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School of Inquiry to move to Parsons Junior High

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The school, rejected by the Auburndale community last month when parents learned it was to move into IS 25, is a new school that will start holding classes for 81 sixth graders in the Kew Gardens Hills community, residents learned at a Community Education President's Council meeting Monday.A DOE spokeswoman said JHS 168 is not scheduled to close or relocate its students to accommodate the other school at its building. "The current building has an enrollment that is significantly under capacity, and there is space for it to co-exist with a new school," said Alicia Maxey. "There is enough space in the building to house the Queens School of Inquiry for at least two years without displacing any students from JHS 168 or reducing enrollment."But Kew Gardens Hills activist Shirley Weinstein said she heard at the meeting that the JHS 168 students were going to be gradually moved out of the Parsons school, located at 158-40 76th Rd.Weinstein said while the Orthodox Jewish community in Kew Gardens Hills mostly sends its children to religiously affiliated schools, there are still a lot of students who need junior high schools.JHS 168 currently has an enrollment of 591, according to the Department of Education Web site, down from the nearly 900 students who attended when it operated at capacity.Designed to help traditionally lower-achieving students prepare themselves for higher education, 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.ther academy devoted to young women's leadership will open in a unspecified location.Cass Conrad, who works with the CUNY Early College Initiative that helps develop schools such as Queens School of Inquiry, said its students will have the chance to earn as many as two years' worth of college credits.The high school will partner with Queens College to offer this opportunity. Ideally, Conrad said the schools will serve students who hope to become the first generation of college graduates from their families.Maxey previously said the school would likely end up in School District 25 after it leaves IS 25. No specific site has been nailed down, 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.Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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