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The city is no longer considering housing a transfer school in I.S. 211 in Canarsie.
The DOE initially planned to house the transfer school, dubbed the East Brooklyn Community High School, in the new school building opening this fall at 965 East 107th Street. But when residents objected to using the building as a high school since it was advertised as an elementary and junior high school prior to construction, the DOE considered placing the school in I.S. 211 on East 100th Street.
Politicians, parents and I.S. 211’s staffers criticized the move, saying middle school−aged children have no business being in the same building as high school students.
Now, it seems, the DOE is back to its original proposal of opening East Brooklyn Community High School in the East 107th Street building (also home to the Science and Medicine Middle School).
However, that is not set in stone either.
“We have not made a final decision. We are continuing to meet with community leaders about the location of the school and hope to have a final decision soon but we don’t yet,” a DOE spokesperson explained.
James Dandridge, president of School District 18’s Community Education Council (CEC), said he has “mixed emotions” about the transfer school possibly opening on East 107th Street.
“It gives those who want a second chance an opportunity to continue their education and get into the work force which is a great idea,” he said. “The only issue that I have is the placement of the school in an environment that I feel is not conducive to the community. It should be in a more advanced environment, maybe a college setting or a high school setting.”
Canarsie residents feared the high school’s presence on East 107th Street would bring “more violence, more crime, more drugs.”
Patrick McGillicuddy, the school leader for the East Brooklyn Community High School, says the school would cater to “students who had difficulty in their life at some point but are motivated to come back to school.” There are six other high schools in New York City catering to similar student bodies.
“Most of our schools have no safety incidents,” he says.
The DOE has said that it doesn’t want to open an elementary school in the East 107th Street building because “there are nearby elementary schools that are well under capacity and we worry that opening yet another elementary school in that neighborhood will draw down enrollment at these nearby schools even further.”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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