Thursday, April 17, 2014
Packin' them in at Bayside High
The DOE is not responding to parent demands that it not further overcrowd Bayside High School, a school that already has 1,000 more students than it was built to house.
The DOE is planning to overcrowd the already packed popular Queens high school that services students from all parts of Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn to clear space for new schools co-locating at the downsizing Flushing and Martin Van Buren High Schools - schools that do accommodate far fewer students - according to Bayside PTA Co-President Edward Tang.
Bayside High School, rated "A" by the DOE for three years in a row, is bracing for over 1,000 new students this Fall, expected to bring its enrollment to over 3,600 - 170% of the building's capacity.
"Bayside is a victim of its own success and of the DOE's unresponsiveness to this community," said Alex Lee, a Bayside parent and member of the Citywide Council on High Schools. “The school received 14,000 applications due to the great results it produces for families and now the DOE wants to bury it to accommodate Bloomberg's leftover plans to downsize Van Buren and Flushing. The school already has students from all parts of Queens as well as the Bronx and Brooklyn!"
"If this goes through, Bayside would be second only to Forest Hills High School's in percent overcrowded while more than half of Queens’ high schools operate below 100% capacity," echoed Bayside parent Judy Rossman.
“Here’s the thing, overcrowding is not good for students or administrators. It forces a school to reduce support services, increase class sizes, and reduce safety measures. We have reached out to the Chancellor and our local elected officials demanding that no more than 750 new students be admitted. We will still be way overcrowded but not as bad as the DOE is planning," added parent Jaya Sarkar.
"No response from the DOE to the parents has been forthcoming. Our position is logical. We will not stand idly by if the Chancellor turns a blind eye to our situation and undermines the very success that we have worked so hard to achieve. Increasing Bayside’s enrollment to over 170% capacity is not logical and would not be a good decision for quality education or for our children’s futures.”