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The city Department of Education (DOE) has finally revealed how it will utilize the new school building on East 107th Street in Canarsie.
The building at 965 East 107th Street, which cost $34.5 million to construct, will be home to two small schools – the Science and Medicine Middle School and the East Brooklyn Community High School.
It’s been a long road in the creation of the Science and Medicine Middle School.
“Last year, the [Community Education] Council had a bone of contention that a school program was being phased out,” School District 18 Community Superintendent Beverly Wilkins said. “That was the medical science program at Winthrop.”
When word spread that I.S. 232 the Winthrop at 905 Winthrop Street would close this June because of poor performance, parents immediately wondered what would happen to the school’s popular medical science program.
“There were many conversations about how could we continue the good work of that program,” Wilkins explained.
I.S. 232 Principal Ingrid Thomas-Clark teamed up with the school’s teachers, students and their parents to create a proposal for a new small school focused on medical studies.
This year, the DOE approved the plan for the Science and Medicine Middle School and decided to house it in the new building being erected on East 107th Street.
“It’s really a day of mixed emotions,” said Thomas-Clark, who will remain at I.S. 232 through June.
The new medicine middle school, for which Thomas-Clark will be principal, will maintain a strong math and science program and will expose students to the many career options in the medical industry.
“We’re going to have relationships with colleges and that’s really going to bring in the social science piece,” Thomas-Clark explained. “They’re going to have an internship with Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.”
Students will wear uniforms – but not the traditional kind.
“Everyone is going to be wearing scrubs including staff members because we are about working,” Thomas-Clark said.
The East Brooklyn Community High School will cater to “students who have been unsuccessful in other schools and are motivated to go back to school,” said Patrick McGillicuddy, the school leader.
“There are students who left school because they were pregnant. There are students who left school because they were harassed,” he explained.
There are six other high schools in New York City catering to similar student bodies.
“This is a school model that has been very successful,” McGillicuddy said.
The school will not maintain formal grades of nine to 12. Instead, it will accept students aged 16 to 20 and allow them to take classes together.
Considering the looser structure, students graduate after they’ve completed all necessary credits. That could be in two years or four years.
Students will also learn about possible careers.
“There’s a very strong internship program – law firms, mayor’s office, top designers,” McGillicuddy explained.
East Brooklyn Community High School will accept students from throughout the city.
“This seems like a school that we definitely need in this district because of the problems that we have,” said James Dandridge, president of District 18’s Community Education Council.
The DOE is expected to begin another round of middle and high school applications for students wishing to apply to these new schools. To remain updated on application deadlines, visit the DOE’s Web site, http://schools.nyc.gov.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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