Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gifted & Talented Program Tour of Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Scheduled For Thursday May 14

Image of PS/IS 217 From Geocities

Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 will be holding a second tour on Thursday May 14 for those interested in participating in the proposed Gifted & Talented Program at the school next year.

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin is encouraging all interested parents to attend the May 14 Open House at PS/IS 217. Ms Lappin press spokesperson sends the following message:
At Council Member Jessica Lappin’s request, the Department of Education (DOE) has announced the launch a new gifted and talented program at PS/IS 217 on Roosevelt Island. If there is sufficient demand for seats, the program is set to open for the 2009-2010 school year and will accommodate children in Kindergarten and First grade.

“We desperately need more gifted and talented seats in Manhattan,” Lappin said, “and Roosevelt Island is a natural place to add a program. We have capacity and, I believe, we have the demand. Now, parents won’t have to take their kids off the Island to enroll in a top-notch gifted and talented program.”

The school held its first open house on May 7 and will be holding a second open house at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 14. Parents interested in the program are encouraged to attend. All students who scored in the 90th percentile or better on the gifted and talented placement exam are eligible to apply for placement at the school.

The official launch of the program is contingent on sufficient numbers of students enrolling in the school.

“I hope that Roosevelt Island parents take advantage of this great opportunity,” Council Member Lappin said. “We’ve been talking about this possibility for years and I’m so glad that we’ve finally made it a reality.”
and adds:
It is correct that the launch depends on having enough kids enroll in the program. The way the system works is that parents can apply to different G&T programs throughout the district. Then, in mid-June they’re offered specific seats and can opt whether or not to accept them. Regardless of how many kids on Roosevelt Island (or anywhere else) are eligible for G&T, if they choose to go to programs elsewhere, it will be bad for 217’s program.
Roosevelt Island is in District 2. The NY Times reported:
... In District 2, which covers the Upper East Side and parts of Lower Manhattan, including TriBeCa, 26 percent more children took the tests, and 51 percent more passed, bringing the total to 586....
...While the city said, for example that it would accommodate the increase by opening as many as 24 new district gifted programs in September and creating up to 150 new kindergarten seats in more selective citywide gifted programs, many parents are unwilling to send their children to new or untested gifted programs....
Which may be a problem for Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217 as expressed in this City Room Blog article:
...Noting that several of the programs were far from the overcrowded schools on the Upper East Side, he said, “A school bus to Chinatown or Chelsea or Roosevelt Island is an hour in the morning at rush hour...
Last week, I asked the Principal of PS/IS 217 for comment about the Gifted & Talented Program but received no answer to date.


Anonymous said...

I wish PS 217 good luck. It seems, though, the school has so much stigma that it will be a hard sell even to Roosevelt Islanders. A poll on RooseveltIsland360's blog showed, though, that the majority of people would send their child to PS217 if it had a G&T. Now is the time to show it.

The real problem is its location, though. How many children from across the river will be coming to RI? Will there be a bus? The quote from City Room is a little exaggerated, though. A bus from the UES to RI does not take an hour in the morning. More like 30 minutes (or even less because the bus would go against the regular rush hour traffic on the Queens Borough Bridge).