District 20’s CEC votes on zoning

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Several District 20 schools may soon be revamped.

On December 9th, the local Community Education Council (CEC) will vote on the city Department of Education’s (DOE) proposal to reconfigure zoning lines in District 20, which spans Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton, Borough Park and part of Bensonhurst.

The changes would affect P.S./I.S. 104 at 9115 Fifth Avenue, P.S. 185 at 8601 Ridge Boulevard, P.S. 503 at 330 59th Street, P.S. 506 at 330 59th Street, P.S. 69 at 6302 Ninth Avenue, P.S. 105 at 1031 59th Street, and P.S./I.S. 180 at 5601 16th Avenue. The changes are being made to make room for two new schools yet to open — P.S. 971 under construction at 62nd Street and 4th Avenue and P.S. 264 to be built at Fourth Avenue and 88th Street.

The DOE believes the zoning changes would also alleviate overcrowding at the aforementioned District 20 schools.

While District 20 Community Superintendent Karina Constantino cited the importance of providing relief to overcrowded schools, some schools are unhappy with the DOE’s plan.

If the new zoning is approved, P.S. 69, which is at 145 percent utilization, would no longer accept students between Second Avenue and Sixth Avenue. The school is currently open to students residing between Second Avenue and 12th Avenue.

“That divides a bit along ethnic lines,” says P.S. 69’s principal, Jaynemarie Capetanakis. “That takes away a lot of Hispanic and Arabic families.”

“We are going to lose diversity in our population,” says Lisa Fung-Fernandes, a technology teacher.

The CEC’s December 9th meeting will be held at P.S./I.S. 104 at 7 p.m.

Following the CEC’s vote, the DOE will conduct a final review of the proposed changes.

Updated 3:40 pm, October 19, 2011
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