Rose Saxe

Support PS 130 Upper and Lower School

Rose Saxe
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In September 2015, a new elementary and middle school at 701 Caton Avenue, K437, is expected to open its doors. The surrounding neighborhood welcomes the new school, which will relieve overcrowding in its existing elementary schools, specifically PS 130 and PS 154. K437 will have a set number of middle school and District 75 (special education) seats. Regardless of how the zone is drawn, those seats will not change.

Yet there is concern that the presence of K437 could negatively impact the population of the remarkably diverse, academically excellent Parkside School (PS 130) at 70 Ocean Parkway, which is just two blocks from K437 and thus most vulnerable to the rezoning that a new school will demand.

In the past three years, PS 130 has experienced a 35% increase in students, and thus a marked increase in average class size, staggered lunches beginning at 10:10 am, and a now-dire lack of space. The school has managed to flourish without a gym, library, art room, facilities for special-needs students, or sufficient meeting rooms for teachers. But PS 130 desperately needs space and resources with which to appropriately serve its ethnically, linguistically and economically diverse community. Because the school is so strong—with a visionary principal and assistant principal, excellent teachers, devoted staff, and an ever-growing PTA—it would only benefit from more space in which to grow.

We, the undersigned, support split-siting PS 130, instead of creating a stand-alone elementary school in the K437 building. Split-siting would prevent an unnecessary division of the existing PS 130 community. Split-siting has worked successfully at our neighboring school, PS 230, which has an annex for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and first-grade students. PS 130 is currently at 138% capacity and rapidly growing. Split-siting PS 130 would immediately relieve crowding issues. In contrast, a new stand-alone school would begin with just Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes, and thus would not meaningfully relieve overcrowding for a number of years. Split-siting would also allow rezoned PS 154 families who join PS 130’s thriving school community to immediately benefit from the new facilities.

We are confident that this model, which has worked so well for PS 230, would most effectively help PS 130, relieve overcrowding at PS 154, and benefit the entire community.

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