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Two kindergarten classes to be added to PS 78 but fear of middle school truncation looms large

PS crowd

May 5, 2015 By Christian Murray

Two extra kindergarten classes are being added to PS/IS 78 that will cater to the 50-zoned children who were placed on a wait list.

Superintendent Philip Composto, who spoke in front of a packed auditorium at PS/IS 78Q last night, told parents that there would be six kindergarten classes up from the four at present. The school would then be able to meet the needs of up to 150 kindergarten students.

However, Composto warned that if 150 children applied for kindergarten again next year that there was the possibility that truncation would be required, where 6th, 7th and 8th grade students would be phased out of the middle school to cater to the growing number of younger children.

He said that if that occurred a discussion of truncation would begin in about March 2016.

“In 2009/2010 we had two classes for every grade,” Composto said. “Since then the number of children in the zone has increased by 174%.”

Composto assured parents with fifth graders that their children would be able to attend the middle school later this year and could stay there until they could completed 8th grade. However, for 4th graders he was less certain.

Philip Composto

Philip Composto

To avoid truncation construction of a new school would be needed, Composto said. He said that parents should fight to make sure that the Department of Education’s capital budget includes funding for a Long Island City school.

He said that there was a possibility for an interim solution where the Department of Education leases an existing building and then overhauls it to be a school. The cost would also come from the Department of Education’s capital budget.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who also spoke at the meeting, said: “It is an important victory that all the [kindergarten] children are able to go to school.”

However, Van Bramer said he opposed truncation.

“I do not support truncation,” he said. “We cannot let that happen and I will fight to the very end.”

Children express opposition to truncation

Children express opposition to truncation

 

 

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6 Comments

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David

Just take space from the high school. It seems most of the students there are imported from other neighborhoods, so local should be given priority. The local students tend to be in younger classes.

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PO

If you read between the lines, it looks like truncation is inevitable. Where in the world is the Dept. of Ed. going to find space to lease in THAT neighborhood? And how is this plan fair for those families with kids in the 2,3,4 grades? This is an asinine strategy that has not been thought through one bit. And JVB saying he will fight this all the way? What in the world does that mean? Less talk more action please!

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Blame Giuliani and Bloomberg

This fiasco reveals the deep problems with the gentrification model in New York. By throwing taxpayer subsidies to wealthy developers to build towers at this frenetic rate all over the neighborhood, no one ever thought beyond their collective shortsighted greed that actual people with actual kids would be living here. You know, people who need schools, a 21st century transit system that works well, and all kinds of retail and other vital services to support them. Here’s the lesson: you don’t build neighborhoods with $1 million condos, wine bars, doggy daycare, macaron shops, and 20 Asian fusion restaurants and ignore the essentials. That’s just stupid. Hopefully, enough people in the area will wake the hell up and demand that city officials actually provide the needed assets in LIC to make this a fully functioning neighborhood that lives up to the hype.

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David

Given that most of the units here are rented, not owned, I would characterize this as an “in transit” neighborhood, ie, one that people go to between moving in together/getting married and having school-age children. Therefore, it makes sense not to invest in increased schooling capacity on an assumption that every household will need access to a school. The problem is that too many are staying too long in the area. I’d rather see more services focused on the needs of DINK couples, eg, wine bars, doggy daycare, macaroon shops, and Asian fusion restaurants.

Once they breed, nothing is preventing them from moving out to the burbs to rear their young in a neighborhood geared more towards children.

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