New Public School Planned For Blessed Sacrament Building
Blessed Sacrament School will be home to a new District 30 elementary school while another district school, P.S. 111, may have its grade configuration altered.
The School Construction Authority has negotiated a deal for the Blessed Sacrament building beginning September 2010 and next month, the Panel for Educational Policy considers changing P.S. 111 to pre-K through Grade 5 from pre-K through Grade 8.
“Great news,” District 30 Community Superintendent Dr. Philip A. Composto said about Blessed Sacrament at the November meeting of the Community District Education Council. “We have, for years, needed a school over in Jackson Heights.”
In August, the Community District Education Council for District 30 passed a resolution urging the SCA to purchase or lease the Blessed Sacrament facility. No details of the agreement were released.
Thematic proposals for the new elementary school were made at the council meeting during a public hearing under the auspices of the Department of Education, Office of Portfolio Planning. Five applicants each gave a five-minute presentation including the school’s mission, educational philosophy and their reasons for wanting to open a new school. E-mail comments may be made to NewSchoolsTeam@schools.nyc.gov.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn announced the closing of 14 schools, including Blessed Sacrament, in January. The school closed for good at the end of the 2009 school year. Located at 34-20 94th St., the Blessed Sacrament building has a capacity of 700 and at its peak, decades ago, handled as many as 2,500 students. When the doors finally shut, enrollment had dwindled to just 180 students.
P.S. 111, the Jacob Blackwell School, located at 37-15 13th St. in Long Island City, currently serves pre-kindergarten through Grade 8. A proposal to eliminate Grades 6, 7 and 8, leaving the school serving pre-kindergarten through grade 5 only, is under discussion. At present, P.S. 111 shares space with VOICE Charter School in a building with a capacity of 788 and a utilization rate of 61 percent. Enrollment as of October at P.S. 111 is 404. VOICE has an enrollment of 147 in kindergarten through Grade 2 and plans to add another grade every year until the school expands to Grade 8.
If approved, P.S. 111 will stop serving Grade 6 next year. Grade 7 will be eliminated in 2011, followed by Grade 8 in 2012. District 30 middle schools will absorb students no longer attending P.S. 111.
VOICE Charter School will remain in P.S. 111 through the 2010-2011 school year, according to a November 2, 2009 DOE Educational Impact Statement regarding the proposal to reconfigure P.S. 111. “Decisions about the long-term utilization of [P.S. 111] will be made at a later date and addressed in a separate proposal,” according to the EIS.
Two public forums, December 7 at 6 p.m. at P.S. 111, 37-15 13th St. in Long Island City and December 17, at the Panel for Educational Policy, 6 p.m. at New World H.S. 921 East 228th St., The Bronx, will be held. The PEP meeting is a vote.
Send comments to D30Proposals@schools.nyc.gov. or leave comments at 718-935-4198. For information contact Kim Wong, Office of Portfolio Planning, telephone 212-374-0209 or fax 212-374-5588.