75 Morton Meeting Tonight at PS 234

Rendering of the 75 Morton St. middle school (courtesy: John Ciardullo Associates/75 Morton Community Alliance)

Rendering of the 75 Morton St. middle school (courtesy: John Ciardullo Associates/75 Morton Community Alliance)

A critical meeting of the District 2 Community Education Council is being held tonight, Tues. Mar. 15, at 6:30PM in the auditorium of PS 234, to discuss zoning proposals for the new middle school at 75 Morton. There are two proposals at hand: one that includes the catchment zones of PS 276, PS 89, and PS 234 as well as the six elementary school zones north of Canal along the west side, and one whose southernmost boundary stops at Canal (“A New Middle School Is Coming: Will Downtown Kids Get to Go?Tribeca Trib, Mar. 13, 2016).

Currently, the zoned middle school for Lower Manhattan residents is Simon Baruch Middle School on E. 21st St. and 1st Ave. Because this is so far away, most Downtown children follow the middle school “choice” route. The D2CEC is striving to give its families a viable zoned option, and it needs your support. If this is important to you, please come to tonight’s meeting and sign up to speak and voice your preference for the inclusion of Lower Manhattan in the zone. This will be the final public discussion of the zoning issue.

For further reference, see “Here’s What You Need To Know About the New Middle School at 75 Morton St.DNAInfo, Mar. 13, 2016.

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CB1 Meeting Tonight on New Public School

Following last month’s announcement of a new 476-seat public elementary school to be built in the Financial District, Community Board 1 will be holding a public hearing this evening at 6PM at 1 Centre Street, probably in the Borough President’s conference room on the south side of the 19th floor. The public comment period is open for 45 days after this meeting.

New Elementary School Coming to FiDi

Two years after announcing the construction of a new elementary school in Lower Manhattan (which was down from an earlier pledge of two schools), last night Community Board 1 announced that a location for the new school finally had been sited. 77 Greenwich Street, at Trinity Place and Edgar Street, will be a new mixed-use development by Trinity Place Holdings Inc., with the school presumably occupying the lowest floors. Design is expected to be completed by this summer.

The full text of the press release is here:

The New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) has reached a framework deal with Trinity Place Holdings Inc., an integrated real estate investment company, for a new elementary school. The site at 77 Greenwich Street will include approximately 476 new elementary school seats to serve School District 2. Design of the school space is expected to be completed by early Summer of 2016, with a school entrance off of Trinity Place.

 

Working with elected officials and community advocates, the SCA committed to identifying an appropriate location for a new school south of Canal Street, which would fulfill need in the Tribeca/Village sub-district, as outlined in the Fiscal Year 2015-2019 Five Year Capital Plan.

 

The site for the new school came as a recommendation by community leaders and parents. The school will be included within Trinity Place Holdings Inc.’s new mixed-use development, at the site of the former Syms Clothing Store and the City-landmarked Robert and Anne Dickey House.

 

“Our strong partnership with local leaders to find and secure additional seats for our City’s students has continued with great success”, said Lorraine Grillo, President and CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority. “I am proud of the tremendous work that we have done to get to the solid framework needed to advance this project. With this framework deal, the developer and SCA will move forward with this exciting project and work as quickly as possible to bring on additional seats to another neighborhood in our five boroughs.”

 

“Trinity Place Holdings Inc. is proud to be part of bringing a much needed new public school to Lower Manhattan,” stated Matthew Messinger, President & CEO of Trinity Place Holdings Inc. (NYSEMKT: TPHS), owner and developer for the 77 Greenwich Street project. “This part of Manhattan will be completely transformed and enlivened by hundreds of school children, new residents, street retail and the newly created and landscaped Elizabeth Berger Park just south of the school’s front door.”

 

“This is a victory for parents and children in Lower Manhattan, which has quickly become one of the most attractive places for New Yorkers to live, work and raise their families,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “As a longtime member of the School Overcrowding Task Force, I am particularly happy that the City is now moving forward with plans for a new school at Trinity Place and Edgar Street that will provide much-needed seats for our growing residential neighborhoods downtown. I thank the School Construction Authority, my fellow elected officials, community leaders and parents for putting our children first by helping us secure another great school for Lower Manhattan.”

 

“Today is a big step in the community’s long push for a simple idea — school capacity should grow as a neighborhood grows, not after a crisis has hit,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “The Trinity Place school will expand upon the great communities that PS/IS 276 Battery Park City, Spruce Street and Peck Slip schools, as well as PS 234 and PS 89, have built. I look forward to continuing to work on solutions to school overcrowding in lower Manhattan through the School Overcrowding Task Force — the work of which has been a big part of these successes — along with my colleagues. I thank the School Construction Authority, Department of Education, Community Board 1, the District 2 CEC, and parent leaders.”

 

“It’s great to see the School Construction Authority making good on its commitment to add elementary school seats in Lower Manhattan, one of our fastest-growing neighborhoods,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I will continue to work with this administration to alleviate school crowding and add seats in neighborhoods that need them.”

 

“I am thrilled that there is a commitment to build a new school serving Lower Manhattan,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “I have heard from concerned parents about the serious school over-crowding in this rapidly-growing neighborhood for years, and joined with my fellow elected officials, Community Board 1 and many local residents to call for new school seats to alleviate this problem. This announcement is one more step towards improving our children’s educational experience. Thank you to the School Construction Authority, Trinity Place Holdings, and all of the parents and advocates for their work on this critical issue.”

 

As part of the overall development, Trinity Place Holdings Inc. will be seeking New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission actions for the Robert and Anne Dickey House, which is intended to be used by the elementary school in the development.

 

This new site is in addition to the existing pipeline of new capacity projects completed or in progress to alleviate existing overcrowding and accommodate future growth.

The School Construction Authority was established by the New York State Legislature in December 1988 to build new public schools and manage the design, construction and renovation of capital projects in New York City. The SCA’s mission is to design and construct safe, attractive and environmentally sound public schools for children throughout New York City. We are dedicated to building and modernizing schools in a responsible, cost-effective manner while achieving the highest standards of excellence in safety, quality and integrity.

 

Parent Report: Teachers College Workshop

Once again this year, our teachers are participating in the Professional Development program at Teachers College, the graduate school of education at Columbia University. A workshop entitled “A Day for Families: Supporting a Child’s Literacy Development Takes All of Us” was held in October, and in addition to our teachers, a limited number of parents were invited to attend. Second grade parent Alison Yi kindly shares her notes.

This was a wonderful opportunity. It was great to be able to spend half a day thinking about how to support your child’s development of literacy skills.

I attended three sessions, all structured around important themes but also full of practical advice. The first session began with establishing structure to a narrative and then techniques for elaboration and development of the story. I was intrigued by suggestions on using acting, drama, sensory details, timelines, internal feelings and thoughts to deepen and bring meaning to a story. As a mother of a 7-year-old boy, I’m on the lookout for anything that will help him to give voice to his internal feelings and empathy for other’s experiences.

In the second session, we were presented with many useful ways to support early reading and writing. Sign-making, card-making, list-making, note-taking, letters, games and story telling … a long list. Some games like “Taboo” (a favorite in our family) were recommended for deepening vocabulary and mapping word relationships to concepts.

The third and final session dealt with enriching the reading experience itself to encourage growth and understanding in the developing reader. It covered everything from the what, when and how of the child’s reading to the bigger themes of how the child can use reading material to develop the ability to debate and think critically. At all levels of reading ability, asking the same questions of a reader leads to viewing material through many different lenses as they grow. It made me realize how parents and the family culture play such a critical part in helping children to use their reading to expand their world experience and also to participate fully in the world around them as they grow.

Thanks to Jenny and the staff for continuing to support the Teacher’s College literacy program in the school. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to attend the workshop.

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Teachers College is one of the many beneficial initiatives funded by your PTA. Please help the continuation of these and similar programs by contributing to the Direct Appeal.

Love Your Child’s Teacher?

Then nominate him or her for a Big Apple Award!

The awards, administered by the NYC Department of Education, recognize teachers who “inspire students, model great teaching, and enrich their school communities.” Nominees must be current, full-time teachers, and anyone – students, parents, teachers, administrators, or community members – may submit a nomination.

Following the nomination process, 1,000 nominees will be invited to submit an application. These will be narrowed down to up to 250 applicants, who will be invited to participate in an interview and who will receive a classroom visit. Finally, a Board of Judges will recommend up to 15 final recipients to be approved by the Chancellor. Recipients will receive classroom grants, will be recognized at the Big Apple Awards ceremony in June 2016, and will serve on the Chancellor’s Teacher Advisory Group.

Nominations are due on January 18, 2016 and may be submitted here. And here is a look at last year’s award recipients.

Photos: Halloween Disco and Arts Fest 2015

Photo courtesy of Cesar Kastoun

Photo courtesy of Cesar Kastoun

Because it’s never too late for great photos!

Thank you again to parent Cesar Kastoun for the visual recaps of the Halloween Disco, held on Friday, Oct. 30, and last year’s Arts Fest, which took place on Wednesday, June 10. If you’re new to our school, the Arts Fest is an annual celebration consisting of an in-school gallery displaying the best of our children’s art work, and a live musical written by and starring our graduating 5th Grade class, and incorporating performances from all other grades. The show takes place on the big stage at BMCC and exemplifies the beauty of our small school: every child takes part.