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Jamaica’s William Wordsworth Elementary School set to graduate five pairs of twins

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Principal Patricia Mitchell of William Wordsworth Elementary School in Jamaica will have a bittersweet moment this spring when five sets of twins she has watched over for the last four to six years — from pre-school to fifth-grade — will graduate from the school.

Wordworth is at 108-29 on 155th St.

“This is probably never going to happen again — that we have all these twins in the building,” said Mitchell. “I feel like I’m losing a part of my family.”

The fraternal twins are Roman and Raymond Chevannes and Alexis and Alissa Boucher. The identical twins are Baker and Shaker Ahmed, Madison and Shannon Blackhshear, and Calvin and Corey Cody.

Although the excitement of seeing the children graduate June 20 will be overwhelming for her, Mitchell was not pleased to learn that the city Department of Education will separate all the twins.

“Their mothers are going to have two communities to go to, and that is not going to work,” said Mitchell. “I don’t think that our system for middle school takes into consideration when we have two scholars who have the same birth date and are from the same household.”

Mitchell is helping the parents of these twins in their fight to have their children placed in the same school, and she said the placement of the different kids were random and based on filling space, despite the parents all choosing to place their kids at the same school.

“This may happen again,” said Mitchell, who has three younger sets of twins at the school. “We are in the process now of appealing the decision for these scholars so that they can all go to the same school.”

Some of the twins agreed with the appeal, but all of them were more concerned about their new adventure in middle school and were sad to say goodbye to PS 48.

“I’m going to miss this school,” said Shannon.

Alexis shared the same sentiments.

“I’m sad I have to leave,” said Alexis. “I’m going to miss the teachers.”

Madison became sentimental about the upcoming departure. She and her twin sister both have sickle cell anemia and when one is sick, the other attends school and brings notes to the hospital.

“I’m excited, but nervous at the same time,” said Madison. “I want to go to the same school as my sister.”

Shannon was placed at the Young Women’s Leadership School in Jamaica, and Madison was assigned to go to Redwood Middle School, which is 20 minutes away on the other end of southeast Queens.

Alissa and Alexis have been at the school the longest.

“Me and my sister have been here since pre-K,” said Alissa. “They practically raised us.”

Corey has already made plans to come and visit the school he and Calvin have attended since first grade.

“I will come back and visit the teachers,” Corey said with joy.

Calvin, on the other hand was not looking forward to being separated from his brother.

“I don’t like to be alone, and I like to stick with my family,” said Calvin.

The Ahmed twins, who are in the same fifth-grade class and help each other with schoolwork, are not looking forward to having two sets of homework next year, but the Chevannes twins, who have opposite personalities, are fine with going to different schools.

Raymond, the shy one, was tired of being in the shadow of his showboat brother and wanted to make his own friends.

“He stole my shine,” said Raymond.

Roman was looking forward to having new escapades at another school.

“I feel like getting these last days over with,” Roman said.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

Updated 2:41 pm, May 24, 2018
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Reader feedback

Mr. HappyMan from Jamaica says:
What a horrible oversight on the part of the city and Department of Education. Can you imagine the idea of having to go to a different school than your sibling? And particularly with the unique bonds that twins share.
The logistical nightmare for a parent who has to shuttle their children to different schools (which may have different schedules, mind you) is inconceivable.
I certainly hope that the public puts pressure on the city and its agencies to dispense with this inane rule.
May 29, 7:22 am

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