Pols, parents object to school co-location
by Patrick Kearns
Mar 14, 2017 | 958 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parents and elected officials in Rockaway are calling on the Department of Education to reject the co-location of a seventh educational facility at the former site of Beach Channel High School.

Currently, the site is home to Channel View School for Research, Rockaway Park High School for Environmental Sustainability, Rockaway Collegiate High School, PS 256, Alternate Learning Center, and ReStart Academy.

“This is not how school is supposed to be,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato outside a meeting of the 14-person Panel for Educational Policy at the school last week. “This idea of wedging another school in there to compete with existing schools is ridiculous, it's harmful and we want to draw a line in the sand.”

The panel will vote on the proposal on March 22.

Amato said seven schools at one location will create unnecessary competition for utilizing common spaces.

“We've heard that if this seventh school comes in, kids may literally be having lunch at 10 a.m.,” she said.

"Every parent wants access to the best education possible for their children,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo. “But before we add another charter school into the same building, we must address how it will impact class sizes, resources and the overall success for existing students.”

Parents with children in the six existing schools are also in staunch opposition.

“I fail to see the logic in adding a new, unproven school rather than expanding the successful programs already in place,” said Ann Marie Kirby-Payne. “Managing dismissals, lunch, gym, extracurricular activities, and school safety on a campus with six different schools is already a huge logistical challenge.”

“This proposal puts too much pressure on parents, students and staff,” added fellow parent Alison Kase.

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