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State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) said Friday that his letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloomberg prompted the city's Department of Education to reconsider the plan."This shows that the Bloomberg administration is responsive to the concerns of the parents who have children in our schools," Padavan said. "I'm pleased the response to my letter was so quick and that we were able to satisfactorily resolve the issue for the parents of the district and the Community Education Council."Parents found out the new high school, the Queens School of Inquiry, was moving into IS 25, located at 34-65 192nd St, in a Community Education Council meeting two weeks ago.Mariechen Walker, whose son will enter IS 25 next year, said she was thrilled to learn that her son would not be attending school with older students after all."We're happy, we know we still have a lot of work to do, but we're happy because we know it was creating a problem in the community," she said. "Everyone came together as a community to help this situation."Daisy Yue, president of the IS 25 PTA said between the two emergency meetings this month, 500 parents showed up to express their concerns about the incoming high school."The community is thrilled because they rallied, they did whatever they could because they knew the school did not meet the needs of the community," she said. Yue has one son in IS 25 and another entering next year.The Queens School of Inquiry is one of six new mini high schools planned for the borough, including academies scheduled to open in Hollis, Laurelton, Long Island City and Auburndale. Another academy devoted to young women's leadership is slated to open in a unspecified location.Alicia Maxey, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education, said she is not certain the Queens School of Inquiry will be put in School District 25 as originally planned.The school is being created to offer lower achieving students the chance to take college courses.The high school is supposed to partner with Queens College to offer these educational opportunities. Ideally, planners for the school said it would serve students who hope to become the first generation of college graduates from their families. The school is designed for sixth- through 12th-graders.No specific site has been nailed down for its permanent location, but the Department of Education is tentatively looking at constructing a new facility at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Metropolitan Avenue, due to open in 2008.Until then, Maxey said the agency and community are trying to determine where the growing school will be opened in the fall."We are working with the community to finalize a location for the school," she said. "The school will definitely be open in the fall, but we're working with the community to finalize the location." Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who spoke against the introduction of the high school in IS 25 last week, was happy to hear the merger had been called off."I was extremely concerned that this proposal would have meant mixing 18- and 19-year-old students with IS 25 students of 11 and 12 years old," he said. "It is gratifying to know that DOE officials listened to the concerns of elected officials and the parents and withdrew this proposal."Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2005 Community Newspaper Group
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