Retain Sibling Priority for Enrolled PS 682 Students
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As a member of the TAOTS community, I support first priority enrollment status for the siblings of students currently enrolled and accepted for 2017. Prioritizing newly zoned students above the siblings of currently enrolled students will force existing TAOTS families to face an agonizing choice - separate their children from their school community or separate their siblings from each other.
Dividing families in this way contradicts the DOE's previously stated goal of keeping siblings within the same school and does not reflect the process executed in the most recent District 20 rezoning. While overcrowding in NYC public schools is a challenge that we must collectively meet, the proposed rezoning admissions policy is an inequitable solution. It will force many families to withdraw from TAOTS in order to avoid the hardships of having children in two different schools, transferring them to other schools which are also severely overcrowded. Ironically, this is the exact problem that the proposed rezoning is designed to alleviate.
Though rezoning may be a necessary step to relieve overcrowding at PS 247, we should not overlook the needs of one group of children in order to accommodate others. Rezoning can and should be managed in a way that meets the needs of ALL students and families and which shows respect and care for current TAOTS families with incoming siblings. The students and families of PS 682 should be shown the same concern that is being given to the students of PS 247.
Grandfathered TAOTS families will transition out of the school in just a few short years but will help to build a bridge between the school’s extraordinary culture of parental involvement and the new families being welcomed into their neighborhood school. Giving priority to all siblings of currently enrolled students will make the transition gradual while still allowing for ample seats to be given to newly zoned students.
It should be the objective of the school system to build a strong culture of trust within the school and district. For that trust to remain, it is the responsibility of school leaders to fairly evaluate everyone’s needs and provide a compromise that will lead to a positive school experience for all. I ask that the siblings of currently enrolled PS 682 students be granted Priority 1 admissions status. We implore the DOE to keep our families together in a school we love.
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