Overcrowded Coney School Sues To Prevent Charter

Enraged parents from the overcrowded Intermediate School 303 in Coney Island are taking immediate legal action to stop a similarly cramped charter school from moving into their building, 501 West Avenue at West 5

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Street, the Daily News is reporting.

Worried that an additional 270 students from Coney Island Prep, located inside the Carey Gardens public housing project at 2315 Surf Avenue, will not only cause the school to “lose all the ground it’s made up after a 2004 reorganization,” but parents also fear that “it will disrupt programs for 750 kids who attend I.S. 303, Rachel Carson High School and a school for students with special needs already located in the building.”

Department of Education officials plan to move 270-seat Coney Island Prep because the two-year-old charter is outgrowing its space in a community center at the Carey Gardens public housing project.
Butt and other IS 303 parents have appealed to state Education Commissioner David Steiner to stop the DOE’s plan on the grounds that it will disrupt programs for 750 kids who attend IS 303, Rachel Carson High School and a school for students with special needs already located in the building.
IS 303 is a once-troubled school that recovered from a state-mandated overhaul in 2004 to earn A’s and B’s on recent city progress reports.
Butt and other parents believe the city’s plan will ruin the comeback by eliminating a schedule where students spend much of their time in a single classroom — with teachers moving from class to class.
The stakes are equally high at Coney Island Prep, which has been housed in an eight-room space that is so tight students have to eat lunch at their desks.
“It’s painful to even think about staying. Our kids deserve access to a traditional public school building,” said Jacob Mnookin, executive director of the charter school.

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