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Language, journalism schools on track to open in Flushing

The schools would accept students in grades six through 12.Both will promote a specialized curriculum of instruction focusing on language and journalism, officials said. One of the schools, called the East-West School of International Studies, has partnered with City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing)¶and civil rights group Asian Americans for Equality. The other, which will be known as the World Journalism Preparatory School, collaborated with the non-profit College Board. Both schools are funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Parents at the Feb. 8 meeting expressed concern that with application deadlines for all public schools looming just two days later they would not be able to apply for the new schools. But school officials said plans for the two new District 25 schools are tentative at the moment. Officials said once the new schools do get off the ground, District 25 students will get priority at the schools. District 25 Council President Judith Bergtraum said she believed the schools would be successful due to the population of the district."In many of the District 25 schools, there are available seats in both the elementary and the middle schools," Bergtraum said. "If you look at the rest of the city, most of the other districts are bursting at the seams."The tentative plans are to house the East-West School of International Studies in Junior High School 237 in Flushing. That school will provide all students with in-depth courses in either Chinese, Korean or Japanese for speaking, reading, writing and culture. It will accept students for grades seven through nine, and a total of 243 students.Officials said they were looking into finding a permanent place to house the school in the future.The journalism school is tentatively scheduled to be placed at IS 25 in Flushing and plans on accepting students who are interested in writing and putting together student publications. "Further studies are required to determine if the school can be permanently placed here," said Local Instructional Superintendent Diane Foley.The announcement that the district will receive two new schools came shortly after another announcement that the city Department of Education had postponed the reorganization of intermediate schools in District 25. Plans had previously been laid to move sixth grade from elementary schools to middle schools, but Chancellor Joel Klein later announced the move would be delayed for one year. Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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