We are excited to be launching the District 15 Participatory Action Research (PAR) Project in the Gowanus/Red Hook/Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill areas of District 15. In addition, we are working in Sunset Park to develop a framework for a PAR process to begin Summer/Fall 2020 to help plan for new school buildings coming to that neighborhood!
With the new school addition opening at P.S. 32, the DOE has been partnering with CEC 15 and school communities since the spring 2019 to develop a collaborative rezoning and admissions plan that aims to increase diversity and integration, reduce overcrowding, and advance equity in the Gowanus/Red Hook/Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill areas of District 15. This planning impacts seven zoned schools: PS 676, PS 15, PS 32, PS 58, PS 29, PS 38 and PS 261. During conversations over the past year, a central piece of feedback that stood out was the need for more time to consider potential plans and further empower historically underrepresented communities in the process. This feedback ultimately resulted in a commitment to undertake a PAR process in both this area and Sunset Park.
PAR is a framework that is rooted in the belief that community members most impacted by an issue should be the ones to lead investigations and develop responses and recommendations. In this project, the PAR Team will be made up of a variety of community members, particularly from underrepresented communities within the seven school zones listed above (for info on the Sunset Park process and team, see below). The PAR Team will pull from their own expertise, lived experiences, community knowledge, and existing data to collaboratively design research, produce findings, and develop recommendations regarding rezoning, admissions and school policy in this area of District 15. This project will seek to build a complex understanding, based on community expertise, of:
· What does equity mean and what does it look like for different members of different school communities?
· What do families value when it comes to their children’s elementary education?
· What schools and schooling experiences do families desire?
· What are current perceptions and desires with regard to the different existing elementary school options?
· What supports do families desire within schools once their children are enrolled?
We are the District 15 PAR Collective. In Red Hook/Gowanus/Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill, we include Edwin Pacheco, Red Hook community leader; Maddy Fox from CUNY's Public Science Project/Brooklyn College's Center for the Study of Brooklyn; Matt Gonzales from NYU Metro Center; representatives from the NYC Department of Education with support from the Red Hook Initiative and YOU!
The Gowanus/Red Hook/Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill PAR project will run from February - June 2020. We are recruiting 8 local community members to join the project as the core research team. This group will meet weekly between now and June and will guide and lead all parts of the project, including monthly public events for broad participation. Together, we will learn about the rezoning process, clarify our questions, determine the best ways to gather information from all our neighbors, and ultimately generate recommendations. No prior knowledge, skills, or experience are necessary and core research team members will receive a stipend for participation! For more details please see the application form.
This project has the potential to generate a new vision for equity and zoning across our schools that is shaped and deeply supported by local community members. It’s exciting! In order for this to happen - we need everyone! The more of us who are part of the process, the stronger the findings will be. What strengths could you bring to the work? There are multiple ways to be involved in addition to being on the core research team. If you are interested in participating at any level - please check out the brief application form. The application includes additional details, including meeting times and dates.
Please apply! If you are unable to apply online or have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text Maddy Fox at (917)-560-8846
We are collaborating with school communities and local organizations to develop a PAR plan for Sunset Park that would begin in Summer/Fall 2020. Stay tuned for more info in the coming months!
Over the last 6 months, D15 school community members and representatives from the Department of Education (DOE) have been discussing potential rezoning and admission changes for 7 of our elementary schools: PS 15, PS 29, PS 32, PS 38, PS 58, PS 261 and PS 676. This conversation was prompted by a newly constructed addition to PS 32, which will open in September of 2020-2021 with 436 seats.
The NYCDOE is working closely with the school communities in the area to develop a potential rezoning plan that ensures the additional seats advance Equity and Excellence. Presentations can be found on the DOE website under the District Planning - Brooklyn - District 15 page. The presentation from June 20, 2019 can be downloaded here. In this document you will see the two different approaches that the DOE is proposing which would alleviate overcrowding and create opportunities to diversify.
Both approaches include changes to zone lines and admissions priorities for Students in Temporary Housing, Multilingual Learners and students who are income-eligible for Free and Reduced-Price Lunch. Further details about the two proposed approaches, including a more detailed map of Approach, can be found here. A District 15 Zoning FAQ can be found here.
To download District Planning's presentation from the April 18, 2019 meeting please click below:
To download the presentation from May 20, 2019 please click here.
At the October 22 calendar meeting, Superintendent Skop and the Office of District Planning announced the decision not to submit a proposal for 2020-2021 implementation in order to provide more time to hear from as many voices as possible, and to further empower communities. Instead of submitting a proposal for a vote by the CEC for implementation beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, they will work with our communities on PAR and other engagement opportunities with the goal of a Spring 2020 vote for 2021-2022 implementation. The DOE is also planning a similar process for potential rezoning in Sunset Park aligned to new schools and buildings opening over the next few years.
In the coming weeks, the DOE will begin months-long engagement with the CEC and other community stakeholders about the process, and expects to provide further details at the November 19 CEC meeting.
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