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DOE replacing phased-out high school with five new programs

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Environmental conservation, advertising, and medicine – these are the themes of the schools set to replace Canarsie High School. At an informational session, the city Department of Education (DOE) offered details about the five schools that will open this September at Canarsie, which is being phased out due to poor academic performance. “It’s important that you understand the choices that our children have,” James Dandridge, president of District 18’s Community Education Council (CEC), told parents, some of whom brought their children to the forum. “They’re bringing a new and exciting list of programs to our district.” “By the names of these schools, we’re looking forward to preparing your kids for the 21st century,” said Beverly Wilkins, District 18’s community superintendent. All of the schools will accept students for a ninth grade class. The Academy for Conservation and the Environment will focus on being “green.” The school will empower students to make the world “a healthier, cleaner, more beautiful place for themselves, their families, their communities, and all the living things on our planet.” The school’s project director, Michelle Ashkin, said students will do outdoor fieldwork, likely at the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park, and work with scientists who will visit classes. They’ll also work on environmental projects, like developing a recycling system for the school, and create their own green business. The Cultural Academy for the Arts and Science will offer classes in art, music, criminology, and forensics. College students will mentor the academy’s students so the teens “will understand what it takes to be in college,” explained Diane Varano, the academy’s principal. School staffers will offer guidance to students so they can form healthy relationships with peers and make positive decisions, thereby avoiding the personal downfalls that can lead to dropping out. The High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media is backed by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz who believes the school will inspire teens to enter the business world. “We must spark in our kids a zest to do business, to get into creative industries like advertising and marketing, and to be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” Markowitz said during his State of the Borough address. “Opening this school will launch more young Brooklynites into the top levels of the advertising industry – where the real money is.” The school will offer a summer career academy to introduce ninth-graders to the workforce. During the sessions, they’ll gain Microsoft Office certification, take art and music courses, and participate in workshops hosted by advertising executives. Each student will receive a laptop to complete coursework. The High School for Medical Professions “will give students the opportunity to explore different jobs in the medical field,” said Joseph Scarmato, the school’s leader. Students will be required to do community service in the medical field, such as volunteering in a doctor’s office or at a pharmacy. In the 11th grade, all students will complete internships in a hospital. The Urban Action Academy is focused on “college readiness and community activism.” Students will have the chance to join athletic and cheerleading teams. Abe Correa, the school’s principal, said, “We’re excited to be in this community. It’s a new beginning.” For more information, contact individual schools. Here’s how: Academy for Conservation and the Environment – 718-935-3442; Mashkin@schools.nyc.gov Cultural Academy for the Arts and Science – 718-935-3598 High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media – 877-520-7747; 718-935-3577; IAM.highschool@gmail.com; www.advhigh.com High School for Medical Professions – 718-935-3651; www.hsmp.us Urban Action Academy – 718-935-3472; BrooklynUrbanAction@gmail.com

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