City approves IS 381-Andries Hudde co-location amid pushback

Location, location, location! City should not move IS 381 in with ‘dangerous’ school, parents say
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

Two Midwood middle schools will share a campus this fall — despite parents’ pleas otherwise.

A Department of Education panel voted unanimously on Dec. 21 to move E. 22nd Street’s IS 381 in with Andries Hudde at the latter junior high’s Nostrand Avenue campus. The plan should provide IS 381’s roughly 300 sixth- through eighth-graders with better resources — including a librarian and superior science lab — but parents strongly opposed the plan because of Hudde’s reputation as being unsafe.

Parents of IS 381 students are mad they didn’t get their way, but now they’re hoping IS 381 will rub off on Hudde, one mom said.

“We were very sad and outraged a little. It was just very disappointing, all of the concerns the parents brought up were completely ignored,” said Elaina McDuffie, whose son will start seventh grade at IS 381 next year. “We’re being moved and we are going to move together and we’ll be the model in that school and continue to thrive as 381.”

Hudde is a zoned school, but kids from all over the city can apply to go to IS 381, and forcing the move effectively undermines parents’ decisions to send their kids there, Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Midwood) testified during last Wednesday’s vote.

“Parents know what’s best for their children, and you have 300-plus students whose parents made a choice to put them in a choice school, so what I see tonight is giving them no choice,” he said.

But the deed is done, and now parents can only help the situation with a positive outlook, said the president of the Parent Teachers Association at IS 381.

“We are going to move forward and make it better,” said Diane Bharath, whose two kids will attend high school next year.

IS 381 is currently co-located with PS 197, and the Department of Education hopes to up enrollment there once 381 leaves so it can shrink a deficit in elementary school seats in the school district.

The changes take effect when the next school year begins in the fall.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.