Local Parents, Students, Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato Hold Press Conference Objecting to Collocation of Seventh School in Building Q410
New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities IV would join Channel View School for Research, Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability, Rockaway Collegiate High School, PS 256, Alternate Learning Center – Beach Channel Educational Complex, and ReStart Academy
Parent leaders from among the six schools already sited inside Building Q410 held a press conference with State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway) today, coming out strongly against the proposed collocation of a seventh school in the Q410 building, citing excessive space constraints, competition for scarce resources, and the “much easier, much more sensible” solution of allowing existing schools in the complex to grow to fill usable space.
Parents spoke to the impact the collocation has had and would continue to have on their children, and gave examples of how the competition for common resources is already making the school experience for their children absurd. Pheffer Amato presented a letter to New York City’s Panel for Educational Policy (which makes school siting decisions) and NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, originally released on Monday, formally objecting to the proposed collocation and calling for its cancellation.
“Here's what we want to tell the DOE, the Commissioner, the Mayor, and the Panel for Educational Policy: This is not how school is supposed to be,” said Pheffer Amato. “We're not taking a stand on charters or any of the school choice politics. But when there's space in a school and demand for seats, you let the school that's already there grow. This idea of wedging another school in there to compete with existing schools is ridiculous, it's harmful, and we want to draw a line in the sand. We don't want that for our students, our teachers, or our community.”
"Let's be perfectly clear: every parent wants access to the best education possible for their children. But before we add another charter school into the same building, where you already have six other competing schools, we must address how it will impact class sizes, resources and the overall success for existing students," said Senator Addabbo.
“This proposal puts too much pressure on parents, students and staff,” said Alison Kase, a parent from Channel View. “The later start time would be a detriment for parents’ professional commuter time, lunch changes create an unnecessary sensory challenge for ASD students, and space reductions would remove relied-upon resources that would begin unraveling the success of Channel View.”
“I fail to see the logic in adding a new, unproven school rather than expanding the successful programs already in place,” said Ann Marie Kirby-Payne, a parent from Channel View. “Managing dismissals, lunch, gym, extracurricular activities, and school safety on a campus with six different schools is already a huge logistical challenge.”