SLT Public Notice on opening temporary co-location for Washington Heights and Inwood Charter School
April 19, 2017
Please find revised public notice for a proposal for significant changes in school utilization that will be considered at the May 17, 2017 Panel for Educational Policy meeting, which will take place at M.S. 131 (100 Hester Street, New York, NY 10002). To view the revised public notice and to link to the full text of the educational impact statement, either scroll down or connect via the link listed in the notice text included in this email.
Revised: The Proposed Opening and Temporary Co-Location of Washington Heights and Inwood Charter School (84MTBD) in Building M164 Beginning in the 2017-2018 School Year
I. Description of the subject and purpose of the revised proposed item under consideration.
On March 3, 2017, the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) issued a proposal to re-site existing elementary school Castle Bridge School (06M513, “Castle Bridge”) from building M128 (“M128”), located at 560 West 169th Street, New York, NY 10032, in Community School District 6 (“District 6”), to building M164 (“M164”), located at 401 West 164th Street, New York, NY, 10032 also in District 6, and co-locate it with M.S. 328 Community Math and Science Prep (06M328, “M.S. 328”), beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. Also on March 3, 2017, the DOE issued a proposal to open and temporarily co-locate the Washington Heights and Inwood Music Community Charter School (84MTBD, “WHIN”), a new charter elementary school that will serve students in kindergarten through third grade, in M128 for three years beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.
Due to the accessibility needs of some of Castle Bridge’s students, the re-siting of Castle Bridge to M164 was contingent on upgrades to the accessibility of M164. After extensive conversations with the impacted school communities, central DOE offices, as well as architects and engineers to determine what accessibility upgrades might be feasible at M164 to support the re-siting of Castle Bridge to the building, the DOE concluded that any accessibility upgrades could not be completed before the 2017-2018 school year. Therefore, Castle Bridge will remain in M128 and the DOE will continue to work closely with the school to explore whether a re-siting in the future is in the best interest of the school community. The proposal to temporarily co-locate WHIN in M128 was contingent on the re-siting of Castle Bridge to M164. Because the DOE is no longer proposing to re-site Castle Bridge, on April 19, 2017, the DOE withdrew the proposal to open and temporarily co-locate WHIN in M128. The DOE is now revising the proposal to re-site Castle Bridge from M128 to M164 such that that Castle Bridge will remain in M128, and when WHIN opens, it will be temporarily co-located in M164 instead of M128. The title of the previously posted Educational Impact Statement (“EIS”) was “The Proposed Re-Siting of Castle Bridge School (06M513) and Co-location with M.S. 328 Community Math and Science Prep (06M328) in Building M164 Beginning in the 2017-2018 School Year”. The revised EIS’s title is “The Proposed Opening and Temporary Co-Location of Washington Heights and Inwood Charter School (84MTBD) in Building M164 Beginning in the 2017-2018 School Year.”
If this revised proposal to open and temporarily co-locate WHIN in M164 with M.S. 328 is approved, in the 2017-2018 school year, WHIN will open and serve students in kindergarten and first grade in M164. In the 2018-2019 school year, WHIN will add a grade level and serve students in kindergarten through second grade. In the 2019-2020 school year, its final year of occupancy at M164, WHIN will serve students in kindergarten through third grade. Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, WHIN will be re-sited from M164 to private space. In future years, the DOE will reassess the space in M164 and evaluate District 6 needs in collaboration with the community. Any future significant changes to school utilization in M164 would be proposed in a future EIS, if one is required pursuant to Chancellor’s Regulation A-190, and be subject to separate approval by the Panel for Educational Policy (“PEP”) in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-190.
WHIN is an outgrowth of the WHIN Music Project of El Sistema USA, an extension of the El Sistema network, an international social program that educates children all over the world through music education and civic engagement. If the revised proposal to open and temporarily co-locate WHIN in M164 is approved, WHIN will be the first charter school of EL Sistema USA in New York City. According to WHIN, students will be taught through an interdisciplinary teaching philosophy based on expeditionary learning and learning through music. WHIN will employ instruction based on cross-curricular, rigorous, inquiry-driven, and data-driven experience that is directly connected to Common Core Standards. It will also provide a curriculum and instruction plan to meet and exceed achievement indicators for academic trends toward proficiency as outlined by the New York State Education Department (“SED”) Charter School Performance Framework.
SED authorized WHIN to serve students in kindergarten through fifth grade in District 6. Pursuant to amendments to the Education Law that provide certain new and expanding charter schools with access to facilities, WHIN made a request to the DOE for co-located space. The DOE supports the opening of WHIN as it will provide an additional elementary school option with a unique focus on learning through music for students in District 6. Long-term, WHIN will be located in private space, but in order to open in the 2017-2018 school year as planned, WHIN will need to temporarily co-locate in DOE space before it moves to its permanent site beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.
According to the 2015-2016 Enrollment, Capacity and Utilization Report, M164 has a target capacity to serve 887 students. Currently, M.S. 328 serves approximately 246 students in M164, yielding a utilization rate of 28%. If this proposal is approved by the PEP, WHIN will serve 80-108 students and M.S. 328 will serve 185-215 in the 2017-2018 school year, for a total of approximately 265-323 total students served in the building across WHIN and M.S. 328, yielding a projected utilization rate of approximately 30%-36%. In the 2019-2020 school year, the final year of the proposal, there will be a total of 310-396 students served in M164, yielding a building utilization rate of 35%-45%.
II. Identification of all revisions, including substantial revisions to the original item
The revised EIS include the following modifications:
The EIS has been revised such that Castle Bridge will remain in M128, and when WHIN opens, it will be temporarily co-located in M164 instead of M128.
A Building Utilization Plan is attached to the revised EIS outlining the classrooms and administrative space that will be allocated to M.S. 328 and WHIN for the duration of the proposal.
III. Information regarding where the full text of the revised proposed item may be obtained.
The Revised EIS and BUP can be found on the Department of Education’s Web site at: http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/leadership/PEP/publicnotice/2016-2017/May172017SchoolProposals
Copies of the Revised EIS and BUP are also available in the main office of M.S. 328.
IV. A summary of all public comments received on the proposal following the initial
Following the public notice of the initial EIS, the DOE held a Joint Public Hearing on April 4, 2017 to solicit feedback on the initial proposal.
Approximately 60 members of the public attended this hearing and 5 provided public comment on the proposal. Comments received at the hearing were in regards to the accessibility of the M164 building. Several speakers at the hearing also spoke in favor of the re-siting and expressed excitement about collaborating with the M.S. 328 community.
The DOE received no comments submitted through the dedicated phone line or email address.
V. Submission of public comment.
Members of the public who wish to provide comments are encouraged to attend the Joint Public Hearing for this proposal and share their feedback in person. Members of the public that do not provide comments at the hearing may also provide oral or written comments as described below. All comments must be submitted at least 24 hours in advance of the PEP meeting at which this proposal is subject to a vote in order to be mentioned in the Public Comment Analysis to be published and provided to the PEP the evening before the PEP votes.
Written comments can be sent to D06Proposals@schools.nyc.gov.
Oral comments can be left at 212-374-3466.
VI. The name, office, address, email and telephone number of the city district representative knowledgeable on the item under consideration from whom information may be obtained concerning the item.
Name: Eric Herman
Office: Office of District Planning
Address: 100 Gold Street, Suite 3200, New York, NY 10038
VII. Date, time and place of the joint public hearing for this revised proposal.
May 8, 2017 at 6:00 PM
401 West 164th Street
New York, NY 10032
Questions about the proposal should be directed as indicated in section VI above.
Speaker sign-up will begin at 5:30 PM, 30 minutes before the hearing and will close 15 minutes after the start of the hearing.
VIII. Date, time and place of the PEP meeting at which the PEP will vote on the proposed item.