Education for all in the Rockaways!
This petition made change with 1,573 supporters!
On Our Way Learning Center is a special education (4410) preschool program located in Far Rockaway, NY. We currently have 2 UPK integrated classes, 2 Early Intervention centerbased classes, 4 12:1:2 self-contained classes, and 3 8:1:2 self-contained classes servicing the entire Rockaway community. They also have an extensive evaluation site, and evaluate between 500-600 children a year, and their EI service coordinators oversee about 200 children's cases at any given time. They are the ONLY program of this kind in the entire Rockaway peninsula. Their student population is diverse- and they have serviced and continue to service hundreds, if not thousands of children from all local communities.
> They also employ around 85 people from within the local community- this includes, teachers, classroom assistants, therapists, service coordinators, administration, and clerical staff. The program has a very low turnover rate, as people are happy working here and put their heart and soul into each child, with most teachers and therapists working there at least 15+ years.
> Right before Spring Break, we were informed that due to lack of funding and overwhelming debt, the program is being forced to close as of June 30th, due to financial difficulties
> Due to the pressing regional need, NY state has allowed for the possibility of another school taking over the current building and staff, which is great news for all families on Rockaway Peninsula! Several schools have expressed interest in taking over and have seen the program and some have already submitted applications to New York State.
However, the approval process is taking longer than anticipated, and in the meantime, children are being sent all over Queens to schools possibly over a two hour busride away. Please reach out to our politicians to reach out to the state to expedite the approval process for a new school as soon as possible!
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