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New zoning maps approved for Park Slope’s most coveted schools

The Brooklyn Paper
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The controversial plan to shrink the areas that feed into two of Park Slope’s most beloved schools passed the test on Wednesday night.

Neighborhood education officials voted in favor of the Department of Education’s rezoning plan, cutting new lines through the community in a bid to reduce crowding at the popular but packed PS 321 and PS 107.

Members of the District 15 Community Education Council stood before more than 50 anxious parents and voted unanimously in favor of the remapping proposal, which was first drafted in October and then adjusted in November.

“We have some of the best schools in the country — our biggest problem is that we are severely overcrowded in almost every school in the district. That’s not helpful to kids learning,” said council vice president Mark Kolman. “I have to vote for this. There isn’t much of a reasonable choice.”

The new maps don’t affect current students, but they nix roughly a dozen blocks from the area zoned for PS 321 including:

• The blocks bounded by Third and Fourth avenues between President Street and Sixth streets, and the blocks bounded by Fourth and Fifth avenues between President and Fifth streets. Students cut from the highly regarded Seventh Avenue school will now attend a new elementary school set to open next year in the former St. Thomas Aquinas building on Eighth Street and Fourth Avenue, which has been temporarily housing PS 133.

Areas cut from PS 107 include:

• The blocks bounded by Sixth and Seventh avenues between 11th and 14th streets, and the blocks bounded by Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West between Windsor Place and Prospect Park Southwest. Kids cut from that zone will attend PS 10 in Windsor Terrace.

The new maps were met with harsh opposition from their inception, with angry moms and dads who were nixed from the zones outraged over the fact their not yet school-aged kids won’t get seats in the most-respected elementaries in the family-centric neighborhood.

Park Slope dad Jonathan Uretsky, who moved to Third Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues in hopes his two-year-old would one day attend PS 321, is one of many parents who was crushed by the decision..

“I’m very disappointed. The overwhelming majority of people moved to where we live to put their children in PS 321,” said Uretsky. “It has got a reputation to be one of the best schools in all of New York City.”

Uretsky is now considering moving just one block so his child is once again in the PS 321 zone.

Updated 5:37 pm, July 9, 2018
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