After weeks of complaints from some parents at PS 452 about a new plan to rezone Upper West Side schools, the city is now working on a third rezoning option. The third option, which was discussed in brief at a CEC3 (school board) meeting on Wednesday night, would allow PS 452 to stay in its current building on 77th Street instead of moving to 61st Street. There was no map available of this new option, however, and it sounds like there won’t be one available until later this month.

The explanation about the plan was sparse, according to DNAinfo.

“The plan will still aim to tackle overcrowding, a lack of diversity at some schools and under-enrollment at others, [Sarah Turchin, director of planning at the Department of Education] said.  Other elements of the new scenario will remain the same as before, including P.S. 191 moving into the new Riverside Center school and zoning lines changing in the northern part of the Upper West Side.”

It’s not even clear why the city needs to devise a third plan, which could further confuse parents already grappling with two complicated options. One of the two plans presented in July already allowed PS 452 to stay in the same place. CEC3 Zoning Committee Chair Kim Watkins said there will be additional hearings once the third option is presented.

We have posted the two currently available maps at the bottom of this post.

We’re awaiting word from the Department of Education and will post a map if they have it. With no map of the new option available, parents who attend public hearings on Saturday and Monday can only guess at the third option.

We’ve posted the dates and times of the hearings below, as well as a letter from Watkins.

Saturday, Sept 17
1:00 pm
PS191 Auditorium
210 West 61st St

Monday, Sept 19
6:00 pm
PS87 Auditorium
160 West 78th St

Many parents attended the CEC3 Meeting last night and learned that in addition to the two initial rezoning scenarios, they are also working towards a third option that combines elements of the first drafts. According to DOE, this third scenario is not yet complete. DOE stated that it will be presented to the community by the end of September.

Since the inception of this rezoning exercise, CEC3 has been committed to an open and transparent process designed to receive input from parents throughout District 3. While much of the focus to date has been on potential impacts to PS199 and PS452, the final rezoning plan could impact PS191, PS199, PS452, PS87, PS9, PS166, PS84, PS75, PS163, PS145, and PS165, and perhaps additional District 3 schools. Therefore, CEC3 is conducting this public hearing to receive comment from parents of other affected schools.

The hearing will be conducted on the above two dates in the following way:

– quick welcome and ground rules

– review of doe presentation and maps

– public comment interspersed with questions submitted on cards

Parents will be asked to submit their questions in writing, and CEC3 Members will categorize them and answer them throughout the session. This is ONE hearing taking place over two days. Parents have the option of speaking at either the Saturday OR Monday portion of the hearing.

Additional hearings will be added to ensure that the District 3 Community has ample opportunity to comment on DOE’s revised scenario later this month.

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. Juan says:

      I truly appreciate that they are trying to listen to the feedback they are receiving and build what is hopefully a better plan. Keeping 452 where it is seems like a great start (full disclosure – I do not have a child at 452).

      But the fact that, as far as I can tell, they are still planning to implement whatever plan is chosen next school year amazes me. Many people choose where to live based on schools, but they will have no time to react, as I believe the residency deadline is January or February. And though hopefully the new plan will be better than the two existing one, I’m sure it will need some tweaking, which takes time. Ideally they finalize the plan by the end of the calendar year and are ready to launch it for 2018-19.

    2. Anon says:

      So basically, the upcoming “public comment sessions” are just a huge waste of parents’ time. Nice work, CEC.

    3. Citizen says:

      If they move 191 into the new building, then:

      1) do the middle school students (who are mostly outside District 3 anyway) also move into the new building or will it be elementary only?

      2) how many classes per grade will the new building fit? I heard 191 only has 2 classes per grade now – anyone know if that is true?

      • Anon says:

        Citizen –

        With respect to question #1, my understanding is that the newly relocated 191 will continue to be a K-8 school, so the middle school will remain intact.

        I don’t know the answer to your second question. What the DOE has stated in the various meetings is that the plan that does NOT move 452, there will be capacity for an additional class section for the southern portion of the district if it is needed in the future.

        • Citizen says:

          Thank you Anon. I think most people are not aware of this and would be very interested to know that the new building will be housing an elementary and a middle school.

    4. Deborah Franco says:

      their plan to breakup the Lincoln Towers community by taking children from 165/185 WEA out of PS199, a neighborhood school, one block from their homes makes no sense. The current proposal will have those students walk 13 blocks to school instead of 1.

    5. dannyboy says:

      “It’s not even clear why the city needs to devise a third plan”

      …to ensure that they don’t step on anybody’s toes who attend the meetings?

    6. Pedestrian says:

      City and mystery…why isn’t that a surprise?

    7. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      I think that it is outrageous that parents must defer to bureaucrats to decide what is best for their children. I would encourage parents to consider homeschooling as a viable alternative.

      There are many well-educated homeschooled students out there. Once they reach middle or high school age, they can even take a few classes at community college and later transfer the credit to their 4-year college. Most colleges, including Ivy Leagues, now accept homeschooled students.

      For social interaction, there are a ton of arts, music, and sports activities on the UWS that a child can participate in outside of public school.

    8. Jant Fried says:

      i65 WEA and 185 WEA have only 6 kindergarten children going to PS199. Yet, these two buildings are being zone out of PS 199 in favor of a 55 story luxury building at 200 Amsterdam Avenue. This building at 200 Amsterdam Avenue is currently a pile of rubble.

      An example of , yet again, of rich developers favored over working class men and women.

      Where is the FAIRNESS in that.

      • Mike says:

        It is depressing that there is plans to separate the Lincoln Towers buildings for 4 children in exchange for a giant luxury condo that doesn’t even exist yet. Isn’t the government supposed to work for the people they represent, not for the rich folks that bribe them, yes I said it, the only explanation is that they were bribed, otherwise this proposal would have never been brought up to begin with.

      • anon says:

        If there are 6 kindergarteners from those buildings enrolled in PS 199 they will be allowed to continue through 5th grade. Why throw this red herring into the mix?

        Lincoln Towers has no more right to PS 199 than any other building. Those children have no more right to a good public school than any other children.

        It is in societies best interest to give all children a good education. What is happening now does not do that in PS 191. Breaking that school zone up and distributing those incoming kindergarteners among other schools with richer parents will help them without harming the UMC kids.

        Everyone won’t be happy with this. Some property values, including mine, may momentarily decrease. That should not be a factor in the CEC/DOEs decision.