View Full Version : Manhattan-Midtown P.S. 51 Students May Be Sent to Other Schools During Construction

06-21-2011, 09:41 AM
From DNAinfo.com (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110620/chelsea-hells-kitchen/health-fears-prompt-plans-split-hells-kitchens-ps-51) by Meredith Hoffman:

After months fighting for their school's relocation, P.S. 51 parents may finally see their children move this fall but into two different schools.

The Department of Education is considering a plan to split West 45th Street's P.S. 51 and relocate students into the Clinton School for Writers and Artists, on West 33rd Street, and P.S. 11, on West 21st Street, this coming fall, DNAinfo has learned.

Many P.S. 51 parents are unhappy with the proposal, but at the same time they fear their current school building puts kids' health at stake because it's in a massive construction zone.

They received an email this week with a proposal to move the school's kindergarten through second grades to a space in the Clinton School, and move grades three to five to a section of P.S. 11, sources told DNAinfo.

"The plan's under consideration," confirmed Josh Anderson, Principal of the Clinton School, who said he received a call this week from Department of Education officials telling him that his building might be called upon to house some students from P.S. 51.

For the Clinton School, a middle school whose faculty and parents have been protesting its lack of a playground, the elementary school's move might give it a better chance of getting that, Anderson said.

"On the other hand, we'd be sharing our space," he added. His 300-student school does have extra space, but he's not sure it would be enough.

"This building held 600 students when St. Michael's [Catholic school] had it, but since then there've been numerous renovations that could affect the capacity of the building," he said.

P.S. 51 parents said splitting the school would cause new problems.

"We want to maintain our community," said Tosh Anderson, a parent representative who claimed he'd spoken with over 30 parents so far. "We haven't talked to a single parent who wants this split."

Most parents agree that they want their children taken out of the current P.S. 51 building due to health and education concerns.

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06-23-2011, 08:41 AM
From DNAinfo.com (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110622/chelsea-hells-kitchen/ps-51-parents-teachers-unite-against-proposed-school-split) by Meredith Hoffman:
Teachers and parents from P.S. 51 staged an emotional rally Wednesday to protest health risks and a proposal to split up the school stemming from a spate of construction on the block.

The rally comes about two months after work began on a new school building at 520 W. 45th St. and is set to get underway on a new luxury housing complex.

Parents learned last week that because of the projects, their children may be divided between the Clinton School, at 425 W. 33rd St. and P.S. 11, at 320 W. 21st Street, as first reported by DNAInfo.

"It would be a nightmare if we split the school. We ask for a fair relocation," said Shani Perez, a teacher and chapter leader of the United Federation of Teachers.

Perez said that noise constantly cuts into lessons, and added that she and her colleagues are suffering health problems thanks to the construction.

"We're only hearing the excavating when we're teaching," she said. "Teachers are suffering headaches, coughs."

Rafael Mejilla, a teacher who also has three children at the school, said the Bloomberg administration should have foreseen the need for a relocation.

"The [school] administration has declined the offer [to split up]," he said. "We're not going to accept being split up. But the other option is to stay here, we don't want that."

Maria Perlas, a teacher at the school for 34 years, complained of a layer of dust accumulating on the computers and a gnawing cough.

"I just think that we're getting the shaft," she said. "It's because we have minority parents, lower income. Would this be happening to a school in TriBeCa, or in the Upper East Side?"

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06-24-2011, 08:41 AM
According to N.Y. Daily News (http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2011/06/24/2011-06-24_ps_51_hails_move_from_toxic_site.html), P.S. 51 will be moved to the Our Lady of Good Counsel church on E. 91st St while the construction is ongoing.