UNHS Colocation

Click here for an update on the UNHS colocation proposal from 2013/2014.

2013/2014 Information:

NYC DOE has approved the colocation of University Neighborhood High School with a new career and technical education (CTE) Model School. This new school will partner with CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College as well as American Association of Advertising Agencies, 4-A’s, . (To learn more about the federal incentive to increase the number of CTE model schools, click here). While CEC 1 does not oppose the school model itself, below you will find the numerous issues surrounding the co-location of UNHS. A moratorium on colocations approved in the final months of Bloomberg’s tenure has been suggested, however no formal action has been taken. For now, schools across NYC approved for colocation must wait until each approved proposal is reviewed.

Petition from Class Size Matters to Carmen Farina, NYC Schools Chancellor,  regarding the numerous colocations approved in October.

Petition put forth by Advocates for Justice, Class Size Matters, and New York City Parents Union.

What You Need to Know – UNHS

Education Impact Statement 

Local Hearing at UNHS – Public Comment

UNHS Student Demographics (2013):

Register: 293

  • 58 or 20% of students are overage and under credited students.
  • 68 students or 23% of students live in Temporary Housing
  • 76 students or 26% are classified as Students with Disabilities
  • 94 students or 32% are categorized as current ELLs, while a number of former ELLs are current students.
  • Only 7 students are classified as both SWD and ELL.

Projected enrollment for CTE School – In 2014-2015, 01M203 75-85 students in the ninth grade, increasing by one grade each year thereafter. full scale in 2019-2020, when it will serve approximately 450-510 students in grades nine through fourteen.

SPACE LIMITATIONS

Previously, classrooms under 600 square feet were considered half sized rooms. Now, rooms over 500 square feet are considered full size, with a capacity of 27 students ( 34 for Blue Book capacity). Many rooms at UNHS are just over 500 square feet (based on counting 12 inch floor tiles,  22x 23). Often UNHS classes are supported by 3 adults ( a gen ed teacher, a  special ed teacher and para) plus an additional 4-6 NYU student teachers.

UNHS – originally built as an elementary school in 1903

In 2014-15 the CTE school= will occupy the 5th floor which is manageable. In 2015-16 the CTE school will expand to the 4th floor, leaving UNHS the 2nd floor (3 rooms)   and 3 floor (8 rooms) only in Year 2.

Currently UNHS runs 15-18 classes at one time.  Colocation is only possible if the UNHS enrollment is cut to 200 from the current and growing nearly 300 students on register.

No new bathrooms will be built. Current staff bathrooms will instead be used by students, so students will have access to facilities on floors 1, 2, 5 and staff on floors 3 and 4.

Since there is no gymnasium in this 108 year-old building, the proposal calls for the current classroom converted to a Fitness Room to become the Dance Room-, with new flooring. The Dance Room (also a converted classroom) will become the new Fitness Room-equipped with ACs and new machines. UNHS has spent discretionary tax levy money on AC units that they cannot run due to poor wiring- and no one knows when wiring will be completed. At least the colocation will bring adequate electricity to the school!

These much appreciated upgrades should not require a colocation to happen. All students deserve basic safety and comforts, and all school should be able to meet mandates for gym and academics.

It is not clear how the 14-20 year old CTE students will commute to BMCC form Monroe Street, how they will meet their gym credit requirements (since they cannot take gym at BMCC which has no separate locker rooms for HS kids), how they will learn the technical arts and skills of their trade without adequate facilities and technology  platforms.

CHALLENGES

Despite many challenges UNHS went from a D to a high B to an A by DoE’s Progress reports since the pre-engagement provoked by the D grade 3 years ago.

UNHS receives, in keeping with the citywide HS average, approximately 10 times the number of applications as projected seats. Recent trends in applications and enrollment are increasing with the rising Progress report grade, as the threat of closure recedes in the collective memory. There is a possibility that the growing enrollment at UNHS would continue if not capped by DoEs projections and colocation

It is not clear how the 14-20 year old CTE students will commute to BMCC form Monroe Street, how they will meet their gym credit requirements (since they cannot take gym at BMCC which has no separate locker rooms for HS kids), how they will learn the technical arts and skills of their trade without adequate facilities and technology  platforms.

In the media:

http://thevillager.com/2013/11/21/appeal-to-fight-co-location-at-l-e-s-high-school/

http://nypress.com/a-school-under-strain-on-the-lower-east-side/

http://nypress.com/charter-fight-heads-to-court/

http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2013/09/questions-about-proposed-new-co-located.html

http://www.networkforpubliceducation.org/news/questions-about-the-proposed-new-co-located-high-school-on-the-lower-east-side-lisa-donlan-nyc-public-school-parents/

http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2013/09/parents-students-urge-doe-to-rethink-new-high-school-on-les.html

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130903/inwood/schools-should-not-be-forced-share-space-parents-say-at-rally

Co-location Position Letters:

Co-location of UNHS – Letter from CEC 1 President, Lisa Donlan and CEC 2 President,  Shino Tanikawa to Deputy Chancellor for Portfolio Planning

UNHS Walk Through – Letter from CEC 1 President, Lisa Donlan to Office of the Chancellor, Division of Family and Community Engagement, and member of the Panel for Education Policy

Council Member Margaret Chin – Letter to Chancellor Farina regarding co-location of UNHS in District 1 and the co-location of Murry Bergtraum in District 2 with Success Academy Elementary