Volume 20 Issue 17 | September 7 - 13, 2007

Back to School

School news briefs

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

P.S. 150 principal Maggie Sienna is welcoming two new teachers to the small Tribeca school.

By Jennifer Milne

P.S. 1
Amy Hom, P.S. 1’s principal, said more Lower East Side and Chinatown parents are choosing the school so almost all of the school’s variance applications were denied.

“The zoning children were the only children we were able to accept into the school,” she said. “My assumption is that there are a lot more children in the neighborhood.”

Built in 1897 and located on Henry St., P.S. 1 is Manhattan’s first public elementary school.

Hom said that while the school is retaining many of its arts programs, like ballroom dancing and chorus, it’s also working with an organization that brings classical music into the schools. Hom hopes to begin a collaboration program this year with the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue, located near the school.

As for the school’s enrollment, Hom said this is the first year that many of the children outside the school’s zoning area had their variance applications denied.

P.S. 89
Dennis Gault, P.S. 89’s P.T.A. co-president, is excited about his school project this year: He’s working to make P.S. 89 a “green” school, which includes using environmentally safe cleaning products, recycled paper products and HEPA filters for all the classrooms.

“It’s an idea that I had at the beginning of last year when I became P.T.A. co-president,” Gault said. “I’m a big believer in green concepts and ways of living. The battle to reduce class size absorbed most of the year last year, this year I agreed to come back and really want to focus on green initiative.”

Gault said things like green products and conservation of water will help the school go green, and that many parents feel strongly about green buildings, given the asthma rates in New York City.

“I think this will go a long way in reducing the effects of allergies and asthma,” Gault said.

The program will fit in with the school’s neighborhood, Battery Park City. All new buildings have environmentally-friendly features, but the school was built before the Battery Park City Authority adopted its green building requirements.

P.S. 150
P.S. 150, which said goodbye to two teachers in June, has hired two more. Principal Maggie Siena said Becky Randolph is teaching kindergarten and Rachel Tejada is teaching second grade. In addition, two other teachers have switched grades -- Marina Templeton to fourth, and Allison Silverman to fifth. Siena said the school is also continuing its “fantastic” enrichment programs.

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