposal soon to move all grades at once from Medgar Evers Prep to the Fulton Street building in 2017-2018, the agency said.
The change reflects concerns from community members who wanted the co-location to occur in one phase, said Community Education Council 16 President NeQuan McLean. Boys and Girls' Community Advisory Board has echoed the same sentiment, according to co-chair Albert Vann, former assemblyman and council member in the area, who has said a unified move would best serve the students.
The two schools share a leader, Dr. Michael Wiltshire, who was already serving as principal at Medgar Evers Prep when he was tapped to turn around the struggling Boy and Girls in 2014 as Master Principal.
He told parents then he planned to use the academic model at Medgar Evers Prep — where graduation rates are routinely above 90 percent — at the Bedford-Stuyvesant school, where only half of students graduated in the 2014-2015 school year, records show.
Wiltshire floated the idea for a merger in 2015, hoping that Boys and Girls’ low enrollment and surplus classroom space could help with overcrowding at Medgar Evers Prep, according to previous reporting by Chalkbeat New York.
A public hearing on the co-location previously scheduled at the Boys and Girls building Wednesday night has been canceled, the DOE and CEC 16 said, as have two other public hearings this month.
New dates for public hearings regarding the move will be scheduled when the new proposal is submitted, the DOE said.