Colleagues, Families, and Members of the District 15 Community:

In the wake of the impact of COVID-19, I’m writing to provide an update on the status of ongoing planning work and potential rezoning in District 15. For some background, as you may know, the DOE has been partnering with CEC 15 and school communities since spring 2019 to develop a collaborative rezoning and admissions plan that aims to increase diversity and integration, reduce overcrowding, and advance equity. This planning has involved seven zoned schools: P.S. 38, P.S. 261, P.S. 32, P.S. 15, P.S. 29, P.S. 58 and P.S. 676 Red Hook Neighborhood School. In response to feedback from community discussions, the DOE committed to further empowering historically underserved communities in this area through a Participatory Action Research (PAR) process. In February, the DOE shared a communication to CEC 15 and the broader community introducing the PAR vendor and process, which resulted in many responses from a diverse group of community members and efforts to form PAR teams to support the work. As in-person meetings commenced to start the PAR process, the COVID-19 outbreak began, which interfered with previously planned next steps for the project.

Over the last few months, the core PAR team has shifted strategy and has been meeting virtually to reflect on the impact of the current pandemic and determine how to move forward. Most recently, the core PAR team shared a revised plan/timeline with the CEC and has begun interviews and small group conversations with community members. Over the coming weeks, the PAR teams will be in touch with the broader community with opportunities to gather virtually, share the work they have been doing, and engage in further dialogue about equity and potential rezoning.

Additionally, it is important to note that the original rezoning discussions began related to the anticipated opening of a new addition at P.S. 32 in September 2020. As you may know, due to the COVID-19 emergency, construction on the addition was paused, but has since been un-paused. Should the opening timeline change for any reason due to this rapidly evolving and unprecedented situation, we will be sure to notify the community immediately.

In terms of the potential for a rezoning proposal to be submitted and voted on in the upcoming fall/winter for 2021-2022 implementation, we recognize the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on our schools and communities across the city. While this timeline remains on the table, any decision to move forward would be made in collaboration among the DOE, PAR team, CEC, school communities, and other key community stakeholders.

If anyone has feedback on what this process should ultimately look like, please reach out to me at 718-935-4317 or by e- mail at askop@schools.nyc.gov, or e-mail District Planning at brooklynzoning@schools.nyc.gov.

I want to thank the CEC members for their ongoing partnership and you, the dedicated District 15 community , for your continued willingness to engage in this process as we continue to develop a plan that advances equity and excellence for all our students.

Sincerely yours,

Anita Skop