Volume 22, Number 05 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 19 - 25, 2009
Education Dept.: Don’t believe what you read
“Anticipated Completion: November 2010,” reads the sign in front of P.S./I.S. 276, the new K-8 school rising in southern Battery Park City.
That date will come as a surprise to the many parents who have been watching the school’s progress closely and are expecting it to open as promised in September 2010, not November. But Will Havemann, spokesperson for the city Dept. of Education, said this week that there’s no cause for concern: The School Construction Authority sign is incorrect and the school will open on schedule, Havemann said.
The D.O.E. also had good news for parents earlier this month when they said the sixth grade at P.S./I.S. 276 would open in 2010. Previously, the D.O.E. had said the school would just have kindergarten and first grade classes in 2010, and the middle school would not open until those students reached sixth grade in 2015.
Jeff Mihok, who lives across from the new school, is glad the D.O.E. agreed to open the sixth grade earlier, but he wants a guarantee that local children will receive an admissions preference.
“We’re the ones who worked so hard to have the school built,” Mihok said. “It was supposed to be a neighborhood school in our neighborhood.”
Mihok’s oldest daughter is finishing fourth grade at P.S. 89, and he hopes she will attend sixth grade at P.S./I.S. 276 in 2010.
Havemann said the D.O.E. would decide on 276’s middle school admissions policy over the next year, working with the District 2 Community Education Council. Most middle schools have no geographic preference, yet they end up filling with local students anyway through self-selection, Havemann said.
Part of the reason Downtown parents want a middle school with preference for their children is that the neighborhood’s zoned middle school, Baruch, is up on E. 21st St., a particularly long trek from southern B.P.C.
— Julie Shapiro