COVETED PS 199 SCHOOL ZONE WOULD SHRINK DRAMATICALLY UNDER CITY REZONING PROPOSAL

school zoning
Sarah Turchin, the director of planning for Manhattan and Queens at the Department of Education, explains the proposed district.

The city Department of Education released a proposal at a meeting on Monday night to rezone the public schools in the southern end of the Upper West Side to deal with overcrowding and racial segregation.

The plan would cut 11 blocks from the zone for PS 199 on 70th street, which is persistently overcrowded and had the longest waiting list in the city this year. It would also expand the zone for PS 452 on 77th street, and create a new shared zone between PS 191 on 61st street and the still-to-be-completed PS 342, also on 61st.

The new zoning would go into effect for the 2016-2017 school year. No current student would have to change his or her current school based on the new zoning lines.

The proposal is a major step in the process toward rezoning the area, which has been under discussions for several months. There will be public hearings over the next few weeks to gauge community support, and the plan could change or be voted down entirely by the local school board (called CEC3) during that time. One indication of how high parents feel the stakes are: one woman who attended the meeting said she does not yet have children but already is determined that her future children will go to PS 199.

The most immediate reason for the rezoning is that PS 199 has become so overcrowded that children who live right across the street are routinely turned away for kindergarten. Nearly 100 prospective kindergartners who live within the zone were placed on a wait list last spring. The new smaller PS 199 zone will ensure that all the students zoned for that school will get in, and parents won’t have to spend anxious months figuring out where their kids will go to school.

The zoning plan will also bring four new blocks into the zone for PS 452 — the streets between Amsterdam Avenue and Central Park West from 68th to 70th street.

The zone for PS 191 will also change considerably. The zone will expand, but the plan is to have PS 191 share the zone with a new school called PS 342 that’s being built at the base of a luxury building on West End Avenue. That school isn’t set to open until 2018, and in its first year it will only take kindergarten students. For now, everyone in the new larger district would go to PS 191. Once the new school is complete, new students would mark their preference for either PS 191 or PS 342, and would be chosen for either school based on their lottery number. The proposed zoning map is below, and can be enlarged if you click on it (we will also post the full presentation when we get it).

school zoning map

The map is a little complicated. The current zones are in colors — 452 is yellow, 191 is purple, and 199 is blue. The new zones are outlined in black. The proposed 452 zone is tricky, however — the area from 68th to 70th between Amsterdam and Central Park West is part of the 452 zone under the plan.

To (hopefully) make things easier, we’ve marked the proposed 452 zone below with X’s, the 199 zone with wavy lines, and the 191-342 zone with O’s. (Yes, West Side Rag is run by a bunch of children.)

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Changing the zones is also expected to make the schools more racially integrated, as seen in the DOE table below.

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If implemented, this new shared district (PS 191 and PS 342) would include children who grew up in dramatically different circumstances — some would come from the fanciest buildings in the world overlooking the Hudson River and Central Park, and some would come from NYCHA public housing. Whether it succeeds as a shared racially integrated district will depend on several factors, including whether white parents keep their children in the public schools regardless of which school they get into, and whether minority parents decide to try out the new school when it opens or keep their kids in 191.

The Department of Education officials in the room said that shared districts have been tried before and they don’t tend to bring about good feelings or racial harmony. In general, one official said, one school in the district is considered the “good” school. Most families try to get into that school. Those that don’t get in tend to use whatever options they can to not attend the other school — private school, for instance. Those that don’t have the means to move or attend private school end up in the other school. “Some group of families is usually unhappy.”

school zoning2For integration to work on the Upper West Side, both schools will have to be seen as strong. There are some initial challenges to that: PS 191 was declared a “persistently dangerous” school this year, because of a high number of “disruptive incidents.” After that, every wait-listed PS 199 student who had been told to go to PS 191 pulled out and found other options. School board officials say the school was designated dangerous in error, and that the city has yet to offer details on the vast majority of incidents — the few they’ve seen so far have been relatively minor, said school board member Noah Gotbaum, including someone being hit with a foam ball and the city calling it assault. It’s also not clear whether fights or other incidents occurred at PS 191’s middle school, or in the elementary school there.

We talked to one current PS 191 pre-K parent at the meeting who said he would probably send his son to PS 191 for kindergarten, but might pull him out afterwards because he’s worried it isn’t academically rigorous enough.

Parents who attended the meeting had mixed feelings about the zones — some said they were confused why the department had pushed students from the East side of Amsterdam out of PS 199’s district, instead of people who live in the Trump buildings on the West side of the district. Another parent said students in the large shared 191-342 zone would have to walk too far to get to school.

There will be several more chances to comment and make your voice heard. The 10 CEC3 members are expected to vote on this in November, but the lines could still be changed. (Gotbaum, for instance, still thinks it would be best to combine 199, 191 and 342 into one mega-zone.) The list of upcoming meetings is below. People can also submit comments to the email addresses listed in an image at the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, October 7 (6:30 pm) Hearing at Joan of Arc building Auditorium
154 West 93rd Street
Public Hearing

Thursday, October 15 (9:00 am)
154 West 93rd Street, room 204
Meeting

Saturday, October 17 (12:00 pm) at PS191 Auditorium
210 West 61st Street
Public Hearing

Monday, October 26 (6:30 pm) Meeting in room 204
154 West 93rd Street
Meeting

Thursday, November 5 (9:00 am) Meeting in room 204
154 West 93rd Street
Meeting

Monday, November 16 (6:30 pm) Meeting in room 204
154 West 93rd Street
Meeting/Public Hearing

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NEWS, SCHOOLS | 115 comments | permalink
    1. Jim says:

      I think it would be helpful to add the slides from the presentation showing how many students and classes the DOE expects in new proposed zones. My recollection is that 191 and 199 will have about 100-120 zoned students each, while 452 will increase substantially as well. Oddly, there are only 3 planned kindergarten classes for 191 compared to 5-6 for 199 despite the same zone student sizes because the DOE assumes many zoned 191 parents will choose not to go to 191. The DOE said they could add new classes if that assumption is wrong, though they acknowledged 191 is generally too small to handle such a load so it would only be a temporary fix until 342 comes online. Thus, the proposal basically shifts the problem to 191 for the next couple years with the options being creating new classes (with temp teachers) or having many students exit the public school system.

      • West Sider says:

        Good point on posting the slide. We’ll plan to do that.

        I think 191 has fewer classes in part because the building is smaller than the 199 building.
        WSR

        • Talksback says:

          PS 191 is not filled to capacity right now. Classes are not filled to cap (not that teaching 28 kids should be appropriate). There are a few rooms to be had for other classes. There was an entire room that was designated for a third K this year. But now it has no class in it.

          • Jim says:

            Understood that 191 has some space now to add classes just for the next 2 years until 342, but they don’t have extra teachers and if the current proposal is approved, the classes could start getting filled to large numbers. So the proposal will just be shifting the problem to 191 and require them to hire tenporary teachers who are not invested in the school to cover the next two years. The large kindergarten classes for the next two years will also continue through the grades at 191 causing problems down the line (342 is going to start only as a kindergarten). Unfortunately, the focus of this proposal is just to relieve overcrowding at 199 but forcing new students without siblings out of the pool. There hasn’t been any effort to make families want to go to 191. How about proposals of swapping some teachers with 199 to learn from other schools. How about commitments to new programs. Instead, the proposal just forces some families out because the DOE says thy don’t make qualitative determinations. Indeed, one of the best assets of 191 (small size and classes) is at risk under this proposal.

            • sbc says:

              I haven’t read anything about siblings. Is the expectation that younger siblings who matriculate beyond 2016 will be able to go to 199 if their older sibling is still there? Or will the circumstance be treated as though a family moved out of zone?

            • West Sider says:

              That’s our understanding, that the siblings can go. WSR

            • Local Parent says:

              I agree. This proposal is just more of the same. The DOE has shifted the South border of 199 2 or 3 times before and it has never resulted in parents supporting 191. 191 is only 6 percent White and 5 % Asian.

              For all of you who are zoned out – you need to demand that the DOE do something different this time to get parents to support 191. Their current plan is to open 342 with a Kindergarten and add one grade each year. So the building will be EMPTY FOR YEARS!!! Why not do what they did in Park Slope 133 – and move the k-5 of 191 into the new building so newly zoned parents get more interested in the school?

              Then build 342 from the bottom up in the older building. Then both schools have something exciting going for them (new facility or new beginnings).

              You cannot pit the brand new school with the brand new staff opening from the bottom up (very exciting!) against a struggling school and think it isn’t going to be a disaster.

              If they don’t do something creative (like I wrote above), 191’s population is going to be even smaller (because many will go to 342), and nobody will go to 191 if they “lost” the lottery.

    2. Helen says:

      Does the proposal also rename PS 199 the Trump Lincoln Towers School? wow, great lobbying work by the high rise communities in trump place. First they build huge high rises that overcrowd 199, then they show up in numbers to push a plan that keeps them in 199 but pushed out the smaller buildings that have traditionally been part of the 199 community. Maybe Trump should be president, excellent strategizer.

      • Deborah says:

        Trump Towers have been there for years and PS 199 could handle it. More recently there are new buildings at 70th and WEA, and along Amsterdam at 66th and 68th. No reason to hate only the Trump buildings.

      • James says:

        Please explain why officials considering school zones should be penalizing a constituent group simply because they live in buildings you perceive to be wealthy? From the standpoint of public-school this is nonsense.

        • Local Parent says:

          We need to reframe the current question – who should or should not be penalized? To – How can we rezone so that people don’t feel like they are being penalized? What is the DOE doing to make 191 an exciting place to go? See my comments about sending 191 to the new school.

      • Riverside Boulevarder says:

        Helen, The people on RSB have been paying NYC taxes (real estate & income) for years now. Perhaps NYC could provide services like a new school?

    3. Linda says:

      It really feels like a rushed reaction to the waitlist not clearing for the first time in 2015 and the families insisting on placement that is not at PS 191. It was most disheartening how intent the DOE and CEC were on getting “something” done to relieve PS 199 crowding for 2016, even if it meant hastily drawn lines. They should wait until (1) PS 191 is more attractive, I.e., dangerous designation removed and (2) 2018 when the new PS 352 is opened.

    4. Local Parent says:

      I think it is important for people to know that there are only about 30 kids attending kindergarten every year at 191 that actually live within the 191 zone. Many of the 191 kids are even allowed in from other boroughs because the school is severely under-enrolled.

      This is just a small fraction of the number of kids that could be going there if parents throughout the zone began sending their kids to 191.

      If a super zone with three schools were created, you would have 30 disadvantaged kids per grade spread out among 3 schools. Why is this causing such alarm?

      The DOE should move 191 in the new building and build the new school body 342 from the bottom up in the older Amsterdam facility. That would create more of a balance between the two schools. Many parents who want their kids to go to the new facility, would start supporting the 191 school.

      Think it sounds crazy? They did it in Park Slope (P.S. 133). They shifted an entire student body into a brand new school and support for the school jumped dramatically.

    5. Concerned Neighbor says:

      Fixing one problem, is only going to create another. The new school planned at W61st area was supposed to be ready by 2015/16 when first planned. 2018 is too late, so good luck DOE! Under the proposed new zoning plan, 452’s waitlist will become too long. It’s a very small school. The building at 155 W 68th Street for example would be rezoned to 452 and that building alone accounts for a significant number of 199 students now and there are so many families of babies/toddlers in that building – that expect to go to public school and there will not be room at 452. The more southern Trump buildings should be rezoned to 191 or 342. Get a decent principal for 191 !

      • Confused parent says:

        It’s confusing why all the Trump Towers are benefitting from this rezoning but securing an uncrowded place at 199 while longtime residents are being zoned out.

        • Trumped says:

          This plan really benefits the Trump residents who caused much of the overcrowding and current 199 parents who want more space for their kids and can rely on the sibling policy to keep their younger kids in their protected bubble as Sherman says. I can’t believe that they are trying to ram this through in one month and change the 2016 lines AFTER the 2016 kindergarten application process has already begun. It is difficult enough trying to make education decision in NYC without the added complications of not knowing your school zone until late November. I don’t understand why they don’t wait until the new school opens in 2 years or at least have given potential parents more notice. Why hasn’t the District 3 website included ANY information about this potentially happening.

          • James says:

            It does not make sense that constituents who happen to live in the “Trump Towers” should be somehow penalized in terms of school zoning. Families making the decision to live in a building and choosing to send their kids to public school do not have more or less of a claim on said school just because they are poor or wealthy.

            • Amy says:

              Well, the building of the “Trump buildings” was the beginning of the overcrowding problem at 199. Adding that many families to the neighborhood should have required one of the buildings to contain a school. There was some talk of that happening with the building at 200 West End, but instead PS 199 benefitted from selling air rights which is something at least…

      • Mike says:

        Exactly right, concerned neighbor. This process is like watching an excited dog chase its tail: first, they add an extra 199 class, then they take a class away, now they shift some students to 191 and create new classes there, then in a year or two they rethink everything when the new school building is ready. In the meantime, there will be all this short-term fix classes going through the various schools causing enrollment bulges and potentially the need for added classes as the large classes progress. Just really short-sighted. The DOE and the community should be focused on a long-term fix that incorporates the added space at 342 and makes parents want to be part of the 191/342 communities, not forced there as part of a short-term solution.

      • Jacob clarke says:

        There is a new principal at 191 and in her year at the school implemented many changes. The statistics that were used to earn the “persistently dangerous” label came from the old principal. The principal is not the problem here.

      • Talksback says:

        Are you aware that PS 191 had a new, very good, principal start last year? I don’t see how getting another principal would change the fact that people don’t want to give PS 191 a chance. And that is the truth. It is a good school, with hard working teachers, and not dangerous. I personally think that the people who condemn the school without actually visiting it should stay away. We don’t like those close minded sorts. They would ruin the open mindedness and acceptance we teach our students to live by.

        • Brandon says:

          I’m happy you like ps 191. Others don’t send their kids there because of the test scores. Kids need to do well on the 4th grade state tests to get into a good middle school. The fact is 191 has much lower scores that 199.

    6. Sherman says:

      I have a child in PS 199. My wife and I consider ourselves extremely lucky that we are PS 199 parents.

      Having said this, any plan to mix rich white kids from uber-luxury buildings with poor minority kids from the projects is a recipe for disaster.

      There’s no way wealthy parents will let their kids attend such a school. They will send their kids to private schools or avoid the area altogether.

      It’s very easy to be an UWS liberal – just as long as you live in a protected bubble of white affluence. Liberals are terrible hypocrites.

      • James says:

        In response to your post I would ask you this question – Is it really important to you that your children grow up alongside wealthy families who only use the public school because it happens to have other wealthy families represented, almost exclusively?

        In other words, if your supposed “UWS liberal hypocrites” leave PS 199 because some number of children from less economic means are zoned for the school, is your child really losing out in this scenario?

    7. Mike says:

      In other words, PS199 should be renamed “Lincoln Towers Elementary.”

      • Jason says:

        I am a Lincoln Tower resident and 199 parent and love everything about the school. I am sure this may have already been discussed but instead of creating a super zone (which creates confusion and uncertainty for new parents), the best solution (from my vantage point) seems to be for each of the three zones to be gerrymandered to include 1/3 of the NYCHA public housing. That way the children who live there can be integrated into the larger schools. I think all of the kids (and parents) at all 3 schools would be better off with having diversity. The past year or two have been very difficult for new parents who were relying on their ability to send their kids to their zoned elementary public school. Even though it does not appear that my own kids will be affected by the rezoning I think we need to work together to find a solution that works best for everybody and rezoning buildings that have been a part of 199 for decades does not seem to be a fair result for the families that live there.

        • James says:

          Singling out the children who live in public-housing in the way that you’ve suggestions; I’m sorry but I find it somewhat shameful.

          Children growing up in public-housing are not a burden to be singled-out and shared with other schools. They have as much right to attend a good school as any other child, and deserve the same high quality and diverse education as children who live in private housing.

          • RC says:

            James, I’m surprised that you would jump on Jason’s comment as “shameful,” when your longer comment below indicates that you too support integrating the schools. I don’t think Jason is saying that students from NYCHA housing are a “burden” to be shared. His point is that drawing zone lines with an eye toward demographics — something the DOE already does, by the way (and has done to some degree in the current proposal) — could be more reliable than a “super zone” at achieving the integration so many parents want.

            • James says:

              RC – What I said was that we should take steps, such as those the DOE has made with this proposal, to make sure public schools represent children from diverse socio-economic background as, in my opinion, this improves the education and experience of the child overall.

              What I DIDN’T DO was point out a public housing development as the singular center of lower-income people and carve those children up into three groups to be distributed into various schools to ensure that no concentration of such students exists in any one school.

            • RC says:

              But James, isn’t “concentration” of poverty part of the issue? At an earlier zoning committee meeting, one person advocating on behalf of PS 191 students made this point quite forcefully, in response to written comments submitted by the Shermans and Janes of the world. Paraphrasing as closely as I can remember: “Every child in the district has the same right to attend a good school. But take a whole bunch of kids who don’t have the resources the rest of you have, isolate them all in one school, and you get PS 191.” Thankfully the DOE’s proposal aims to create a little more balance.

            • Mike says:

              RC, the proposal doesn’t make any meaningful change in the student body mix from before. No blocks that contain predominantly minority students is being added to 199, only some non-minority blocks are being taken from the school to theoretically dilute the non-minority numbers. The problem is that with sibling rules, many of these zoned out non-minorities are going to stay at 199 anyway and the actual class mixes will be nearly the same as before (the DOE projected diversity numbers do not consider siblings or zoned families that chose not to go to the zoned school). Even more problematic is that the DOE’s surface analysis of diversity does not consider income inequality but only consider whether a family does not identify as “White – not of Hispanic origin.”

            • Local Parent says:

              Mike makes a good point. The DOE is showing an increase in diversity for 199 with this plan, but it is not socioeconomic diversity. What is happening is the Asian to White population is growing at 199 as the focus becomes the towers (either Lincoln or Trump) West of Amsterdam. The only way to have socioeconomic diversity is to include 199 in the super zone. And with only 30 kids per grade from 191, I don’t think that should cause alarm.

        • Sherman says:

          I work hard so I can afford to live in the PS 199 zone and send my kid there.

          I want my child to receive a good education. I don’t want my kid in a violent school filled with welfare cases from the projects.

          If you’re so fond of “diversity” maybe you should move to Brownsville.

          • Jane says:

            Once the bleeding hearts’ kids start complaining of increased violence and lower average test scores, they might change their minds. But even then I doubt it.

          • Talksback says:

            Your comment is biased and disgusting. It is not a violent school. And since when are people on welfare automatically bad and not worth being educated with your children. Children are children – you teach them to hate. They are not made that way.

            • DMH says:

              Nicely said, Talksback. Those comments are painful to read. Sherman if you don’t like diversity, try Snootsville, Connecticut.

      • Linda says:

        Mike, exactly. It seems PS 199 will exclusively be for Lincoln Towers and the Trump plazas. Doesn’t seem right at all.

    8. Brandon says:

      Those of you angry at residents of Trump Towers or Lincoln Towers or anywhere else should redirect your feelings. This isn’t their fault. They are just trying to get their kids into a good school like any of us are. The city is to blame for not getting money from developers and building new schools before families moved into these new apartments.

      • James says:

        Brandon, Thank you for this level-headed reply. It is always useful to remember that people from all different backgrounds make many of the same decisions when it comes to their families (such as evaluating the quality of public education in the area they choose to live). Rich people should not be penalized for making the same decision that middle and lower income people feel entitled to.

        The job of managing externalities of these rational decisions, such as overcrowding of good schools, belongs to our governmental bodies. The City seems to be making logical choices about re-evaluating the zones and seeking to improve economic integration of schools.

        • Trumped says:

          No one is “blaming” the people who live in the Trump buildings or Lincoln Towers, the commentators are expressing their frustration with the DOE (exactly the people the Trump defenders are saying should be blamed). The DOE has prioritized ease for them in drawing lines over any consideration of the historical makeup of the 199 zone or even just straight proximity. The DOE, for example, is not suggesting breaking up Lincoln Towers because they feel that is too complex for them to undertake, even though some of the apartment complexes on the southern side of Lincoln Towers are further from 199 than the now zoned out buildings just east of the school across from Amsterdam. Similarly, the DOE proposal rewards Trump for building the massive buildings on Riverside that contributed significantly to the 199 overcrowding problems, at the expense of buildings east of Amsterdam that are often closer than the Trump buildings and have been part of the historical zone for years before the Trump development.

          • Brandon says:

            Trumped. Again you’re singling out the Trump buildings. 150 Amsterdam is only a couple of years old and 170 Amsterdam is brand new. Why aren’t you angry about these high rises? The fact is PS 199 had an overcrowding problem before the kids applying to K for 2016 were born. None of them have more rights based on how old their apartment is. Everyone in the zone knew this might happen at any time.

          • James says:

            Historically, the buildings along riverside did not exist, and thus did not have children attending PS 199. Now they do exist and the DOE is taking that into consideration when drawing the school zone. Why should the historical context of the neighborhood really matter any more than the fact that the buildings which did not exist do today.

            As others have commented on other WSR posts numerous times, the City should negotiate new schools and zoning issues with developers when they aim to build large luxury buildings, but that obviously wasn’t the case here… I don’t see how the DOE in 2015 should be held responsible for this?

            Many of these “Trump” buildings aren’t even that new.

    9. James says:

      I believe this sounds like a reasonable plan, and support integration of children from different economic backgrounds in public-school.

      To those of you who “blame” folks living in the “Trump” buildings and believe that these “wealthy” people should bear the brunt of the sacrifice in the re-zoning – Please check your entitlement! What you are essentially doing is singling-out select individuals who happen to move into a neighborhood and decide send children to public-school out of a perception that they are unworthy because they are wealthy. Shame! Public school should be for everybody rich and poor; and saying that a select group of wealthy people who live in buildings (and generalizing them as by a single notorious developer and GOP presidential candidate) should be forced to go to an inferior school is disgusting!

      And for those of you who fear people of other socio-economic means interacting with your children in public-school, maybe private school is your thing after all.

      Education is more than just test scores. Interacting with, becoming friends with, influencing and being influenced by other individuals who may come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds is a major part of it. Education should be shaping complete individuals and not just test-wizards.

      For me, I want to raise my son to be grounded and to know how to interact with people from a wide-variety of means rich and poor. I welcome better socio-economic integration of public schools and believe that doing this recognizes the value of multiculturalism and will improve the experience for children on the Upper West Side / Lincoln Square.

      At the risk of making a generalization of my own, I will say this – If raising your children amidst other families of the same economic and racial backgrounds is a priority, perhaps New York City is not the ideal place to raise your family. Just because wealthy folks have clustered into certain school zones does not entitle them to a public education with only these individuals.

    10. Liz says:

      Will anything change for PS 9 and 166?

    11. richard says:

      OMG! Your poor little child doesn’t get into PS199, their whole life is in shambles. There goes any chance at the Ivy League – hello SUNY Binghamton. No Wall Street job, might as well start practicing for that job in the Sanitation Department. At least they are raining the minimum wage to $15 so your deprived children will earn a decent living as they flip burgers, apparently the only job they will be qualified for without a PS 199 education.

    12. FD says:

      This seems like an awfully raw deal for those living on those three blocks w 65-w 67 and CPW (if Im reading it correctly). Not only is PS 191 VERY far, but many families moved there to send their kids to a top school. This includes several rather high end building (Des Artistes comes to mind)…..Perhaps residents living in the current 199 zone that get pushed out will get preferred entrance to ps452 once opened. That seems like a rational compromise, so I assume it won’t even come up at these hearings…

      • Brandon says:

        Is PS 452 really an option? It’s a small school with only 3 classes per grade. Could they take more kids? Are they getting more space in that shared building?

        • Mike says:

          Brandon – I agree re: 452. It is a small school already (shares a building with the Anderson School). There are actually 3 kindergarten classes and 1st through 5th grade have only 2 classes. Not sure where they will fit any more students.

    13. Franklyn says:

      How would this proposal work for siblings that will be now out of the 199 zone? The article says that existing students will not have to relocate, but will it be a scenario that these families will have to send their kids to two different schools – the current 199 student and the enrolling sibling would have to go elsewhere?

      • West Sider says:

        As we understand it, younger siblings would still get priority to the schools that their older siblings currently attend. But best to check with DOE on that to be 100% sure. WSR

        • Local Parent says:

          The way it usually works is – out of zone siblings get in so long as the sibling is still at 199. If there is a large gap between the ages and the sibling enters after the first child is in middle school there is no grandfathering.

    14. Lisa says:

      Worth noting that PS 199 was planned and built for/with Lincoln Towers.

      Like much of the UWS, Lincoln Towers was a middle-income community made up of musicians, teachers, social workers, professors, doctors.

      The “wealth” of Lincoln Towers is relatively new and mirrors the demographic change in Manhattan, particularly since about 2004. Families moving in these days are much more affluent – parents in finance, tech, media, law rather than social work, academia etc.

    15. UWS resident says:

      I’m not sure I understand correctly. PS452 is FILLED with OUT OF ZONE kids. I thought the whole reason it was created and district lines rezoned 5 years ago was to alleviate the overcrowding at PS87 and PS199 that was caused by OUT OF ZONE kids there? It just seems like 452 contributed to the problem. No? And if I am correct, there is not any room in the Oshea complex building that houses 452, computer school and ANDERSON. correct? Where do they propose these rezoned kids go? Is computer school moving? Anderson only moved in that building 6 years ago. And when they moved in it was under the promise from DOE to allow them to grow to 3 classes on a grade from 2 classes. That didn’t happen when 452 was created. This is all so ridiculous. If kids went to the school they were zoned for, problem solved.

    16. Mr. Brannon says:

      I am not sure why everyone thinks that PS 191 is not a great school. I have had nothing but an amazing experience. The teachers work extremely hard with the students and the children love the school. One person said they thought the education was not adequate. Last year this school had a pre-k teacher as a finialist for the Big Apple teacher of the year and a dance teacher nominated for a Tony award for excellence in theater education. Maybe you should do a tour of the school before you comment on hearsay.

      • Lisa says:

        Thanks for sharing this article with me. I say that if parents want to fight to send their children to over crowded schools. Let them! And our students will enjoy the GEM that is PS 191. Let’s ignore the nonsense and continue to support our children’s school and their teachers. Let’s keep our eyes up and on the prize, the continued success of our children.

    17. Joan says:

      The should make all those zones have a lottery system. Thus economic factors and stereotypes won’t come into play. These schools are really not that far from each other. People who complain have to realize that nyc is a commuter city. Kids in suburbia have to walk quite a distance to get to school.

    18. Beth says:

      Housing projects still segregated in 191 catchment zone. Glad to see that 199 zone has been decreased, but within that zone should be a section of the housing project behind Lincoln Center.

    19. Confused Parent says:

      It seems like the DOE is set on their proposal (keep 199 solely for Trump and Lincoln Tower families, arbitrarily excluding all families east of Amsterdam) and the CEC is set on approving a rezoning (trying to avoid waitlist headache of this year but adopting a quick fix) this year, despite the unfairness and lack of notice. They seem intent on going forward. So does it even what the community comments on??? The proposal is not even on the CEC website, way to go fairness!

      • Sacrificial lamb says:

        I’m afraid you are right confused parent. If you look at who is actually impacted by the proposal, it is evident that the DOE/CEC targets a small minority of unrepresented families to be zoned out to the benefit of the majority of families with a voice right now. That is, with the grandfathering and sibling preference rules, the only families really zoned out under the DOE’s bizarre line drawing are families east of Amsterdam who do not currently have a child at 199. Current families with children at 199, who make up the PTA and are represented on the CEC, are not impacted and will get the added bonus of less crowding and an extra classroom for mixed use while their children are at 199. The zoned out families without current students, on the other hand, are not a part of the PTA or CEC and have not been included in the process at all; in fact, the rezoning has not been disclosed in any meaningful way to them, such as the main district 3 website that new families are told to look at for information. To their credit, the Trump high rises did a good job using their greater resources to show up in force at the CEC meetings and influence the decision to cut those east of Amsterdam rather than the alternative Trump consideration. Unfortunately for those outside the proposal, the real fight is over at this point and the CEC seems intent and incentivized to push this through. The last minute “public hearing” will just be an empty show to give the appearance that impacted families had a chance to comment (IF the families even learn about the hearing to show up). The DOE/CEC will nod, but nothing is going to change the vote next month. There really should be better rules that require earlier disclosure and full public involvement in rezoning proposals. Similarly, any proposals for new zones should not go in effect for a couple years to allow the community time to adjust and plan for the changes. At the very least, some protections should be implemented against proposals that benefit families currently with children in school (and with a voice in the process) over families with children just entering school (who do not have a voice). Frustrating.

    20. Linda says:

      Why can’t we wait until 2018 to move forward on this rezoning? The 20 something kids who did not clear the 199 waitlist this year were given choices to go to other schools in District 3. This seems like a good bridging solution rather than arbitrarily redrawing the lines quickly this year.

      • UWS parent who looks at numbers says:

        The overcrowding at 199 is a persistent problem, not limited to incoming K students. If you look at the enrollment trends, the attrition from K-5 is not what it used to be. Where the 5th grade in ’11-’12 had 82 students, in ’13-’14, there were 125. Families aren’t moving to suburbia the way they used to, and the school is quite full in most grades. When families moved out in 4th grade (or so), 199 could start out with a K class of 150, but the bldg cannot hold 6 grades of 150 kids. It is worth noting that K this year has <150 kids and 1st has ~180.

        Additionally, there were 82 siblings in this incoming K class, compared to 50 last year. Families who are zoned to 199 with no current students still won't get in, even if they leave everything as is. At least with rezoning, everyone can know what's up.

        If you want to see actual enrollment data, look at the school's webpages for the School Quality Guide.

    21. TV says:

      So the kids who live 2.5 blocks east of PS199 ON W70th st would no longer be allowed to attend the school that’s just a 5-min walk west on the same lock?!.

      • Confused parent says:

        Yes! According to their proposal, that is exactly it.

      • Mike says:

        The Amsterdam line is so ridiculous. Not only are families right next to 199 not going there, but they will have the pleasure of walking past the western edge Amsterdam families walking north to 199 while they walk further south to 191.

    22. Tdk says:

      Are people looking at the map before they comment? Only four (4) Trump buildings are in the new proposed 199 zone. The majority of the Riverside Boulevard buildings are in the proposed 191 overlay. The most obvious piece of gerrymandering is that the map seeks to keep Lincoln Towers in 199 as one block.

      • TDK says:

        Also note that part of the Ansterdam Houses, the extension, is CURRENTLY part of the 199 zone and remains so under this proposal.

        • Beth says:

          Looking at a map, the bulk of the housing project is below 65th Street. How many buildings are included the “extension”? The housing projects should be split equitably among the 3 zones.

    23. ls says:

      It has been rumored over the past couple of years that some families have had “short-term” (under 1 year) leases at Trump rental buildings in order to qualify for 199. And then after starting, move.

      Is there a sense that this – “short-term” rentals – is accurate?

      • TDK says:

        Three of the five trump buildings currently in the 199 zone are rental buildings owned by Equity Residential who offers minimum one year leases. Note the majority of the apartments in those buildings are studios and one bedrooms. There are some children who live in those buildings who are old enough to attend 199 but not that many. The other two 199 zoned buildings on Riverside are condos and the apartments are generally larger. Some condo owners may rent out their apartments but it’s doubtful for short term leases. The idea that people are renting on riverside boulevard for a short term to get into 199 is probably a myth. And the small apartment sizes for the rental buildings means fewer kids over age two than you might expect. I believe the primary reason for the crowding of 199 is changing demographics in Lincoln Towers, there are far more young families there now as compared to ten years ago. The buildings on riverside boulevard are now a bit old, the ones in the current 199 zone opened from 1998 to about 2003. It’s wrong to blame the Trump buildings for a new problem, they have been there for an average of 15 years in the 199 zone. Again it has to be Lincoln towers that is the main cause, it has more family sized apartments than the rest of the zone put together. There has also been other new construction like 200 west end ave, which is a condo with large apartments. The two new and newish buildings on Amstdam are rental with smaller apartments and fewer kids.

    24. Mike says:

      Wow, I’m glad we moved to the burbs. Kids love their school, we have space indoors and out. Our street has more diversity than we had in our lily white NYC doorman bldg. My commute isn’t all that much longer door to door. We are saving thousands per month in housing, etc., And last Saturday, get this…we visited AMNH, ate at the Meatball Shop, bought fruit at Fairway, and the kids were home in bed by 8PM.

    25. stargazer says:

      Did DOE drop their IQ level all of sudden? Did they WANT to lose funding? Because this is HOW they lose funding. Even if they did absolutely nothing, I would still support the school EVEN IF I got wait-listed, because wait-list will clear. Now they lost me for good.

      Also, can they not do math? Instead of POTENTIALLY upsetting a few families on waiting list, they are now GUARANTEED to upset ALL families in the re-zoned streets (>100 by their own count).

      And lastly, on these re-zoned streets happens to live some of the richest and most well connected enclaves in the city. Far more than the Trump towers. And this is how you get fired.

      • James says:

        Stargazer,
        It’s not the DOE’s job to make sure that wealthy and influential families aren’t inconvenienced by school zoning; that’s just ridiculous. It would be shameful if that was a driving motivational of this proposal. Could you possibly be serious with this post?

      • Brandon says:

        Straggler, the 199 waitlist did not clear this year. Those kids also didn’t go to 191. I’m not sure where they ended up. Nobody has to go to 191 while it has the persistently dangerous designation. The law requires the DOE to find another school for anyone who asks to be moved from a persistently dangerous school. But the spot they find for you might not be convenient

        • David Collins says:

          In the meantime, they continue to pay for what they thought was their God-given right to attend PS 199 either in higher rent or higher purchase price than they would have if they lived in another zone.

    26. pmw says:

      How will all the delusional liberal parents react when you kid gets beat up? Have any of you thought about the impact on your kids? The kumbaya bubble you raise them in is about to get popped. Good luck. SMH.

      • Jason says:

        pmw, you do understand that we are dealing with children 5-11 years old? As long as the kids from the NYCHA public housing are not Patriot or Red Sox fans, my two boys at 199 would love to play with them. Kids are kids. There is no such thing as a bad 5 year old. I know some people objected to my previous suggestion (and I certainly do not mean to offend anyone) but I believe the most obvious solution is to extend the 199 zone to include more of the NYCHA public housing and then to divvy up the other 2/3 of NYCHA between 191 and the new 342. That way all three schools would primarily be filled with families who have the financial resources to ensure that the teachers and staff have everything they need to improve the conditions for ALL of the kids that attend them. I believe more diversity would be great for the kids (and parents) at all three schools. I believe a super zone and lottery system containing all three schools creates confusion but zoning the three schools with an eye on demographic make up would be better for everybody.

        • Mike says:

          Agreed that your proposal could potentially be the best option for really addressing income diversity, which is probably more relevant than the straight non-white analysis the DOE has undertaken. The DOE should have been floating ideas like this for the past few months/years and allowed for ample time for public comment from all, including the NYCHA public housing families. Given that 342 is not opening for a couple years, perhaps best to begin planning for then with a real long-term solution like this and though deliberate discussion rather than a rushed last minute proposal.

          • Confused parent says:

            I agree with this so much. There was no conversation with the community and it was all behind closed doors with DOE and CEC. To implement such an aggressive re zoning so quickly doesn’t seem to make sense. They should wait until 342 opens in a couple of years.

        • laura81 says:

          James – you have hit the nail on the head. The only solution is to split the kids from the public housing among the 3 schools 191, 199 and the new school 342. Some comments suggesting that 199 should basically be protected from kids from public housing are just sad. People who feel this way really are better suited to suburban living in Westchester. All kids living on the UWS deserve a great eduction, segregation will not achieve this.

          • Local Parent says:

            I completely agree. I didn’t move from the suburbs to NYC to re-isolate myself. These people should move back to the burbs if they cannot bear to see 30 low income kids split between three schools.

          • Andy says:

            Yeah, there seems potential for a more deliberate rezoning plan that really considers the best way to use all the schools (191, 199, 342) rather than yearly quick fixes for 199 issues.

    27. David Collins says:

      If NYC/DOE do not open additional schools, then I am not sure there was much else that could have been done to solve the issue other than to re-draw the zoning parameters to encourage (force) families to attend PS 191 and PS 452 – or go to private school or move. Despite what many might believe, PS 199 is not anywhere near as good of a school as it used to be – it has suffered mightily over the past few years from incompetent administration, over-crowding, unfit facilities and the ongoing harm of being part of the DOE. At this point one could reasonably argue that PS 452 is a better school, PS 87 certainly is. I guess the real question here is why did NYC/DOE do nothing during all these years and waited until the situation at PS 199 reached ridiculous levels of over-crowding and waited until the PS 191 reached equally insane levels of danger and hazards.

      • Mike says:

        And why did the DOE wait until October (one month before the rezoning period and after the 2016 admission process has begun) to put together an initial “Draft” plan for dealing with an issue that has persisted for years. It certainly was not because the DOE was undertaking a robust analysis; they admittedly just eyeballed prior zoned numbers and tried to create whatever new lines would cut the wait list from 199 while arbitrarily not divodong Lincoln Towers. My goodness, it uses prior zoned numbers and doesn’t consider new buildings or protected siblings in its estimates. Either incompetence or a selfish effort to try to rush something through on the hope to brush the issues under the rug.

    28. The Truth is The Truth says:

      None of the families in the current PS 191 zone, other than the families at The Amsterdam Houses, choose to send their children to PS 191. They didn’t when the school’s only problem was the horrific test scores, and now they certainly won’t after the school was placed on the NYS persistently dangerous list with 97 violent incidents, 21 with a weapon. (These incidents happened, The CEC thinks they never did).
      What makes anyone think the people rezoned from PS 199 to PS 191 are going to send their children to PS 191. It’s not going to happen. PS 191 will still have under enrollment in 2016.

      The DOE has to do something to help the children at 191 achieve higher scores than 10 on english and 12 on math. They have to put the effort in to helping children at PS 191. The kids at PS 199 are lucky because their parents pay $750 to the PTA so they get better resources. The DOE has to serve that function with 191. $200,000 from Helen Rosenthal to build a garden isn’t going to do anything to improve test scores and education nor curtail the violent incidents.

      I am positive the 191 principal is under pressure from DOE and CEC (read Joe Fiordaliso, Noah Gotbaum and Kim Wadkins) to underreport the violent incidents in order for the school to be removed from the violent list.

      And yes, Noah, a door is a weapon if it is used to smash a kid’s head.

      • Linda says:

        I agree. I think that instead of just redrawing the lines in hopes of filling 191, DOE really needs to work on improving the school — getting the dangerous designation removed, improving education — and making the school more attractive for families to want to send their kids there. Again, another reason to wait a couple of years until improvement is done at 191 and 342 opens.

      • Mr. Brannon says:

        I agree with you, the DOE needs to give 191 more money to help the school. Our school is owed money we never receive from the state. The parents can not afford to donate 750 dollars to the PTA. The teachers at our school pay for all the extra things they need or put projects on Donorschoose to get things that they need to teach and people all over the country help our teachers. I agree help the school get better. I love the school and my family have never had a violent incident.

    29. CEC Real Villains says:

      Joe Fiordaliso (CEC President) is the true villain here. He became active when his daughter was far back on the PS 199 wait list a few years ago. He fought very hard and was successful in getting her in PS 199. That propelled him to run for CEC, now he’s president and doesn’t want others in the 199 zone who have the same claim as he did to the school, to over crowd his daughter’s school. Now, finally his five years worth of work is coming to fruition as he is rezoning a huge chunk of the 199 zone to 191 where he would never ever think of sending his daughter. It took him five years of frustration, anger and screaming at the DOE, but he finally did it. Maybe he’ll turn his attention to ensuring his daughter attend a great midle school and he can put his efforts into making sure it’s not crowded. we all should have the CEC president’s selfish attitude to make sure our kids don’t have 32 in a class. Poor overcrowded kids at 199.

    30. Margie says:

      What about this Super Zone idea?? Doesn’t that sound the most equitable- basically have 3 schools your kids could eventually land in? Bet the “community” would be more interested in ensuring all 3 schools had the money and support they need.

      • Andy says:

        Agreed, it seems like there are potentially equitable solutions out there if we really think this needed re-zoning through. Hopefully the DOE/CEC will really take the time to consider equitable rezoning options for all the zones while 342 is completed, rather than just ramming through anything to protect the current 199 lobby.

      • Parent says:

        This push to redraw 199’s lines in such a large way (more than needed) is linked to 199’s disapproval (and ensured by Joe) of being put in any super zone. If they refuse to be put in the zone, then they should at least be required to take a block out of the Amsterdam houses. The border should go to 63 on that block and not 64. This new plan does not increase economic diversity at 199. It only increases Asian diversity. It is a joke.

        • Trumped says:

          Completely agree. If this is really a fair proposal, why not make it apply to all families without any carveouts for current families like Joe’s? At least be upfront that this is a pure power play by current families over new families instead of using misdirection with the misleading diversity numbers that only reflect the theoretical split btw whites and non-whites in the zones, not actual expected class numbers now (mostly white siblings will be staying) or the future (more luxury buildings and more families moving into new zone lines). Nor does it consider break-up among minority groups or family income, which would seem to be the numbers you’d be looking at if this was a real goal of the rezoning.

    31. Fixit says:

      Fix 191 and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic isn’t going to make a difference, it’s still going down. End of story.

      • Lisa says:

        Be a part of the solution! Support the teachers at 191 no one from the upper west side donates to these teachers. If you want it better go Donorschoose.org/ museummagnetschoolps191 put your money where your mouth is.

        • kepping up with the jones 101 says:

          I can not believe how ignorant most of you people are. I have lived on the upper west side for 20 years my youngest daughter was zoned for 199 but I wanted my youngest daughter to go to a school with more diversity then what was overed at 199. I enrolled her at 191. She spent 10 years at this school, got into a test scored high school and is now in a ivory league college, with her best friend from kindergarten who happens to come from the Amsterdam projects. She and her best friend are such a gift and I am so proud of them. My oldest son is in the marines fighting to protect the liberties of ignorant people like the ones I have heard on this site. His son is living with me while he protects your liberties. Last year he attended 191 and had a great time and now he is in kindergarten without his pre-k clasmates because they decided that 199 would be better even though the students loved the school and had not one promblem. But I am sure he will end up in an ivory league school because I am willing to trust the teachers at 191 like I did with my daughter. My neighbor just told me her daughter just signed a major contract to be an anchor women, she was my daughters classmate at 191. I really can not believe how so many people try to keep up with the jones and make their children suffer to be with ” Sally” instead of “Tasha”. I can only feel sorry for you! It is called public school. If you do not want your child to attend ” public school” with all kinds of people. Send them to “private school” and do not try to destroy the reputation of a growing school to justify why you do not want to send your children to a school with diverse students. There are many isolated schools in this community,get a part time job and pay the tuition, do not try to destroy a school that cares and nurtures it students. You people are really scary. The pope needs to come back and stay for a while.

    32. Bloom whee you are planted says:

      I live at 101 west end ave and my child has attended PS191 for 7 years. Please do not change the zone for me. When I moved in 10 years ago my neighbor told me not to try and go to 199, that my child would not feel accepted at this school because he was biracial. My friends that live at 75 west end ave told me not to go to 199 because it is known as the white school and my child would not be happy there. I think that the new school being built should just be for the white people who do not want their children going to a school with black and brown people. I think that all the great work hat has been and is being done at 191 should continue and the rich white people should have 199 and the new school and leave 191 out of it. Take those 2 schools and leave 191 for every one else. My child is in a class with 3 students who parents teach at the school and they make sure that my child is learning like their child is. Please leave 191 out of the equation , we have a great new principal, amazing teachers and a very loving community. Please do not include this school in the new zoning. Let the rich white people have 199 and the new school and leave 191 alone, it is a place I trust my child to every day and I want him there until high school. Let the new school be a extension of 199 and leave the loving, caring and nurturing PS191 out of it,

    33. omg says:

      I can not believe what I have read here, my solution is this! I moved to 101 west end ave 15 years ago, everyone in the building told me not to put my child in 199 because he was biracial and of the darker hue. My friends that lived at 75 west end told me the same thing.I decided to put my child in 191 and I have been very happy. I did not like the principal but the teachers were amazing. I think that 191 should be left out of this zoning thing and the new school should be an extension of 199 just for the white people. when I tell people in the park that my children attend 191 they say “oh your children go to the black school” yes they do and I am very happy with that we have a new principal and the teachers are still great. I do not know what test scores say but the children are loving and intelligent. so I think the best solution would be to let the white people have the new school and the new pre-k on 64th street and let the people who want to go to 191 go there and keep 191 out of the equation.

    34. Julie says:

      I am also skeptical of the assumption that forcing 199 families into 191 is better for 191. The current 191 teachers and parents are working hard to develop 191 as they see best. Forcing mostly white families into 199 who will be bitter and may have different values (test scores above all else!) will change things, and maybe not in the way the current community wants. Given that 342 is opening in 2 years and will be the preferred choice for the new luxury high rise families; this seems likely to be a messy 2 years for 191.

    35. Kristin says:

      The DOE and zoning committee deserve so much credit for tackling not just overcrowding, but also inequity and segregation. In 2015 on the Upper West Side, access to the best educational opportunities should not be dictated by demographics.

      • Trumped says:

        This plan does not address inequality or segregation. As stated in the presentation, the guiding rationale for the proposal is solely to “alleviate the kindergarten zone for P.S. 199” by using currently available space at 191 and 452. The plan does not provide any additional access to 199 to predominantly minority or lower income blocks. It does not try to improve 191 other than hoping more white and higher income families that have been zoned out will attend 191, a dubious assumption both on whether it will happen or will improve things. Rezoning is needed and can bring great benefits as you suggest, but it requires a thoughtful discussion with the community to develop such goals and ideas of how to achieve them, such as making 191 more attractive to all families. The opening of 342 in 2 years is a golden opportunity to addess inequality and 199 overcrowding long-term by adding a new sought after school. We should be thinking about that rather than a quick fix for 199 now.

    36. natalie b campbell says:

      this is very upsetting. Parents usually purchase their homes with the best school district in mind for the education of their children. Suddenly there is a rather arbitrary decision to rearrange districts. please leave our children in district 199.thank you for your consideration.

    37. Helen Ann says:

      Families with children bought their apartments based on access to the best school district, 199. Now you are arbitrarily trying to take that away. Sounds to me that this is based on politics. Please do not rezone.

    38. PROUD BLACK WOMAN~ says:

      White Supremacy is over! Many racists who live on the upper west side will never conform to the reality that minority students are entitled to a fair and appropriate education like the white kids who they are so concerned with. These people will also never understand that if they are afraid of the competition that including minority students pose, they can always move out! This city is a melting pot of diversity. Shame on any person who tries to justify separate educational facilities. With all the money they make, create their own schools or pay for private education and leave the free and public education for “us”. Some of these comments are racist, hateful and should not be allowed to be posted. Just goes to show that the upper and middle class income white people are the most hateful, ignorant and fearful cowards! They fear what they don’t understand! PURE HATE!

    39. Nicole says:

      I agree with the statement below to ensure a fair and equitable educational experience for all students.

      “it would be best to combine 199, 191 and 342 into one mega-zone”