The Upper West Side school board is backing a plan to rezone local schools that would result in PS 452 on 77th Street being moved to West 61st Street, despite parents’ protests against the idea. The board will also look to increase the size of the zone for PS 191 to include 205 West End Avenue, a building in the Lincoln Towers complex. Lincoln Towers residents have been adamant that they should be zoned for the coveted PS 199 on 70th Street.
The changes are sure to be a shocker for many parents who had sat through hearings on the issue, wondering which way the board members were leaning.
The board’s plan was laid out in a detailed letter (posted below) sent Tuesday to the city Department of Education and elected officials. The letter also addresses the impact of a large rezoning on other public schools, including PS 87 and PS 9. We’ll have more coverage of those implications too.
Upper West Side education leaders have sought a rezoning to relieve overcrowding at some schools and increase diversity. School rezonings are proposed by the city and then voted on by the school board, known as CEC3. The board, made up of local public school parents, is set to vote next month on the plan, but had not revealed their intentions until now. There is no map currently available to show the plan that the board laid out in the letter, but the DOE has had the letter since Friday and may have a map ready for a meeting about the issue on Wednesday, said Kim Watkins, chair of the CEC3 zoning committee.
“We value the CEC’s leadership and partnership, and will continue to solicit feedback, host meetings and engage in robust conversations as we work to submit a final proposal that best serves all of the students and families in District 3,” wrote Toya Holness, a DOE spokesperson.
Update: Holness says that the DOE will not have a plan or map ready for Wednesday’s meeting.
The city DOE had already proposed three rezoning scenarios, one of which included a re-siting for PS 452. PS 452 would be placed at 61st and Amsterdam in the current home of PS 191, which would move one block West to a new building at 61st and West End Avenue inside the Riverside Center complex. While the principal supported PS 452’s move to 61st Street, some parents had fought it; a petition to keep the school in the same place had 857 supporters as of Tuesday.
The board’s letter is attached below, and will be discussed at upcoming rezoning meetings, including one that is scheduled for Wednesday Oct. 19. We have posted the full list of meetings here and will provide much more coverage of this. The letter is very detailed and includes many more requests and demands of the DOE.