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Mayor initiative creates six new borough schools

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Springfield Gardens, Flushing and the Rockaway Peninsula will get six new small schools in September as part of the mayor’s initiative to reduce the number of large educational sites throughout the borough, the city’s top official said last Thursday.

Five of the new schools will welcome students in grades nine to 12, with a maximum enrollment of 500 students, while the sixth school will include grades six to 12, with a cap of 525 students, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

“The environments created by small schools are safe and supportive and provide students individual attention,” Bloomberg said. “Students who attend small schools perform better academically and are more likely to graduate and to go to college.”

The new schools will be created at the following locations: Excelsior Preparatory High School, The George Washington Carver High School for the Sciences and Langston Hughes High School for the Communications Arts, all at 143-10 Springfield Blvd. in Springfield Gardens; Flushing International High School at 144-80 Barclay Ave. in Flushing; Channel View School for Research at 100-00 Beach Channel Dr. in Rockaway Beach; and Frederick Douglas Academy VI High School at 821 Bay 25th Street in Far Rockaway.

Channel View School for Research will include grades six to 12, while the other five schools will include grades nine to 12.

“We are creating small, effective secondary schools in neighborhoods that are in dire need of high-quality schools,” Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said. “Experience shows that small, academically demanding high schools have great success in improving student achievement and graduation rates.”

The majority of the $57.7 million for the schools, which are being created by breaking up larger sites, came from an allocation by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation given last fall.

Queens’ secondary schools are the city’s most overcrowded, operating with a deficit of at least 10,000 seats for students, according to statistics provided by Borough President Helen Marshall’s office. The borough’s high schools currently have 71,524 students enrolled but a capacity of only 60,768.

Those figures translate into a 117.7 percent utilization rate among high schools in Queens, according to the statistics.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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