Here is what he had to say in a post on Facebook:
“As I stated the other day, this morning I met with Lincoln HS administrators, senior DOE safety officials, NYPD School Safety, and senior 60th Pct officials to discuss the school’s morning and dismissal hours operations in response to concerns raised by neighboring small businesses and families.
First, I want to thank each of the stakeholders for making time to meet on such short notice. I was very pleased to see how each stakeholder was very committed to reaching a positive solution for students and the broader community.
Before I discuss next steps on solutions, I want to share with you key things I’ve learned:
1. At least 5 schools within close proximity of each other have nearly identical dismissal hours at or near 2:20pm and many students from these schools travel to the same subway stop to get home.
2. With the volume of students from a number of schools coming in and coming home at nearly identical times, there is an increased need for school staff from each school, School Safety, and the local precinct to create a safe passage way for students to arrive to school and get to their mode of transportation to arrive home safely.
3. The need to find innovative solutions and community partnerships with students and nearby small businesses and community organizations to deepen community connections. Small businesses and the community must be part of lasting solutions.
4. Taking stock of available and meaningful after-school opportunities for students attending these schools.
5. The need for better communication and coordination across school communities in partnership with school safety and the local precinct on an ongoing basis.
1. I’m arranging a follow up meeting with officials from Lincoln HS, Grady HS (including a DOE alternative education program housed in Grady HS), Rachel Carson HS, IS 303, and Coney Island Prep, including relevant superintendents, school safety, and the local precinct to discuss and strategize around their dismissal hours and operations.
2. I have a commitment from both School Safety and the local precinct to increase personnel during morning, and especially after-school hours (between 220-4pm) to help establish a safe corridor from schools to the nearest subway stop, with the aim of ensuring students are safely going to and going home from school.
3. Working with community partners, local community board, workforce1, and merchants we need to work on a robust community partnership plan to offer potential internships and hiring opportunities for students in our community to deepen community connections. Local businesses near schools need to be part of the solution and their voices should be heard. There will be follow up on this front for a future meeting with stakeholders.
4. I’ve asked Lincoln HS and will ask other schools to take stock of existing after-school programs and what more could be added. I’ve already committed funding to build a state of the art courtroom at Lincoln HS and have funded additional counseling services and I’m committed to doing whatever I can to offer students engaging and meaningful programs, in addition to adequate social and emotional supports.
5. The meeting I’m organizing of all relevant school leaders and other stakeholders should serve as a model for an ongoing working group to meet as needed to proactively address issues that impact all school communities as well as the broader community to improve communication and coordination.
In closing, it will take a village to adequately and proactively address this matter. Everyone I spoke to is deeply committed to our students and community. I’m mindful of the serious disruptions that have been taking place at nearby small businesses, but I’m also mindful that we are talking about young people and as a former high school teacher, I know the most effective solutions are school-based solutions in partnership with school safety.
There’s clearly more work to do, but my office is committed to do whatever is necessary to deepen and improve the relationships between these great schools and our great community.”
We will keep following this story.