JACKSON HEIGHTS NY 11372 Map
PS 280 is a new school slated to open in District 30 in September, 2010. For its first year, PS 280 will admit students zoned for several overcrowded schools spread across Corona, East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, Queens. Beginning in 2011, the school will serve students in a newly established zone. PS 280 will open with classes in kindergarten and first grade and will expand by a grade each year until it reaches its capacity serving grades kindergarten through 5.
Located in Jackson Heights, the city's most diverse neighborhood, the school will be housed in the former Blessed Sacrament School building. The school's founding principal, Lenia Matias worked at PS 24 as a principal intern as part of her training at the New York City Leadership Academy, the Department of Education's training program for new principals.
In a telephone interview with Insideschools, Matias said that in developing the school she drew inspiration from the work of Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, who believed that learning should lead to action. "Students need to be given the opportunity to use their knowledge and the curriculum should reflect the students' values," said Matias.
A partnership with the Jackson Heights Beautification Group will help students apply their knowledge in the real world, according to Matias. Students will participate in activities sponsored by the organization including parades, publishing books of children's writing, and green initiatives to improve the local environment. College Board will provide instructional support through an online program that teachers can access to develop lessons.
Special education: PS 280 will serve students with special needs, but a final decision regarding class settings was not made as of the date of interview.
Admissions: For its first year only, priority will go to students zoned for PS 69, 92, 148, 149, 212 and 228. Starting with its second year, PS 280 will admit students residing in its new zone. Applications are available at any of the priority schools or by contacting the principal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due by April 23, 2010. (Laura Zingmond, telephone interview, March 2010).