Petition Closed
Petitioning Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and 21 others

Mayor Bloomberg, NYC Department of Education: DON'T LET OVERCROWDING COMPROMISE SCIENCE, ART, & MUSIC at PS/IS 276

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!

Letter to
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller John Liu
Former NYC Comptroller and 2013 Mayoral Candidate Bill Thompson
and 19 others
2013 NYC Mayoral Candidate Tom Allon
Former Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin
President, Battery Park City Authority and Battery Park City Conservancy Demetrios Boutris
Chancellor, NYC Department of Education Dennis Walcott
Mayor, City of New York Mayor Bloomberg
City Council Member Margaret Chin
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio
Community Board 1 Battery Park City Committee Acting Chair George Calderaro
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
State Senator Daniel Squadron
Community Education Council District 2 President Shino Tanikawa
Community Board 1 Chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes
Battery Park City Authority Chairperson Dennis Mehiel
Deputy Chancellor, Division of Portfolio Planning Marc Sternberg
Community Board 1 Youth and Education Co-Chair Tricia Joyce
Community Board 1 Youth and Education Co-Chair Paul Hovitz
Community Board 1 Battery Park City Committee Acting Chair Anthony Notaro
Governor, State of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
DON'T LET OVERCROWDING COMPROMISE SCIENCE, ART, & MUSIC at PS/IS 276

Our three-year-old school was designed to handle 3 classes per grade. However, since we opened our doors in 2009, we have been forced to take on additional kindergarten classes (4 classes in 2010, 5 classes in 2011, and 5 classes in 2012) each year. Although this fix has reduced the Kindergarten waiting list each year, they have a nine-year impact on our school as these oversized groups of students advance through to 8th grade. 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. As of today, 28 of our 29 classrooms are already in use, with 5th grade set to open in our building next year.

PS/IS 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 are affected.

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%! We implore you to:

- 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