The city says it will keep open both John Dewey HS and Sheepshead Bay HS, and now both institutions could get a windfall of federal cash to help bring them up to par.
“Millions in federal funds are available for these schools,” said city Department of Education spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld.
But that money would come at a price: in order to be eligible for the cash, the schools will be forced to replace their principals or nearly half their staffs.
If the money comes through, Dewey and Sheepshead Bay would follow the lead of nearby William E. Grady Career and Technical HS and Franklin Delano Roosevelt HS, which were chosen by the city this year to receive more than $1 million in federal funds as part of its “transformational model” of improvement (which would force the principal’s ouster) — or they will be eligible for the “turnaround model,” which would require staff turnover.
But most students at Dewey High and Sheepshead Bay High had nothing but praise for their teachers and administrators.
“Most teachers are really helpful, and there’s a mutual respect,” said Matthew O’Hayor, a Sheepshead Bay HS sophomore.
Before the city made it’s decision, students and staffers at Dewey and Sheepshead Bay held impassioned rallies last month to protest their potential closure, where they insisted that their schools’ ‘C’ progress report grades don’t paint an accurate picture of the schools.
“The students are happy and I see them improving all the time,” said guidance counselor Bruce Sherman, who has been working at Sheepshead Bay HS for 24 years. “The school is operating better than ever.”
At Dewey, recent graduates were also determined to see that the school remain open.
“It would be ridiculous to close a school that is producing so many talented people,” said Michael Romeo, who graduated in 2006 and now works for JPMorgan Chase.
Neither Sheepshead Bay HS principal Reesa Levy or John Dewey HS principal Barry Fried could be reached for comment by deadline.
©2010 Community News Group
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