The community can breathe a sigh of relief as the Dept. of Education agrees to open a new middle school in District 2
Last Friday, East Side officials announced that the Department of Education (DOE) had agreed to meet longstanding community demands and create a badly-needed new middle school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The school, located in the annex of P.S. 158 on York Avenue, will open in 2014 and provide a significant number of new seats to help alleviate middle school crowding and provide more options for East Side families.
The new middle school will occupy the upper floors of the Bayard Taylor School — which was previously the site of East Side Middle School, before it moved to a new location in 2009, and an elementary school, P.S. 267, before it also relocated to a new site in 2012. The announcement was made at a press conference, where elected officials were joined by parents and community leaders.
“This is a great day for parents and young people on the Upper East Side, who will be able to look forward to a brand new middle school in the P.S. 158 building in 2014,” said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney. “Parents have been clamoring for new middle school seats to reduce overcrowding and serve the growing numbers of Upper East Side children who want to attend a public middle school in this community. This success is due to cooperation among parents, elected officials and the Department of Education, and DOE deserves an A plus for responding promptly to our concerns.”
“Today’s announcement is one of those great occasions when the community speaks and local government hears them loud and clear,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “School overcrowding is a serious problem on the Upper East Side, and we have been persistently calling on DOE to give us a new middle school in this neighborhood, to prevent the kind of crunch we’ve seen previously with elementary school enrollment. Chancellor Walcott and DOE listened, and I want to thank them for working with us. Our hard work has now paid off, and I want to especially thank the parents who worked so hard to get this done. They and their children are the biggest winners of all.”
“I’m thrilled that we will be opening this new middle school, taking another step toward fulfilling our commitment to quality public education by adding middle school seats desperately needed on the Upper East Side,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “I thank the Department of Education for decisively responding to the community’s call for this new school, and I hope that it is a sign that the Department of Education will continue to target resources toward the real needs of our communities rather than projects pushed by outside groups.”
“Today is a great day for Upper East Side kids. A year ago, I joined thousands of parents in petitioning the Department of Education to establish a new middle school at the P.S. 158 Annex,” said Assembly Member Micah Kellner. “I’m thrilled the DOE heeded our call and is creating a new middle school to help alleviate overcrowding. When parents, community leaders and the DOE work together, everyone gets to the head of the class.”
“I’m pleased that the DOE has been responsive to local concerns about middle school seats. It’s clear that we’re at the beginning of an uptick in middle school enrollment in our area and the DOE is rightly addressing the problem before it becomes serious,” said Assembly Member Dan Quart. “This is just a first step, however. Upper East Side parents are not satisfied with the current middle school options and ten additional classrooms are, at best, a stopgap measure. I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the DOE and other local elected officials to identify opportunities to create new school communities in our neighborhoods to ensure that all parents will be able to choose excellent elementary and middle schools near their homes.”
“We have been fighting to keep up with elementary school demand, and did not want to repeat that process in middle school. There was a strong case for a new middle school on the Upper East Side, and the DOE listened,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick. “New York City parents deserve good public school options in their own neighborhoods, and despite months of wrangling, this was an easy call.”
“As a public school mom, elected official, and a long time advocate for more middle school seats, I am incredibly proud of this victory,” said Council Member Jessica Lappin.
“We’re thrilled to announce a new Upper East Side middle school to open in the fall of 2014. For months we have been engaging with elected officials, community leaders, and parents, so we can best serve the needs of students in this neighborhood. We sought feedback — and we listened. We’re excited to provide this new option to families,” said Deputy Chancellor for Portfolio Planning Marc Sternberg.
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