School overcrowding has become a persistent problem on the Upper West Side as the city has approved large developments in the neighborhood, but has been slow to add classroom seats to keep up with the growing population. Now a group of parents and local leaders is calling on the city to add a new middle school, with a new 6th-grade class starting in 2013.

The group has created a petition, which you can sign here, and as of today it has already gotten nearly 600 signatures (their goal is 1,000). The petition letter says:

“I support the idea to create a new high quality middle school that can open its doors for the 2013-14 school year.

I urge the D3 Community Education Council to pass a Resolution immediately to move this plan forward and that a new school be incubated beginning Fall 2013.

I ask that the NYC Department of Education help the community create a new high quality middle school that will inclusively serve the students who are representative of our diverse communities in District 3.”

Even after the city redrew the school zone lines, popular schools like PS 199 on 69th Street have had waiting lists in recent years; that glut of students that first hit Kindergarten a few years ago will soon be ready to move on to middle school. And new reports show that overcrowding is likely to continue, as the neighborhood adds thousands more residential units i the coming years.

Many elementary schools have seen overall population increases of between 10% and 44% between 2006 and 2011,” according to a website set up by parents to address the problem. “It is not unusual for some schools to be looking at a 50%+ increase between their current 5th grade population and individual grade levels that are coming up behind them.”

We contacted the NYC Department of Education on Friday for comment, but haven’t heard back.

Photo via flickr.

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