View Full Version : All NYC P.S. 276 (Battery Park City Schools) principal releases troubling overcrowding report

10-04-2012, 08:34 AM
From Downtown Express (http://www.downtownexpress.com/p-s-276-principal-releases-troubling-overcrowding-report/) by Aline Reynolds:

Overcrowding is poised to create frightening space shortages in one Downtown elementary school.

The Battery Park City School (P.S. / I.S. 276) won’t have room for the three kindergarten classes it was originally designed for, much less the five it has been taking in since last fall, according to Terry Ruyter, the school’s principal. She distributed a report to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s overcrowding task force late last month to illustrate this and other enrollment forecasts on paper.

Were the school to continue enrolling five sections’ worth of kindergarteners in the coming years, it would be three classrooms over capacity next school year, five over capacity in 2014-15 and six over capacity in 2015-16. Even if Ruyter scaled back the kindergarten class to three sections, the school would be short of one classroom next year, two classrooms the following year and two classrooms in 2015-16.

The startling projections align with those conducted in recent years by Financial District resident Eric Greenleaf, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business who is a member of the overcrowding task force. Any beneficial reduction in the local elementary schools’ enrollment caused by last year’s rezoning, he noted, is being more than offset by the influx of neighborhood children vying for school seats.

“Terri is simply stating the facts,” he said of Ruyter’s report. “She has a certain number of children and a certain number of classrooms. What she’s simply conveying is that she is going to run out of room next year.”

The problem isn’t about a mere 10 or 15 waitlisted students, Greenleaf noted. “We’re talking about over half and perhaps all of the kids in a zone,” he said. “It’s a drastic shortage — there won’t be even room for all the siblings.”

Asked to comment, city Department of Education spokesperson Marge Feinberg said only, “We received [Ruyter’s] report and are reviewing it.”

The B.P.C. School isn’t the only Downtown public school that is busting at the seams. Lower Manhattan principals collectively reported an enrollment of 472 kindergarteners — up by approximately 40 from this time last fall. “What’s particularly disconcerting is, 472 exceeds the kindergarten intake capacity that all the schools will have even when the Peck Slip School building is finished in 2015,” said Greenleaf. “As happy as everybody is about Peck Slip, it wouldn’t even be enough for now, much less 2015.”

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