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Front Page January 23, 2014  RSS feed

Woodside P. S. Move Will Harm Kids: Pols

Seeks New DOE Relocation Plan

Three local legislators sent a letter last Friday, Jan. 17, to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña urging the Department of Education to reconsider its plan to bus students from P.S. 11 in Woodside to a temporary location in Astoria while the school’s expansion is completed.

While the announcement of the new construction to ease overcrowding at the school is welcome news, the lawmakers contend the proposed plan to bus the displaced students to P.S. 171 in Astoria places a significant burden on parents and their young children.

Rep. Joseph Crowley joined Assemblywomen Catherine Nolan and Margaret Markey and State Sen. Michael Gianaris wrote in the letter of their shared concern with “the psychological effects on the incoming kindergarten class since they could potentially attend three different schools in three consecutive years.”

“While the expansion of P.S. 11 in Woodside is a necessary investment in our children’s education, we need to ensure that its construction is as least disruptive as possible to our families,” said Crowley. “I urge the Department of Education to work with the parents in our community on finding a suitable location for their children that is closer to home.”

“I would hope the Department of Education would take into consideration the concerns of families of young children,” added Nolan.

“We plead with the Department of Education to reconsider this busing plan and look closer to home for alternative space for these young P.S. 11 children,” said Markey. “A threemile bus ride at rush hour is no way for children to begin their first year in school. The entire school community is delighted that the DOE is finally moving forward with this long-awaited construction, but there must be a better alternative location for these kindergarteners.”

“All of us are thrilled P.S. 11 will eventually benefit from this muchneeded expansion, but current students and parents must not be forced to suffer in the meantime,” said Gianaris. “The DOE has taken a giant step in the fight against school overcrowding with this planned expansion, but rather than ruin a good thing, we should work together towards a solution that will give our children the learning experience they deserve without forcing them to travel miles to get it.”