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Local News February 21, 2013  RSS feed

A NEW SCHOOL AT NEWTOWN?

Co-Location Plan To Target ELL Students
by Robert Pozarycki

Parents will get the chance to speak out on aco-location” plan to house a new school dedicated to students who are learning English at Newtown High School during a public hearing being held by the Department of Education (DOE) this Wednesday night, Feb. 27, at the Elmhurst campus, it was announced.

The session will take place beginning at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Newtown High School, located at 48- 01 90th St. Speakers may begin to register for the session a half-hour before the start; no one may register to speak 15 minutes after the hearing has begun.

In its public notice on the hearing sent to the Times Newsweekly last Thursday, Feb. 14, the DOE explained that it intends to open a new “International high school” within Newtown’s campus “for recently arrived immigrant students” with a “unique educational model which will offer rigorous academic programming to prepare English language learner (ELL) students for post-secondary college and careers.”

Reportedly, the International school is being created in order to “concentrate on a smaller cohort of students as well as enable the co-location of a new high school which would focus on the needs of ELL students, which make up a large percentage of Newtown’s current student body.”

The new school will be introduced in phases over a four-year pe- riod, with the first freshman class entering this September. The full new school will house between 300 and 340 ELL students once all four grade levels are incorporated by September 2016.

Newtown, meanwhile, will have its enrollment decrease by up to 344 students as the new international school is phased in. To accomplish this, fewer freshmen seats will be available beginning this September and in the years thereafter.

Currently, 2,254 students in grades nine through 12 are enrolled at Newtown, which the DOE noted accounts for a 94 percent capacity rate. Combined with the International school, Newtown’s enrollment is projected to be between 2,210 and 2,290 students by September 2016, which amounts to a capacity rate of between 92 and 96 percent.

According to the DOE, the new school and the decrease in Newtown’s enrollment is being sought “in consultation with the school’s leader, cluster, network support and community.” If enacted, this plan will not alter the high school admissions process for Newtown.

As for the international school, priority for enrollment will be given to students who currently live in Queens, “have lived in the United States for four years or fewer at the time of admission to high school and whose home language is not English.”

Under the co-location proposal, both Newtown and the International school may share common spaces including auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias and libraries.

It was noted that the creation of the new school aims to also boost overall academic performance at Newtown, which has been classified by the state Education Department as “persistently low achieving.” In 2011, the DOE implemented the federally approved “restart” educational reform model at the school, allowing the administration to partner with a private organization for support and supplemental education services.

Last year, the city DOE tried to “phase out” Newtown and several other struggling high schools under a reform model known as “turnaround.” Under that plan, Newtown would have been dissolved and a new high school—complete with a new name and administration—would have opened in its place.

The turnaround proposal, however, was aborted last summer as a result of litigation filed against the city.

Comments on the co-location plan at Newtown may be submitted to the DOE in advance of Wednesday’s hearing by emailing D24proposals@ schools.nyc.gov or orally by calling 1-212-374-7621. Comments may also be sent by mail to Emily Ades, Division of Portfolio Planning, 52 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007. The amended educational impact statement can be viewed on the DOE’s website, schools.nyc.gov.

The co-location proposal will be voted on by the city’s Panel for Educational Policy at their meeting on Monday, Mar. 11, at 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Technical High School, located at 29 Fort Greene Pl. in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

-CONTINUED FROM PG. 3- of the perpetrators threatened the woman as the robbery unfolded.

Reportedly, the bandits removed a sum of cash as well as a cell phone from the residence, then exited and fled from the scene inside a dark-colored vehicle believed to be a BMW sedan.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the scene. The woman was not injured.

Various police units conducted a land-and-air search for the suspects and their vehicles. Despite those efforts, authorities noted, no immediate arrests were made.

The case was presented to the 104th Precinct Detective Squad for further investigation, police said.

Anyone with any information regarding the home invasion that could prove helpful is asked to call the 104th Precinct Detective Squad at 1- 718-386-2735; all calls will be kept confidential.