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City to close 12 schools; more to come

A dozen schools on a list of 47 targeted as "struggling" earlier this fall are now slated for closure, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said today, with more school closures to be announced tomorrow.  The all-boys Academy for Business and Community Development, where only one of 16 seniors is on track to graduate this year, will close outright at the end of this school year.  The 11 others will not accept new incoming classes of students and will be phased out more slowly.

Three other schools will remain open but will lose their middle schools, including one which was one of the most sought-after in the district, PS 161 in Crown Heights. All closures are subject to approval by the Panel for Educational Policy which, in the past, has approved nearly all of the DOE's proposals.

Of the five charter schools that the Education Department identified as struggling, three will be monitored closely -- Academic Leadership Charter School, Bronx Academy of Promise and Future Leaders of America -- until their five-year charters come up for renewal. The fate of Opportunity Charter, the site of recent rallies by community members and parents fighting to keep it open, and of Peninsula Preparatory Academy, will be decided after their charter renewal hearings on Dec. 15, Walcott said.

The DOE will make a decision about Williamsburg Charter High School -- which has been plagued with stories of financial mismanagement --"pending Board action and adherence to the Corrective Action plan."

The New York French American Charter School was put on probation, with a notice citing safety concerns, including a a parent volunteer who was spending nights at the school; the lack of a parent organization and many uncertified teachers. In a Nov. 25 comment on Insideschools, a3rd grader reported that she feels unsafe because  "boys throw desks" at the school.

With the exception of Jane Addams High School, a large vocational school in the Bronx, most of the schools slated for closure are small new schools, some of which replace schools which were closed for poor performance. The Middle School for the Arts, opened in 2004, replacing MS 391. One of the three zoned elementary schools to be closed is General D. Chappie which opened in 2008, to place failing PS 183.  Legacy High School's poor performing middle school was closed in 2006.

Of the 12 schools, three are elementary, five are high schools, three are middle schools and one is a 6-12 secondary school.  None of the 12 are in Queens, one is in Staten Island, two are in Manhattan, three are in the Bronx and nine are in Brooklyn.

Walcott said the decisions were made "after two months of conversations with school leadership teams, parents and communities, and a close examination of the academic performance and environment in struggling schools." He said these decisions are "never easy" but "we have a responsibility to provide students with better options." See the DOE's list below and stay tuned for more school closings to be announced tomorrow.

The 12 schools proposed for phase-out are:

District

School Name

Grade Level

District 14

P.S. 019 Roberto Clemente

Elementary

District 23

General D. Chappie James Elementary School of Science

Elementary

District 31

P.S. 014 Cornelius Vanderbilt

Elementary

District 2

Legacy School For Integrated Studies

High school

District 3

Manhattan Theatre Lab High School

High school

District 8

Gateway School For Environmental Research and Technology

High school

District 8

Jane Addams High School For Academic Careers

High school

District 17

International Arts Business School

High school

District 13

Satellite Three

Middle

District 17

Middle School For The Arts

Middle

District 32

J.H.S. 296 The Anna Gonzalez Community School

Middle

District 13

Academy Of Business And Community Development

Secondary

The 3 schools proposed for middle school truncation are:

 District

School Name

Grade Level

District 17

P.S. 161 The Crown

K-8

District 11

Academy For Scholarship And Entrepreneurship

Secondary

District 23

Brooklyn Collegiate: A College Board School

Secondary

Last modified on Thursday, 08 December 2011 14:55

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