Park Slope School Rezoning Is a Go

Calling the Park Slope school rezoning proposal “imperfect but necessary” to relieve overcrowding, the District 15 Community Education Council approved it last night, The New York Times reported. The Times story summarized the issue like this:

The District 15 council’s 7-to-0 vote in favor of rezoning ends several years of hand-wringing over Public Schools 321 and 107, both so desirable in Park Slope circles that home buyers in the area pay a premium to live within the schools’ attendance zones. The decision followed months of acrimonious debate.

Or, as Council Secretary Valerie Price Ervin put it, “I think it’s the best solution for now.” The proposal will take effect next year. Kids who live in the blocks west of Fifth Avenue will attend a new school. Some blocks now zoned for P.S. 107 will shift to P.S. 10. P.S. 39 will remain untouched. Siblings will be given priority to stay together at a school. Council President Jim Devor got his compromise: the Education Department and representatives from Sunset Park agreed 30 percent of the spots in P.S. 133 would be reserved for “low income and minority students in overcrowded Sunset Park,” as the Times put it.
Park Slope Education Council Approves Rezoning Proposal [NY Times]
The Man Who Holds Park Slope Rezoning in His Hands [Brownstoner]

13 Comment

  • Cate: Unless the NYT article is wrong, you need to correct your post. the 30% of the spots reserved for low income and minority students will be in P.S. 133, which is a district 13 school, not in the new school. The new school does not have a name yet. This is confusing because P.S. 133 is currently housed in the building where the new school will be located, but PS 133 is moving out to a new building on Butler and 4th Ave before the new school moves in.

  • So I’m guessing that the area west of 5th Avenue that is being zoned out of PS 321 is where most of the minority students live. Looks like 321 is on its way to becoming a black-free, Hispanic-free district.

    So the ultra-liberal 321 parents who probably voted 95% for Obama and claim they “celebrate” diversity, really don’t celebrate diversity at all.

  • All you have to do is rent a studio with in the zone for a year when your kid reachs school age.

  • Yeah, Cate you need to correct. The rezoned D15 blocks will be moved to a new D15 zone destined for the as-yet-unnamed school which will be sited at St. Thomas Aquinas. PS 133, which is currently a D 13 zoned school, is right now occupying St. Thomas Aquinas while their new building is being constructed. However, starting next year, the new zoned D15 school will occupy St. Thomas building. The current PS 133 students, admin, etc. will go to the new building, on Butler and 4th.

    So the new PS 133 building will now host what is currently PS 133, but for new enrollments that school is now a “choice” school for D13 students, about 350 seats, which means that new enrollments will not be determined by zone. They will be open to all D13 families with a preference for ELL and low-income children. The current zone for PS 133 is being absorbed by PS 282 in North Slope, also a D13 zoned school.

    And it gets more complicated. The new PS 133 building will *also* house an unzoned D15 school, about 500 seats allocated to D15 children, again open to all D15 children but with a preference for ELL and low-income families. I am not clear as to whether the DOE will try to operate the unzoned D13 and D15 schools at new PS 133 building separately, or will have one principal (the current PS 133 principal), what the names will be, etc. I’m not a 133 parent, but perhaps someone can chime in with information about what is expected to happen there, and what is expected to happen with the dual language programs.

  • If the Thomas Aquinas school enrollment is limited to its zoned area, then within 2yrs it will be as good or better than 321. The parents in this new zoned area should simply work to make sure that the DOE doesnt allow non-zoned kids into this school until it is properly established

  • Thanks, curious and well-phed. I’m checking the addresses of the various schools.

  • I have just one question. I heard Liz Phillips say, and others as well that if your children are already in 321 you will stay in 321 no matter where you live. Same for siblings of those kids being varianced in. If that’s the case than how are they going to fill up the First to Fifth grade classes? It seems that they will need to purge some of the grades.

    Also I agree with the sentiment that this may not be a bad thing. We may have 3 great schools in our neighborhood

    • are you asking how they will fill up the 1-5 grade classes at the new zoned school? not sure about this school in particular (and we all know that “park slope is different”), but typically new DOE schools open with K-1 grades only, and add the older grades one at a time as the kids advance. sometimes a new school will include upper grades, but that is usually only where a new zoned school replaces an old zoned school and there are pre-existing kids with no place else to go.

      if liz phillips said that she is letting in siblings of kids that are varianced (i.e, that didn’t live in-zone when they were admitted), that is a pretty big deal when a school is overcrowded. and it surprises me that she would say it openly.

      • Wow really, so the school is this big under capacity building that fills up a bit more every year? That’s interesting, probably a good way to do it. Sounds like it will be awhile until 321 is less crowded.

        Sorry if I was unclear about Liz Phillips statement. Children who have siblings already in 321 will receive a sibling variance to get into 321.