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Controversial new Park Slope school zoning lines revealed

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Families living on roughly ten blocks of Park Slope turf will lose their coveted seats at two top-notch neighborhood schools under a plan that draws controversial new school zone boundary lines.

The Department of Education’s remapping proposal, released on Wednesday night, shrinks the areas that feed into the beloved elementaries PS 321 and PS 107 — so popular many parents move to the neighborhood for guaranteed seats.

The remapping cuts yet-to-be-enrolled PS 321 students living on:

• The blocks bounded by Fourth and Fifth avenues between First and Fifth streets.

• The blocks bounded by Third and Fourth avenues between First and Sixth streets.

• The blocks bounded by Seventh Avenue and Prospect Park West between Fourth and Fifth streets.

Areas nixed from PS 107 include:

• The blocks bounded by Sixth and Seventh avenues between 11th and 14th streets.

• The blocks bounded by Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West between Windsor Place and Prospect Park Southwest.

The new zones will not affect students who already attend the schools, and they will not be implemented before fall 2013, the Department of Education says.

Yet-to-be-enrolled students cut from the PS 321 zone will attend a new elementary school slated to open on Eighth Street and Fourth Avenue and students nixed from the PS 107 zone will attend PS 10 in Windsor Terrace, under the plan.

Department of Education planner Carrie Marlin said the new boundary lines are designed to shrink class sizes and eliminate kindergarten waiting lists at the crowded schools.

“We see now there’s not going to be the ability to serve the whole zone,” Marlin said.

At meeting on Tuesday, more than 100 nervous moms and dads — along peeved property owners who fear the change will hurt property values — said the new zones divide the neighborhood literally and figuratively.

“We are devastated — it’s disassembling our whole community,” said Lisa Scrivens, a mom with a preschooler.

The rezoning, which was introduced by District 15’s Community Education Council, comes after parents at the schools complained classes were too full and kindergarten waiting lists were too long.

To alleviate crowding, PS 321 principal Liz Phillips even removed an art room to accommodate more students.

That’s part of the reason why principals at both schools now support the proposal, which the city will float for 43 days before a final vote.

“It’s a very hard decision. It’s not ideal. But it could be a permanent solution,” Phillips said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

ty from pps says:
I wonder if this will slow the birthrate of Park Slope... seems like an overly fertile place.
Oct. 19, 2012, 9:37 am
Malembi from BK says:
—— you
Oct. 19, 2012, 12:54 pm
ty from pps says:
hmm?
Oct. 19, 2012, 5:40 pm
BB from PH says:
Yes - let's slow the birthrate. Soon we will have nothing but 80 year olds. I can't wait until Brooklyn is like Pennsylvania and Florida.
Oct. 19, 2012, 11:32 pm
Effed in Park Slope from Park Slope says:
This new Rezoning is rotten to its core

1.) The people who helped devise the new zone plans (CEC 15) are the very same ones who will be voting on it (Do you really think CEC15 can be objective when they are voting ON THEIR OWN PLAN?) We don't know anything about them, what zone they live in, or whether or not they will themselves be located in the new zone (most likely not)

2.) The New Zone clearly splits and polarized Park Slope in the homeowning "Upper Brownstoners" and the Lesser "DownSlopers" largely renters. It's disgusting, elitest, racist and should not be permitted.

3.) The rezoning strips 39/321/107 of their most soci-economically diverse blocks, making these schools whiter & richer while leaving the rest to 'fend for themselves'

4.) The re-zoning does nothing to address the REAL problem - Those who send their kids to 321/107/39 who DONT LIVE IN THE ZONE. This problem is likely to now get even worse now.. (Unintended consequences). Some estimates put this no. at approx 20% of the affected schools or more

5.) This plans does not even mention the UNDERcrowded ps282, which is just yards away from 321 - This school, along with ps133 should be put to better use to alleviate crowding at 321.

6.) No alternate plans were floated! - No Alternate maps.. NOTHING! (a 321/107 Annex? an Early Childhood Center focused only on the needs of Pre-K, K)

7.) 44 days is not enough time to fully digest and debate the single most important educational change that has ever occurred in District 15

8.) No mention was made of the new facility at 8th/4th Ave. What shape is it in? Does it even have a gym? Where are they going to get funding from? How will they be able to afford specialty teachers and other

While it's true that something should be done to address overcrowding problems at 321/107/39 ... it should NOT be this plan. Period. CEC 15: Please VOTE NO to this plan - There are many many other, better, more viable and more effective options available.

Petition
http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-bloomberg-nyc-dept-of-education-cec-district-15-maintain-existing-district-15-zoning-reject-the-proposed-rezoning

Oct. 21, 2012, 9:27 am
Pam from Ditmas Park says:
Maybe this will just spread good kids to more schools making those schools better?
Oct. 22, 2012, 7:42 am
Jason from Slope says:
Hopefully...but PS 282 has always been right in the heart of Park Slope and is still quite a poor school.

DOE should focus on making assets such as 282 and PS 133 much better, rather than worrying about re-zonings
Oct. 22, 2012, 6:18 pm
scott from park slope says:
even with rezoning the key issue is how wildly over-capacity every school in the neighborhood is. judging from the teaming hordes of pre-K kids I see in the area now that's only going to get worse. they would need to treble the size of every school to begin to keep up.

bet they have to rent more space from other churches to cope.
Oct. 23, 2012, 12:19 am
PSLope from Park Slope says:
I will soon move to West Chester rather than send my kids to PS282. There is a reason why all the parents in PS stayed away from it.
Oct. 25, 2012, 2:51 pm
Mark from Park Slope says:
If DOE focused on fixing PS282, (like ps133) then all the parents would want to send their kids there, and you wouldn't need or want to move, or lie to send your kids to ps321 even though you're not in its zone
Oct. 26, 2012, 7:11 pm

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