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PR- 032-05
January 25, 2005


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced a series of key education initiatives in Staten Island aimed at expanding educational opportunities for public school students in Staten Island.  These initiatives include a proposal to make Staten Island Technical High School the borough's first specialized high school, the opening of the new College of Staten Island High School for International Studies, the introduction of expanded gifted and talented programs for Staten Island students and the opening of a new school for special education students with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, in Staten Island.  The Mayor and Chancellor made the announcements at Staten Island Technical High School.

"An important part of our education reform efforts has been to ensure that students throughout all five boroughs are given improved educational opportunities," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The initiatives we announce today, and the process by which they were developed, illustrate our commitment to working with parents, educators and community members to deliver the high level of education that we owe our students."

"Our mission is to provide a quality education for young New Yorkers, whether they are high school students or children in kindergarten, as well as everyone in between," said Chancellor Klein.  "The projects announced today will strengthen instruction across the wide range of students we serve, in specialized schools and programs for our most gifted, in broadened programs for special education, and in another small high school where students will receive individualized attention and a challenging themed curriculum.  Today's announcement is proof that we can transform our children's education by working together with our parents and the entire school community."

During today's announcement, the Mayor and Chancellor announced a proposal to turn Staten Island Technical High School, an academically rigorous and highly sought-after school, into a specialized high school as early as September 2006, joining the City's six other specialized high schools.  Currently, Staten Island is the only borough without a specialized high school.  Admission would be determined by a student's score on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test.  The Department of Education (DOE) has been meeting with staff, parents, and students at the school and will be forming a task force representing the Staten Island community to consider all relevant issues.  The task force will be chaired by Regional Superintendent Michelle Fratti and includes educators, community members, parents, school staff, students, union representatives and central DOE staff and will hold its first meeting in the next two weeks. Other specialized schools in New York City include Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School, High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College, High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, and Stuyvesant High School. 

The Mayor and Chancellor also announced that this September, DOE will open the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies - the first new small school in the borough, and one of the 200 new small schools and charter schools that will be created by 2007. The new small high school is the result of the strong partnership between the DOE, the Asia Society, America's preeminent institution for the study and understanding of Asia, and CUNY's College of Staten Island, the host campus for the school.  The mission of the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies will be to provide an educational environment in which students develop the literacy and problem-solving skills that will enable them to succeed in post-secondary education, advanced course of study, and future employment.

The College of Staten Island High School for International Studies will built upon the successful collaboration between the College and local schools and will offer a unique approach to the high school curriculum.  The school will benefit from the expertise of the College's faculty in arts and sciences, as well as in education, and from the many resources of the College's campus, including its library, language laboratory, science and computer laboratories, arts spaces, and sports and recreation facility.  The integration of a thorough academic course of study with internationally-themed content will provide students with the skills and experiences they will need to be responsible and ethical participants in a global society.

In addition, as the Mayor promised in his State of the City address, as part of the commitment to expand new gifted and talented programs to underserved areas, DOE will introduce expanded gifted and talented programs for students in six elementary schools and one middle school in Staten Island this September.  Programs will be at P.S. 31, P.S. 22, P.S. 41, P.S. 48, P.S. 53, P.S. 54 and I.S. 27.  DOE has been working with parents and educators to offer an expanded menu of course options which meets the needs of the Staten Island's most intellectually and artistically gifted and talented students.  This collaboration will continue to work on identifying how to best provide enrichment programs for students in the borough.  The introduction of these programs in Staten Island marks the DOE's commitment to providing more opportunities for students to receive a level of educational challenge which matches their ability.

The Mayor and Chancellor also announced the opening of a new school this September for special education students with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, in Staten Island.  The new school will serve as the DOE's second school for autistic children, whose population has risen in recent years.  The new school will begin serving kindergarten and continue to the fifth grade.  The school will offer innovative special education programs using an inclusion model where general education and special education students are classmates in small classes with both a general and a special education teacher.


Edward Skyler/ Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958

Jerry Russo   (Department of Education)
(212) 374-5141

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