The NYC Department of Education’s short-sighted fixes to public school overcrowding in Lower Manhattan are jeopardizing the future of PS/IS 276.
HERE ARE THE FACTS:
• Our three-year-old school was designed to handle 3 classes per grade.
• Since we opened our doors, the DOE has forced us to take on additional kindergarten classes (4 classes in 2010, 5 classes in 2011, and 5 classes in 2012.) These quick fixes have a nine-year impact on our school as these oversized groups of students advance through to 8th grade.
• Because of these short-sighted decisions, 28 of our 29 classrooms are already full, with 5th grade set to open in our building next year.
• Class sizes are nearing their maximum, yet, as of October 1, 2012, our Kindergarten is still 65% over capacity, 1st grade is 17% over capacity and 2nd grade is 14% over capacity.
WHAT’S AT STAKE:
• If we continue on this path, next fall our school will be more than 100 students over capacity, in 2014 we’ll be more than 160 students over capacity, and in 2015 we will be nearly 200 students over capacity.
• 276 is known for its outstanding science, arts, music and Pre-K programs. But if something doesn’t change, these valuable programs will be compromised, as we are in danger of losing our art room, music room, science rooms and our entire Pre-K program to accommodate the overflow.
• These extra students not only strain our classrooms, they impact other shared spaces in the school that simply were not designed to handle such a large population — the cafeteria, outdoor play area, library, gym, and even access points during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up will all be affected.
WHAT WE’RE ASKING:
• Limit the number of incoming kindergarten classes to 3 – the amount our school was built to accommodate
• Save our vital art, music and science rooms and Pre-K program
• Find and lease more interim classroom space now, to deal with existing shortages
• Build more schools in Lower Manhattan
PS/IS 276 is at a breaking point. Short-term fixes will not solve this ongoing problem. As the 2010 census shows, the number of children under age 5 living in our district has grown by an astounding 147%!
Our school needs your help to continue to thrive!