Streams

Schedule Chaos at Long Island City High School

Friday, October 28, 2011 - 08:27 AM

Two months into the school year, and students at Long Island City High School are saying it is just like the first day of school again: all of their schedules have been changed.

In a report on NY1, the students say their school day was entirely jumbled, with new teachers and new times for classes.

In part, the principal blamed an unexpected drop in enrollment, but teachers cite other issues, including many students not getting required science courses.

“For two months I didn't have science at all, so I'm worried about that, ’cause I have to take the Regents this year and I don't know if I am going to be able to take it now,” said one student.

Students are furious at the principal, Maria Mamo Vacacela, who had to apologize to parents about the confusion at parent conference night when many were unable to meet with their child's teachers, because they did not know who they are.

The school, which has 3,400 students, is named a transformation school and received $5 million in federal funds to help turn it around. But it remains a "C" school and has had some recent episodes of violence, including a student stabbing.

The Associated Press had an interview with Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and asked him about the Daily News analysis on Thursday that found that the small high schools created since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took over control of the schools did a better job of graduating students, but a poorer job of preparing them for college.

Mr. Walcott said he knows that the schools must do better. "We think we're up to the task, and I think our students are up to the task," he told The Associated Press.

Gotham Schools' Rise and Shine post has a fuller roundup of education-related news on Friday.

There are two big deadlines related to school enrollment on Friday:

This is the last day students can obtain a ticket to audition for the Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts.

And it is the deadline for Pre-K to second-grade students to apply to take the Gifted and Talented Test. The test will be administered for students between Jan. 3 and Feb. 10.

Eighth graders are facing their own admissions test this weekend: the entry exam to determine whether they are eligible for admission to one of the city's specialized high schools. Good luck, students!

At 1 p.m., Chancellor Walcott will participate in a panel at the College Board 2011 conference at the Hilton in Manhattan.

And speaking of the annual College Board conference, the Choice blog at The Times has been there every minute of the event, with Rebecca Ruiz blogging about the panels and providing helpful information from it for parents, students, counselors and teachers. You can find all her posts here.

Finallly, the Community Partnership Charter school at 241 Emerson Place in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, is looking for volunteers to read with its children (K-8) during lunch hours. Volunteers can contact Nelva Hatcher, the school's coordinator, at nhatcher@everybodywinsny.org.

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