Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 6pm
Note: Naomi, Theresa, and representatives from the DOE including the District 4 Superintendent, Alex Estrella, attended this PA meeting to help explain the potential move of CPE II and new co-location in the Vito Marcantonio Educational Complex at 101st Street and 1st Avenue.
1. Naomi and the DOE representatives explained benefits of proposed move:
• The Vito Marcantonio Educational Complex has just the right amount of space to house all of CPE2, from pre-K through 8th grade at its current size. This means keeping CPE II at the 2 class on a grade model.
• The top floor of the building was once performing arts middle school for district four. It has a large space to hold art, music, and dance/movement classes
• The building has 2 more classrooms than we currently have, plus many half and quarter sized rooms that could be used to house services that currently work out of closets, hallways and shared spaces such as OT, PT, Speech and guidance
• More flexibility/time to use cafeteria as it hardly used by the other schools in that building (whereas now our elementary students need to all finish lunch by 11:45am)
• Auditorium and Dance rooms are used on occasion by Dream pre-K and NYC Autism Charter School .
• Spacious library. It is newly renovated, with a big tree in middle.
• More flexibility/time to use the gym as it is rarely used by the other schools in the building
• Two-level hydrophonic green house
• Many more bathrooms (Pre K & K have bathrooms inside classrooms)
• Several alcoves have sinks and could be our kitchen. The autism school has a kitchen and might share use of it.
• Teachers lounge has a full kitchen
• Meeting room for CPE2 parents
• Children’s Aid Society offers after-school programing
• There is a full-time nurse on site at the building. We hope that Children’s Aid Society or Mt. Sinai might open a full clinic there, but there is a population requirement. The space is there.
• Children’s Aid Society has a Parent Resource Program which offers resume writing, job preparation, job search services for parents
• CPE2 principal will have more autonomy in decision making (over food services, custodial services, etc.)
• We have opportunity to get a full-time librarian. Might be possible to get children’s aid or us to keep library open for additional hours.
• Art room is large and has smaller rooms around main space. One could be a dark room.
• Children’s aid society may offer services and after school programs to CPE2. They will continue to be in building to serve the school, plus their services to birth to two-year-olds in neighborhood.
2. CPE II and DOE administrators answered questions posed by parents/caregivers/staff:
Q: Is there any plan to expand the size of CPE 2?
A: There is not a plan to increase enrollment numbers of CPE2. Parents of PS 50 would be able to apply for any open seats in CPE 2, but there are other zoned schools within blocks of the building which could accommodate students from PS 50 as well. The new building is the right size for two classes per grade. No plan to expand size of CPE2, class sizes would not change.
Q: What will happen to current programs?
A: Current programs will continue if the school community feels that they should continue (i.e. Asphalt Green sports, Randall’s Island environmental projects, ice skating, etc.) Children’s aid society is in the building. They may offer additional programs. We probably could do more partnerships with Randall’s island. They have an obligation to work with district 4 schools. We can leverage that.
Q: How is the air quality at the new location?
A: Someone raised concern around the air quality and pollution in this area. Need to explore further. Nina lives nearby. She says that no one in her family has gotten sick. No one has any allergies.
Q: Will current school buses be able to accommodate the potential increase in ridership?
A: School bus routes will be based on who is qualified for busing. Probably won’t be known until summer. K-6 students will get busing or full fare passes. Grade 7 and 8 will get full fare metrocard if they live far enough away. It is easy to add bus stops in district 4. Not so easy farther away.
Q: Could we explore the possibility of a later school start time to accommodate the longer commute?
A: School start time is flexible, within guidelines. As early as 8 am and as late as 9 am start time is possible. This should be discussed, since many parents need to be at work by 9 am.
Q: What about the cafeteria offerings? Can we offer healthier lunches?
A: We will be able to choose our own school menu. Veggie menu, alternative menu, etc.
Q: Was this building was affected by hurricane Sandy?
A: No. In fact, it was a rescue site/shelter.
Q: Could this building be tested for lead, so that kids don’t need to carry drinking water to school?
A: All buildings have been upgraded, and water has been tested and remediation taking place before it is turned on. We will investigate the situation at PS 50.
Q: When will the scaffolding be removed from the building?
A: Construction on the PS 50 building is likely to continue for about two years. Construction is happening because facade was peeling in some locations. Now they have covered the facade to protect people until work is done. They will repair and replace facades The small children play yard will not be accessible until construction is finished. But there is a side yard that we could use in addition to the large play yard.
Q: What about crossing guards?
A: The number of crossing guards will stay the same. Currently there are three of them.
Q: What can we do to move this proposal forward?
A: Attend one of the upcoming February Joint Public Hearings:
Please let us know
if you are going to attend or wish to speak at the event
NOTE: It is only necessary to attend one of these.