Thursday, February 11, 2010

Girls Prep Charter Invasion: The Battle for the Lower East Side Begins NOW

In case you didn't know, the same money is behind Girls Prep as is behind Pave in Red Hook with Spencer Robertson's wife being on the board. As is true with many charters, kids are bused in from outside the school zone. Graphics added by Ed Notes and are NOT part of the press release.

GEM and CAPE will be there to support our colleagues. Will you?


Councilwoman Mendez, PS94 (D75) PS/MS 188M To Protest New NYC DOE Girls Prep Charter Plans

- New DOE Proposal for Girls Prep Charter Middle School to Squeeze an additional 300 students into the PS 188M building at the Expense of District One Students-

- New Proposal Hurts PS 94M and PS/MS 188M -

- 4:30pm Protest, 5:00pm Press Briefing, and 6:00 Public Hearing will be on

Thursday, February 11 –

- Parents from District One Invited. Your School May Be Next!-

February 10, 2010, New York, NY – New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and the Parent Association Presidents of PS 94M and PS 188M today announced that they will speak out against New York City Department of Education’s revised plans to allow the Girls Preparatory School (“Girls Prep”) to expand. The new middle school will take more space inside the PS 188M building which Girls Prep currently shares with PS/MS 188M and PS 94M (a District 75 school). This plan does not address NYCDOE-identified shortage of space for District One’s Special Education students requiring 6:1:1 classrooms.

The 4:30pm protest and 5:00pm press briefing will precede the 6:00pm public hearing -- all scheduled for Thursday, February 11, 2010 at PS 188M to discuss this revised plan. People who wish to sign up for the hearing can do so from 5:30 - 6:30pm that evening.

City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, whose district includes the PS 188 building, said: “This plan causes a serious disruption to two schools that overwhelmingly serve low-income neighborhood youth. The expansion of a charter school should not come at the expense of any student, but especially those who face special challenges in a District 75 school.” She added, “I strongly disagree with the Department of Education’s (DOE’s) assessment that these buildings are underutilized. I fail to see how the additional classrooms necessary for Girls Prep to expand to include a middle school could be physically accommodated in PS 188. Nor can I support the sacrifice of educational quality and spacing needs at existing schools in order to make that happen.”

“PS/MS 188M, a K-8 school, and Girls Prep Charter Elementary School have developed a good relationship over the past few years. But we do not have space for another middle school with 300 students, said Yvonne Walker, PS/MS 188M Island School Co-PA President. She added, “Our school has very high numbers of special education students. Right now, we do not have space for the Individualized Education Programs (IEP)-mandated services like Speech & Language Therapy, Counseling and Occupational Therapy. Right now, our children eat in the Lobby. Right now, we do not have adequate gym space, and afterschool space. It’s frustrating for us as parents. PS/MS 188 was praised by Chancellor Klein in his Principal’s Weekly Memo as a high-needs school that not only earned an “A” on its Report Card, but has excellent arts and technology programs. Yet, the addition of a new Middle School in this building jeopardizes the programs that led to this success. What’s horrifying is the plan will put more people in the building than the Occupancy Certificate allows. For all these reasons, our parents are outraged at the DOE’s plan to add a Middle School with 300 students into our building.”

Jessica Santos, PA President and School Leadership Team Member of PS 94M – a District 75 school for children with special needs and whose children at the PS/MS 188 building are all autistic, said, “Our students are different but not less. Special education students deserve the same space and resources as their peers have in order to receive a proper education. We are against the new DOE plan to add 300 more Girls Prep Middle School students into our building especially at the cost of essential services and enrichment opportunities that are mandated on our children’s IEPs. These kids need the technology lab, sensory room and inclusion with general students in order to improve and strengthen their learning and social/emotional growth.”

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Santos for PS 94M, or (718) 664-7345

Yvonne Walker for PS/MS 188M, or (917) 653-6755

Barbara Sherman for Rosie Mendez, or (212) 677-1077

Additional Information

Written comments with respect to the NYCDOE revised proposed plan can be sent to 52 Chambers Street Room 320 New York, NY 10007 Telephone: (212) 374-0209 Fax: (212) 374-5588. Oral comments can be left at (718) 935-4415.


  1. I knew I could count on you Norm. Thanks for getting the word out.

  2. I'll be there by 6pm. Make sure to say hello. I'll do some taping.

  3. We look forward to being at 188 with everyone tomorrow! We all stand united and will continue our fight until we are heard (hear 'dat DOE?!).


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