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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 Wins $225,000 For Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Education Announces NYC Council Member Ben Kallos - PS/IS 217 Still Trying To Figure Out Relationship With Cornell NYC Tech

Roosevelt Island's New York City Council Member Ben Kallos

Image From Ben Kallos

announced the winners of Manhattan District 5's Participatory Budgeting program earlier this week. Among the winners are Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 which will receive $225,000. According to the announcement:
Thank you for voting in participatory budgeting this cycle. You, together with your neighbors, determined how some of your own tax dollars will get spent. This was the first year our community did participatory budgeting, and the process gave me great confidence in the continued success of this program....

... PS 217, The Roosevelt Island School ($225,000): Technology update to further support the STEM programs that will be incorporated into the curriculum. Need of updated Active Boards, computers, laptops, smart devices including tablets, iPads, chrome books, and document cameras....
Click here for the full announcement including other winners of the 5th District's Participatory Budgeting Program initiated by Council Member Kallos.

Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman was very happy to learn of the $225,000 STEM funding. According to Ms. Beckman:
I am excited to see that we will receive the funds. This funding is awarded to schools as a RESO A grant. I will have meetings with integrators about the specific technology we plan to order. Once the order is placed, it is filled sometime in the summer/fall of 2015.
Ms. Beckman's reference to a "Reso A grant" is described by the NYC School Construction Authority as:
Resolution “A” (Reso “A”) projects are school specific capital improvement or enhancement projects that are funded through individual grants which are allocated by the Borough Presidents or members of the New York City Council. These projects are very important to the school community because they provide enhancements and upgrades to existing facilities. The most common Reso “A” projects are upgrades to a school’s technology, auditorium, playground, science Lab and other specialty classrooms. The SCA has also been able to utilize Reso “A” funding to complete some unique and innovative projects such as a Challenger Space Center, an Edible Schoolyard (farm), planetarium upgrade and Green roofs. The SCA is grateful to our elected officials for entrusting us with this capital funding that has led to numerous enhancements in schools throughout the City.
During the April 28 meeting of the Cornell NYC Tech Roosevelt Island Construction Task Force, the issue of Cornell's assistance to PS/IS 217 was raised. Cornell NYC Tech Director of Community Relations Jane Swanson reported that a Director of K-12 Education was hired last January and has been engaging with the PS/IS 217 Principal and PTA.

Roosevelt Island Community Coalition (RICC) Director Christina Delfico noted in response that while it is a great first start, PS/IS 217:
... wants more concrete information on what can be done and clarity. ... Good ideas are terrific but if there is no funding or assistance to help them in the execution...  Good start but how can we execute knowing there are obstacles.
Here's the discussion.

Ms.Delfico also reported the the Girls Who Code Program that was begun last year is not happening this summer.

Cornell NYC Tech's Cathy Dove discussed adoption of PS/IS 217 during this 2013 Community Board 8 Education Committee meeting. 

Will have more on the entire April 28 Construction Task Force meeting including information on demolition, construction schedules, air quality, presentation by Technion representative and more.