July 8, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
The DOE has secured 40 additional pre-K spots at PS/IS 78 in the 2016/2017 school year, according to a statement from Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
“I’m pleased that after much advocacy and pushing from parents and my office, the DOE has confirmed that they have found room for an additional 40 pre-K slots at PS/IS 78 in Long Island City,” Van Bramer said in a statement Friday.
He added, “that is only the beginning of what we have asked for however and much more still must be done.”
The current waitlist for PS/IS 78 appears to be upwards of 70, based on conversations the LIC Post has had with waitlisted families over the past few days.
The Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment or inquiries about how and when parents could apply for these 40 new seats.
Following ongoing waitlists at local pre-K centers, the Gantry Parent Association launched a phone call campaign to push for more seats in the area. Some parents learned of the campaign’s partial success today.
“I had several people calling me and texting me today saying ‘I have got in,’” Jennifer Theien, president of the Gantry Parent Association. The parents were told that the children would be going to pre-K at PS/IS 78 on Center Boulevard, according to Theien.
Theien, whose child is number 76 on the waitlist, did not receive one of those calls but she is hopeful that more seats will become available by September.
“We have demanded that the remaining children on the wait list be accommodated and I believe this will happen in the near future,” Van Bramer’s statement continued. “And then once we have secured all the seats necessary for this year, the SCA and DOE must redouble their efforts to secure a permanent space for pre-K seats in LIC that does not strain resources at PS/IS 78.”