The CEC 15 and Department of Education held another public meeting on 10/27 to update the community on the potential rezoning of 7 public elementary schools and the ongoing participatory action research (PAR) in affected neighborhoods underrepresented in the education decision making process. While no official recommendation was presented, some insight on the timeline for the implementation and vision of the PAR team was provided.
The Department of Education 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 in District 15. The process was initiated by the opening of the annex at PS 32 in Carroll Gardens that brought over 430 new seats to the Subdistrict and needs to be filled.
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.
The PAR Team consists of 12 community members who are connected to the 7 affected schools and meets weekly to develop a vision for the rezoning in the area. The team is now in its late stage of data collection, will received more community feedback until early November and will formulate recommendations until the next CEC meeting on November 17.
Once the PAR team has presented its findings, the Department of Education will work on a rezoning map based on their vision. There could be other considerations beyond the two rezoning scenarios that have been presented before.
The meeting on 10/27 did not provide a lot of news, however these are our key takeaways:
- An official vision will finally be presented by the PAR team on November 17th from 6.30 to 8 pm
- District 15 won a New York State Integration Award and will use part of the $2.7M grant for this process
- Integration and desegregation are the key focus for thriving schools in every neighborhood according to the PAR team
- Schools should become community building resources beyond one neighborhood according to the PAR team
- To implement the new zones for next school year, a vote would have to happen before the Kindergarten application deadline which is end of January in a typical school year.
If you are zoned for these schools, or if you have a child who currently attends one of these schools, please take the survey by clicking here! Siblings of current students at the schools will not be affected by this rezoning.
Photo: Member of the PAR team speaking in the Zoom meeting on 10/27