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DOE clarifies Astoria G&T enrollment

Parents in District 30 ranking kindergarten preferences this month will benefit from automatic G&T enrollment.
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Families in Astoria’s school district who will be ranking preferences for kindergarten enrollment for their children by the end of this month will also benefit from eventual automatic enrollment into middle school Gifted & Talented programs in the district, according to a letter from the district’s superintendent after elected officials and parents requested clarification.

The letter from Dr. Philip A. Composto was in response to one sent last week by U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) and Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria).

Parents in School District 30, which includes much of Astoria, have been confused by what they said were mixed messages from the Department of Education during previous months. According to a 2013 DOE memorandum, students enrolled in PS 122’s elementary G&T program would benefit from automatic enrollment into the district’s middle school G&T program, but Composto, in a letter to parents Dec. 8, raised the possibility that the practice would change.

The DOE later clarified that students in G&T programs now would retain automatic enrollment, but parents were unsure if that applied to incoming kindergarteners. Parents must rank preferences for kindergarten placement by April 24.

Composto’s letter clarified that kindergarten students entering G&T programs in District 30 this September will receive “admissions priority for middle school G&T articulati­on.”

The DOE hopes to have a more permanent decision by December, so parents choosing kindergartens to enroll in for September 2018 will have a firm policy in place by the time they must enroll. Council 30 Community Education Council President Deborah Alexander said she was happy parents received clarification.

“Selecting a school is a time of incredible stress for parents, and while we are lucky in District 30 to have so many wonderful schools and programs, without current, accurate information that stress is compounded,” Alexander said. “I look forward to the DOE’s decision on the future of auto-articulation so that the incoming families in 2018 and beyond are armed with the information they need to make informed decisions. For now I am very pleased that all current families know what to expect.”

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdonachie@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Posted 12:00 am, April 18, 2017
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