Sorry that those fans of SBSB have not been feted to any new blog post for the last several weeks. There have been several distractions happening in my life and quite busy at home as well. There is a lot I want to catch up on, but this bit of news is quite ironic.
As has been reported here in the past, my school, PS 154x had been was put on the closure list and then just about a month or so ago was pulled off of it thanks to the "good" quality review we received.
Yesterday, we got news that there was to be an emergency faculty meeting during the two lunch periods. The last time two times we had emergency faculty meetings meant a change in leadership. Sadly, to those who are free thinkers, non-sychophants, and independent minded this was not to be. But the news was just as predictable as well.
We were informed that a charter school, Bronx Community Charter, will be (of course pending all the necessary approvals) joining us, rather, squeezing out, in September 2013. This is not surprising considering that our classrooms are under utilized and enrollment (including pre-K, about 525 students) is down.
BxC as it is known will be starting in grades K and 1 and have three classes in each grade. Eventually, within 4 years, the school will be K-5 and with a total enrollment of between 700-800 students.
So in essence this is just a back door closing of PS 154. Those with their heads buried in the sand need to realize the forces at play.
District 7 elementary schools are now no longer neighborhood schools. Starting this coming September all Kindergartners will be going to a school of choice, much like middle school students in the district. With PS 154 being F rated and the new state exams to be harder than last year's, things do not bode well for us. Also, PS 154x was ripe for a charter not only because of the space available, but we have a state of the art Robin Hood library and a new state of the art Mac lab which I put together.
So figure on an incoming class of K and 1st at BxC of about 75 students each, plus any downward enrollment that PS 154 suffers, there is a good chance that the current size of K and 1 at PS 154 (3 K classes including 1 ICT and 3 1st grade classes plus 1 K/1 special ed class) will shrink and there will be reverberations throughout the school. What these reverberations will be remain to be seen but in all likelihood result in some excessing.
But this needs to be thought of as well. While yes, we can picture 6 physical classrooms being used for BxC next September, they will need more than just that space. BxC will need an office, a room(s) for it's own student support services, and perhaps a room or two for it's own cluster teachers. Yes, there are many details to be ironed out, but reality needs to be faced.
Down the road if 154x still exists, or is renamed, or whatever, we can expect to see a smaller public school in that building. Until then as school choice in District 7 stays in place and BxC continues to grow and cream the best students, 154 will almost assuredly get the leftovers just spinning the vicious cycle of failure of a once great and proud school.
PS 154 is not where it is by accident, but rather by plan.