Posts tagged "jamaica high school"
August 31, 2011
The Department of Education gave out temporary assignments yesterday to nearly 2,000 teachers who are on the city payroll but who do not have permanent jobs in schools.
That didn’t stop dozens of teachers from lining up outside the Brooklyn Museum yesterday afternoon for one of the last hiring fairs before school starts next week. Members of the Absent Teacher Reserve, the pool of teachers whose positions have been cut, mostly due to budget cuts or school closures, received special invitations to the job fair from the DOE, encouraging them to be “proactive” in their job search.
If those teachers are not offered jobs this week, they will be asked to rotate between different schools on a weekly basis as substitute teachers, according to an arrangement made by the teachers union and the DOE earlier this summer to avoid teacher layoffs. In previous years, ATRs were typically assigned to one school for the entire year to cover for absent teachers.
There were 1,940 teachers in the ATR pool as of Aug. 19. Typically, the pool shrinks in the first weeks of the school year as principals hasten to fill open positions.
Those who logged into the job portal for excessed teachers yesterday morning found information on what schools to report to in September.
English teacher Jerome Madramootoo, who was excessed after the city began phasing out Jamaica High School in June, said he was assigned to work at Newtown High School in Queens next month, but given no specific information about what he would be doing there. (more…)
January 24, 2011
For the past two weeks, education officials have spent nearly every weeknight holding public hearings at each of the 25 district schools the city wants to close next year. Seventeen of the schools are in this for the second go-around, after a union lawsuit foiled the department’s attempt to close them last year.
As a result, this year’s hearings are both formatted differently — part of an attempt to better explain the closure decisions and avoid another lawsuit — and less emotional, despite communities’ still-simmering anger and frustration.
GothamSchools reporters recently attended three of these hearings.
Jamaica High School
The group of students, teachers and parents that gathered in Jamaica High School’s auditorium was smaller than the large, boisterous crowd that packed last year’s hearing.
But, as several students pointed out, the school is also smaller this year. After the courts blocked the city from closing Jamaica and 18 other high schools last year, the size of the incoming freshman class shrunk dramatically. (more…)
January 18, 2011
A play written by Queens high school students finally came to the stage last Friday, after igniting controversy for its criticism of former Chancellor Joel Klein.
Administrators at Jamaica High School, which the city plans to close next year, initially banned the play. They then reversed their decision, permitting students to put on their adaptation of the Greek tragedy “Antigone.”
In the play, Klein assumes the role of King Creon, who in the original story favors one brother over another and refuses to give the one he dislikes a proper burial. But in the students’ play, the two brothers are Jamaica High School and the schools that now share its building. The adaptation’s authors are clear: Jamaica is the unpopular one.
In this scene, the prophet Tiresias comes to visit Klein to advise him against closing the school:
December 9, 2010
New York State’s annual worst-of list is out today and it includes 21 new struggling schools that New York City will have to radically change in the next several years.
Many of these schools are already on the city’s radar. Two of them — the School for Community Research and Learning and I.S. 195 — are on the list of schools the city plans to begin closing next year. Others, such as Herbert Lehman High School, earned poor grades on their annual progress reports and were considered for closure.
With the addition of these 21 schools, the number of schools eligible for (but not yet undergoing) federal “turnaround” strategies is up to 43. By next April, the city’s Department of Education has to send the state a plan for how it will improve each of these schools.
“We need to apply to the state with a school-by-school plan with a proposed budget and we’ll go back and forth with them on a draft until they finally approve,” said DOE spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld. “We have a technical deadline of sometime in April, but obviously we want to get moving on this as soon as possible.” (more…)
December 7, 2010
The city announced plans to shutter an additional 14 schools this morning, making a total of 26 schools that may either close entirely or begin to phase out starting next fall.
Yesterday, city officials announced their plans to close 11 district schools and recommended that the state not renew the charter of Ross Global Academy, a Manhattan charter school.
The final list of planned closures includes most — but not all — of the schools the city originally proposed to close last year before it was blocked by a lawsuit brought by the city teachers union, the NAACP and other groups.
Citing improvements the schools have made over the past year, the city is sparing four of the 19 schools the city proposed closing last year: the Choir Academy of Harlem, W.H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School, the Middle School for Academic and Social Excellence and the Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship High School.
The city is proposing that most of the schools on its list stop admitting new classes next year and phase out over time. For two schools, KAPPA II and the Academy for Collaborative Education, the city plans to shutter all grades at once at the end of this year.
City officials culled the final list of 25 district schools to close from a larger list of 55 schools that they targeted for possible closure earlier in the fall. Of the 30 schools on that list that were spared today, 14 may still undergo one of two federally-approved strategies for school improvement.
One of those scenarios, known as the “turnaround” model, requires that the schools’ principals be replaced and its staff and teachers re-apply for their jobs; only half may be re-hired. The other model, known as “transformation,” relies on replacing the principal, bringing in outside support services and experimenting with new teacher training and school schedules.
The city and union are currently in talks over which schools might use each model.
Here is the final list of schools the city wants to close. The schools highlighted below were announced today.
July 16, 2010
Enrollment numbers at high schools that the city had targeted for closure are on the rise, but still far below past years’ levels.
After a judge’s ruling postponed closures at 19 schools — 14 of them high schools — many of the schools began reporting that they were severely under-enrolled. Metropolitan Corporate Academy had eight incoming ninth graders and Jamaica High School in Queens had 23 — a number so low the school’s principal doubted he’d be able to have a freshman class. Now that the city has completed its second round of high school placements, more students are set to enter these schools next year.
But the numbers are still extremely low. While there are now 23 students enrolled at Metropolitan Corporate Academy, the school traditionally saw an incoming freshman class of between 70 and 100 students. Many of these schools still have enrollments too low for them to support a ninth grade program. If the city does not assign them more students, they could be forced to phase out their ninth grades, skirting the court’s ruling that the schools should remain intact.
A spokesman for the Department of Education said the city expects the enrollment numbers to climb. (more…)
June 16, 2010
When a judge ruled in favor of keeping open 19 schools that the city had targeted for closure, it appeared that the teachers union had won its case. But for at least one of the schools, under-enrollment could spell closure anyway.
Jamaica High School in Queens is currently looking at an incoming class of 23 ninth grade students, according to minutes taken during a meeting between the school’s principal and union chapter leader. If more students don’t enroll, the high school will not be able to offer a ninth grade next year, which is what would have happened under the city’s original plan to phase out the school.
A portion of the minutes reads:
Mr. Acham said that our expected number of students for the fall would be between 850 and 900 pupils and not close to 1400 that we currently are enrolling. He added that the number of incoming grade nine students who have made a full commitment to Jamaica High School for this fall was only 23 and this number was down from a potential incoming class of merely 60. Therefore, the Principal concluded that we do not have a sufficient number of freshmen to run our programs.
A spokesman for the Department of Education, Danny Kanner, said Jamaica’s enrollment numbers would likely go up, but would not offer an explanation of how this would happen or how many students had been matched with the school’s ninth grade next year. (more…)
March 26, 2010
A school board vote to close 19 city schools is “null and void,” according to a decision handed down by a state Supreme Court justice today.
The bombshell decision leaves the fate of all 19 schools and their staffs up in the air and could force the Department of Education to rewrite arguments for why they deserve to be shut down. The ruling is the first time a court has interpreted the new mayoral control law Albany put in place last summer.
A lawyer for the city, Michael Cardozo, said the Department of Education would appeal the decision.
“We are disappointed by today’s ruling, which, unless it is reversed, requires the Department of Education to keep open schools that are failing our children,” Cardozo said. (more…)
January 25, 2010
January 8, 2010
From Queens to Brooklyn, hundreds of teachers, students, and alumni poured into auditoriums last night to defend their high schools from closure.
In Queens, supporters of Jamaica High School turned out in droves for the public hearing, a meeting also attended by Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and some of the Department of Education’s top brass.
The arguments against phasing out Jamaica and replacing it with several small schools in the same building were similar to those voiced at a question-and-answer session with DOE officials held at the school last month, which also drew an angry crowd.
When one speaker pointed out Walcott’s presence in the back of the auditorium, audience members rose from their seats, turned around to face him, and chanted, “Save Jamaica High School.”
The Queens representative on the Panel for Educational Policy, Dmytro Fedkowski, asked the DOE to postpone the board’s vote on the proposals until the department releases more information about how the closure decisions were made. (more…)