Sunday, March 4, 2018

RIOC Answers Questions From Parents About Roosevelt Island Interim Youth Center Drop In Program For Children Grades 2-8 Thru End Of School Year- No Program For Older Kids

As reported last Friday:

Less than 24 hours after rejecting the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) as operator of the Youth Center, RIOC announced late this afternoon that it will operate an interim after school drop in program for children in grades 2-8...
... The drop-in program will be open Monday through Friday and provide afterschool care from 2:45 p.m. - 6 p.m. and serve children in grades 2 – 8.

The program will be managed by former RIYP Director Roy Magsisi...
This afternoon, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal, General Counsel Jaci Flug, Mr. Magsisi and Public Safety Deputy Director Kevin Butler

spoke to concerned and some upset parents

at the Youth Center building about the new interim program.

Here' video of the meeting.

Part 1 - Ms Rosenthal reported that the interim program will be in place until the end of the school year. At present, RIOC does not know what will be done after the school year but Ms. Rosenthal is eager to speak with any parent who has ideas on how to proceed. Ms Rosenthal added that parents need to sign consent forms to have their children be picked up at PS/IS 217 and brought to the Youth Center.

Part 2 - Mr Magsisi describes how children will be picked up from school and escorted to youth center. Deputy Director Butler reports that PSD Sergeant Jeff Laszczych will be on staff during the Youth Center drop off hours.

Part 3 - Questions from the parents included what do teens older than 8th graders do who are no longer allowed in the Youth Center. No programs are currently being offered to these older kids.

Part 4 - How will information be posted about Youth Center, who will be allowed inside building, what happens to RIYP data. will homework assistance be provided, answer is no.

Will post more video tomorrow.


Part 5 - What are we going to do with the older kids, Soccer Program, Little League etc.

In response to question from parent asking how we got to this situation, Ms. Rosenthal responded she did not want to look back but work to go forward.

Part 6 - The past is what brought us here says another parent.

According to RIOC General Counsel Jaci Flug, RIYP informed RIOC on Friday, March 2 that they were shutting down the program the same day and not fulfilling remaining term of contract to the end of March.

Part 7 - Ms Flug added that RIYP Treasurer Steve Kaufman made "some threat or allegation" to close on Thursday and on Friday confirmed it.

RIOC will not release full investigation report because of privacy concerns and attorney work product. Ms Rosenthal said the Executive Summary tells the whole story but not the details.

Ms Rosenthal said they offered the entire former RIYP staff jobs with the new RIOC interim center. Ms Flug added that the former RIYP staff were all offered jobs "at the same salary or higher as part time RIOC employees and they all said no with the exception of Roy."

Parents expressed unhappiness with the new Beacon After School operator.

Part 8 - Will RIOC Interim Youth Center hire kids from Roosevelt Island.

Parents say there is a "disconnect" between parents who need the Youth Center and RIOC staff who don't understand the history and dynamics of Roosevelt Island.

Part 9 - A parent asked if RIOC Board Director Fay Christian's relationship with PS/IS 217 was a conflict of interest that required her not to vote on the RIYP Youth Center operator contract. Ms Flug said there was no conflict because PS/IS 217 has nothing to do with RIOC and the Youth Center.

Ms Rosenthal talks more about Youth Center investigation and reason for not approving RIYP as Youth Center operator.

Finally, Part 10 - RIOC still figuring out how the Interim Youth Center will work.

No matter how much RIOC wants this issue to go away and move forward, there will be more to come.