May, 2015

Jamaica Estates

St. John’s University holds its 145th commencement

Family, friends and faculty members gathered on the great lawn at St. John’s Sunday to salute 2,200 students Sunday at the university’s 145th graduation ceremony. Comments (1).

Bayside residents rally against newly proposed high school

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) is introducing legislation to reform the site selection process for new schools in city school districts. Comments (10).

Lancman, religious leaders ask for more security in non-public schools

City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), along with Queens Muslim, Jewish and Christian school leaders, are renewing calls for the city to provide more security in non-public schools. Comments (3).

Plan to turn Bayside Jewish Center into new high school rolls on

The city School Construction Authority plans to purchase the Bayside Jewish Center to build a new high school and relieve significant overcrowding in District 26 schools. Comments (2).

Colleges in Queens head into graduation season

St. John’s University’s Queens commencement ceremony is scheduled to take place Sunday, May 17, at 10 a.m. on the Great Lawn of the Queens campus at 8000 Utopia Parkway in Jamaica Estates. Students who attend the Manhattan and Oakdale campuses will also participate in this ceremony. This year’s commencement speaker is Rev. David O’Connell, bishop of Trenton, N.J. Comment.

Queens has 3 of top 10 New York high schools: Report

Three of the top ten highest-ranked high schools in New York state are in Queens, according to the annual U.S. News and World Report listing released Tuesday. Nine of those ten schools were in the five boroughs, with Queens and Manhattan home to most of them. Comment.
Kew Gardens

After-school programs to close in low-performing districts

Queens parents, children and teachers joined elected officials last weeks on the steps of Queens Borough Hall to respond to a $5.9 million cut in funding that will result in the closing of four after-school programs in the borough. Comments (1).

New high school planned for Bayside Jewish Center site

The School Construction Authority is in the final stages of buying the Bayside Jewish Center to build a new high school at 203-5 32nd Ave., City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) announced. Comments (2).

City to shutter Malcolm X Early Childhood Educational Center

The oldest day-care and pre-K center in Corona is being forced to close in July, leaving 120 families searching for options. Comments (3).

Low-performing schools to get boost in city budget

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced early this week he has allocated an additional $33.6 million in his FY2016 executive budget to raise the operating budgets of 130 of the city’s lowest-performing schools. Comments (2).

Senate denies city DOE the ability to set Specialized HS criteria

The state Senate shot down a bill last week that would have given the city Department of Education the ability to set admission criteria for its nine designated specialized high schools, like Queens High School for the Sciences at CUNY York College. Comments (3).
Long Island City

PS/IS 78 students guaranteed seats for at least one more year

School District 30 Superintendent Philip Composto called a community engagement meeting Monday to discuss the future of PS/IS 78Q, the Robert Wagner School, in response to parent and teacher outcry over a long list of wait-listed children for next year’s enrollment. Comment.

First round of pre-K applications ends

The first pre-kindergarten admission period was concluded last week, and the city received 20,670 applications from Queens, where the majority of new seats will be required. Comments (4).

April, 2015


York College’s new media policy upsets faculty

CUNY’s York College recently sent out a memorandum to faculty members about a new media policy leaving professors outraged at the policy . Comments (1).

Testing ‘opt out’ gains momentum in Queens schools

Though the “opt out” movement has had unprecedented support statewide this year, very few parents in city schools refused state standardized testing for their children in the last few weeks. The movement drew even lower support in Queens, but preliminary estimates in the borough may not be accurate. Comment.

Flushing schools doing well with Common Core standards

Students in School District 25 have been faring well since the new Common Core Learning standards launched, according to the district’s superintendent. Comments (1).

Opt out movement sees low numbers in Queens

City schools administered state Common Core standardized math tests this week to children enrolled in grades three through eight, just as the numbers of students whose families decided to “opt out” of the previous week’s English Language Arts tests were coming in. Comments (3).

Braunstein brings back Mother’s Day contest

State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) is returning with his annual Mother’s Day essay and poetry contest for elementary school students this year. Comments (3).

Peralta calls for permanent addition to PS 143 in Corona

More than a hundred parents of students at PS 143 in Corona joined state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) to call on authorities to do something about the chronic overcrowding at the school. Originally designed to accommodate 900 students, the elementary school has nearly double that enrollment with closed to 1,800 students. Comments (2).
Jamaica Estates

Former St. John’s law student told to leave program

The Court of Appeals has upheld St. John’s University School of Law’s decision to invalidate the application of a student who did not disclose an arrest for a drug sale even though his record was expunged. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Hindu community wants holidays on school calendar

The Hindu community is putting pressure on the city to recognize three Hindu holidays on the public school calendar. Comments (6).
Long Island City

LIC Robotigers look for funding of national competition

The Robotigers Team 1796 from Queens Vocational and Technical High School in Long Island City, which won the regional First Robotics Competition, is trying to raise funding to travel to the national robotics competition in St. Louis. Comment.

Queens public schools to house new pre-k programs

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for universal, full-day pre-kindergarten demands 17,000 new seats citywide by fall, which is causing some head butting with Queens communities, where the greatest portion of new seats is needed. Comments (1).

Farina, Lancman announced $3.2m STEM initiative

City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced a new, $3.2 million initiative that will enhance science, engineering, technology and math instruction. Comment.

March, 2015

Richmond Hill

Mayor announced new funds for schools at Richmond Hill HS

Mayor Bill de Blasio met with students and faculty members at Richmond Hill High School as part of his Renewal Schools program tour across the city last week. Comments (1).

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Bayside Hills

Young Baysider wins spelling bee

Srinath Mahankali of Bayside Hills has won the top spot in his division at the New York Daily News Spelling Bee, outspelling about 70 of the best and brightest fifth through eight-graders in the city Comment.
Richmond Hill

Mayor’s renewal school program heads to the war room

During Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tour of underperforming schools enrolled in the Renewal Schools program launched last year, he announced one of the methods to measure improvements would be Compstat, the NYPD crime-tracking tool, at Richmond Hill High School. Comments (1).
Long Island City

Goldman Sachs giifts $2 million to LaGuardia Community College

LaGuardia Community College Foundation will receive the largest donation in the school’s history with a $2 million dollar gift from Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs. The global investment banking firm, with revenue in excess of $40 billion, will direct the funds to help students stay in college and graduate. Comments (1).

Govt secrets panel comes to York

A panel of senior journalists and experts on the digital age of media in a post-Snowden world gave insight to students on their rights as journalists and as citizens in a surveillance state at CUNY’s York College last week. Comments (1).

State legislature won’t include education policy in budget negotiations

Budget negotiations are cooling down as the state budget deadline approaches and compromise is being made. But several legislators, parents, educational advocacy groups and city leaders are still heated over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed education reforms. Comment.
Oakland Gardens

PS 213 students celebrate culture, diversity

For the 11th year, PS 213 in Bayside brought together parents, teachers and students last week for a celebration in diversity and global culture. Comments (3).

City hopes to enroll 70,000 students in pre-K by fall

Monday was opening day for pre-kindergarten applications, which drew more than triple the number of applications received from the first day last year. Comments (2).
Long Island City

Queens H.S. heads to national robotics competition

The RoboTigers, the robotics team from Queens Vocational and Technical High School in Long Island City, won the regional games in the Annual First Robotics Competition at Jacob Javits Center Sunday and will continue into the championships in St. Louis. Comment.
Long Island City

Coalition for Queens announces new funding to teach tech skills

Coalition for Queens is getting some major funding from leading technology, philanthropic and public supporters. The non-profit, based in Long Island City’s Falchi Building, fosters the Queens Tech ecosystem to increase economic opportunity and transform the borough into a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Comment.

Queens borough president calls for CEC member applications

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is looking to appoint two members to each of the borough’s seven Community Education Councils, to serve from July 2015 through June 2017. Comment.
Jackson Heights

Garden School’s debate team has surprising showing

The Garden School in Jackson Heights has boasted of their academic excellence since 1923. Now their debate team has given the independent middle school something else to be proud of. Comment.

Donovan gives tech grant to four schools in SE Queens

Four public schools from School District 31 gathered together to receive $503,000 from a technology grant arranged through Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) last week at PS 270 in Laurelton. Comment.

Judith Chin selected to become regent for Queens

Judith Chin, of Little Neck, will join the Queens Judicial District 11 in April as the first Asian American selected to serve on the state Board of Regents in its over 230-year history. Comments (1).

Pols, leaders want official Lunar New Year school holiday

Lawmakers and cultural groups have expressed their disappointment over the absence of a Lunar New Year holiday on next year’s calendar after Mayor Bill de Blasio recognized two Eid holidays. Comments (6).

Dromm urges Albany to give $2.6B to city schools

The Community Education Council for District 28 hosted a legislative networking event last Friday where principals, parents, school superintendents, and elected leaders met in Jamaica to present resources and address the state education budget. Comments (1).

Broken windows has parallel in phys ed

Law-enforcement’s popular “Broken Windows” theory holds that permissiveness of small quality-of-life infractions invites larger breaches of the peace, including violent criminality. Seen this way, there is no such thing as a minor violation. Comment.
Kew Gardens

Schools Chancellor encourages parents to run for Education Council seats

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is encouraging parents across the city to make a direct impact on their child’s education by running for an Education Council seat. Parents interested in becoming members of a Community or Citywide Education Council can apply online at until March 11. Comment.

Officials announce tech program for colleges

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) announced legislation to create the Community College High-Technology Investment Program for community colleges at Queensborough Monday afternoon. Comment.

February, 2015


Flushing resident seeks inclusive black history in public schools

A longtime Flushing resident is pushing for a more comprehensive African-American history curriculum in Flushing’s public schools. Comments (1).
St. Albans

St. Albans teacher accused of beating special ed student

An alarming audio recording allegedly of the teacher accused of beating a special ed student in January at PS 118 in St. Albans was released Tuesday by the Cochran law firm and Paul B. Weitz & Associates, which are suing the city on behalf of the child. Comment.

Queens College ranks among best schools for value

Queens College and its students have recently been recognized by various publications and programs for its affordability and quality education. Comment.
Little Neck

MS 67 students to represent NYS in Future City nationals

Eighth-graders at MS 67 in Little Neck are scheduled to compete at the National Finals for the National Engineers Week Future City Competition in Washington Saturday. Comments (8).

Trailers to be removed for an addition to PS 19 in Corona

Relief is on the way for PS 19 in Corona, the largest elementary school in New York City. Decades-old rusty temporary trailers will be removed and a new addition constructed to help solve one of the worst overcrowding situations in the borough. Comments (3).
Jamaica Estates

St. John’s University freezes tuition, other costs

St. John’s University announced it would be freezing tuition, fees, room and board costs for the 2015-16 academic year at its Queens, Manhattan, Oakdale and international locations. Comments (2).
Bay Terrace

Queens pols, educators welcome reforms to school support system

Queens’ lawmakers and school principals praised a new up-to-date school support system announced by City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña last week that would help struggling schools and increase accountability. Comments (2).

January, 2015

Little Neck

Chancellor calls Little Neck’s MS 67 one of her favorite schools 

City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña wants parents to be more involved in their children’s education. But that involvement must go beyond classrooms and textbooks. Comments (1).

Most Precious Blood school to close in June

After 58 years of serving the Astoria community, Most Precious Blood School will be closed permanently in June due to lack of financial resources to repair and continue the school. The announcement came as shock for parents, students, parish, alumni and community members. Comments (1).
Forest Hills

Children cook up a storm in Forest Hills

Chef competition reality TV shows are growing by the season. Comments (2).

Bayside moms launch family-friendly e-newsletter

For years, Bayside mothers Beth Rivera and Kym Muscat have been involved in everything from the Parent Teachers Association to Girl Scouts of America in their communities. Comments (1).

Four Queens charter schools’ co-location requests rejected

City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña rejected four charter schools’ requests to use public school space in two Queens school districts. Comment.

April, 2014


PS 32 third graders raise funds to save Amazon Rainforest

Gifted and talented third graders at the PS 32 State Street School in Flushing started a school-wide booster campaign to raise money to help protect the Amazon rainforest in South America. Comment.
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