FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCE OPENING OF 36 NEW SMALL SECONDARY SCHOOLS AS PROMISED IN THE MAYOR'S STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS
New Secondary Schools Set to Open Include Brooklyn Latin, the First of Seven Selective Schools for Academically Gifted Students; The Community High School, a Transfer School for Over-Age and Under-Credited Students in Brooklyn; and the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture, a Career and Technical Education High School
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced the opening of 36 new small secondary schools. These schools, as promised in the Mayor's State of the City Address last week, are designed to provide students with high-quality educational options. Mayor Bloomberg encouraged parents and students to learn more about these new schools by attending the upcoming New School Information Fairs. The announcement was made at JHS 50 in Brooklyn, which will house one of the new small secondary schools opening in September - the Academy for Young Writers, a school that will emphasize both creative and essay writing throughout the curriculum.
The Mayor and the Chancellor again highlighted Brooklyn Latin, a school modeled on the Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts. Brooklyn Latin will be the first of seven academically selective schools the Mayor committed to opening over the next four years.
"Last week in the State of the City Address, I promised that we'd develop new schools and create new programs to offer our students innovative routes to graduation, jobs, and post-secondary education. Today, we're delivering on that pledge," Mayor Bloomberg said. "We're committed to ensuring that students at every level have more paths to success and these schools will help provide them with opportunities they need and deserve."
"These schools will continue to have a big impact on the lives of New York City's children," said Chancellor Klein. "The efforts of the innovative principals who are leading the small schools, the talented teachers who are giving students personalized attention, and the numerous intermediaries and community partners that are providing outstanding opportunities are paying off in strong student results. It's clear that small schools are making significant progress towards preparing more of our City's students to graduate."
The new secondary schools announced today are located throughout the City and are intended to serve a broad range of students. In addition to the Academy for Young Writers, the new schools include the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering, and Architecture and the Community High School, a new transfer school. The High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture is a Career and Technical Education school focused on all dimensions of the building trades. The school opens this fall in partnership with the Building Trades Council and the Building Trades Employers Association. The Community High School, is based on the successful South Brooklyn Community High School model. The school was developed through a partnership with Good Shepherd Services and is part of the New Pathways to Graduation, Work, and Post-Secondary Education initiative.
The new schools announced today include 13 high schools with grades 9-12, 13 schools with grades 6-12, and 10 middle schools with grades 6-8. Most of these schools will begin with an average enrollment of 100 students in either the sixth or ninth grade or both. The schools will expand each year with each new class, and final enrollments will range in size from 300 to 600 students. Twenty-two new small secondary schools will be housed in repurposed Department of Education (DOE) space in existing school buildings; four will be housed in newly constructed or leased buildings; six will assist in the continued improvement of some of the City's lowest-performing high school buildings, where currently, the average graduation rate is around 35%; and four are existing programs that will remain in their current locations and officially convert to school status.
The new schools announced today build on the success of the 149 new small secondary schools opened over the last three years, which offer rigorous and personalized educational opportunities for traditionally underserved students. Students enrolled in these small schools attend school more often and earn promotion to the next grade on time more often.
The new schools will significantly increase the number of high-quality educational options for New York City students, particularly in underserved communities. This September, approximately 4,800 students will be enrolled in the new schools announced today, for a total of more than 50,000 students Citywide who will then be enrolled in new secondary schools. That figure will grow significantly as the schools themselves grow to full enrollment.
Many of the new schools were created and developed through partnerships between the DOE and leading non-profit education and community organizations. These organizations include the Asia Society, Center for Youth Development and Education, the City University of New York, the College Board, Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound, Good Shepherd Services, the Internationals Network for Public Schools, the Institute for Student Achievement, National Academy Foundation, National Council of La Raza, New Visions for Public Schools, Replications, Inc., Young Women's Leadership Foundation, and the Urban Assembly. Local community partners range from Community League of the Heights (CLOTH) to Kingsborough Community College. Many are supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and some are supported by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Open Society Institute.
The schools were selected through a competitive application process. The DOE reviewed an initial pool of 128 new school concept papers and invited 89 full proposals before narrowing the number of approved schools to 36.
These schools will join the 13 charter schools scheduled to open in September as part of the Mayor's and Chancellor's efforts to create new high-quality public school options for the City's students and families.
The Mayor and Chancellor encouraged eighth graders to apply to the new small secondary schools serving ninth graders by submitting New High School Choice Forms to their school guidance counselors by February 28. They also reminded parents and students about the New School Information Fairs for eighth grade students and families considering admission to the new small high schools (to be held on Saturday, February 4, Sunday, February 5 and Thursday, February 9) and the new school Community Open Houses (to be held on Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 12) building on the extensive student, family and community outreach already occurring. Times and locations are available by calling 311 or by visiting www.nyc.gov. For Middle School admissions, parents and families should contact their regional office.
Stu Loeser / Virginia Lam (212) 788-2958
Jerry Russo (Department of Education)
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