Parents And Teachers Rally For PS 32: Department of Education Exploring Other Options

Daniel L. Squadron

March 09, 2011

Carroll Gardens Patch

By Georgia Kral

March 9, 2011

The PS 32 auditorium was almost at capacity last night as teachers, parents, students and grandparents rallied to "save" their school.

In the last couple of days, said Principal Deborah Florio, the school has been reeling, trying to figure out what to do with the recent announcement that Brooklyn Prospect Charter School might temporarily move into the portable classrooms behind the school.

The same classrooms are currently used for the school's renowned and highly successful "Nest" program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Late yesterday afternoon, the Department of Education issued a statement that said while they did not believe students in the ASD Nest program would be adversely affected by the approximately 300 more students from Brooklyn Prospect, they would reassess their options for the charter school. 

While this news was a step in the right direction, said PTA member and parent Larissa Bailiff at the meeting, parents need to continue fighting the proposal.

"This is a time to act up, speak up," she said. "It's not an ASD issue, it's an issue for every student in the school."

Administrators called on parents and community members to call their local elected representatives, email Mayor Bloomberg and talk with local residents about the possibility of 300 more young teenagers attending the school. A website was created by librarian Adam Marcus that compiled whom to contact.

Local elected representatives, including Councilmember Brad Lander and State Senator Daniel Squadron, are working alongside PS 32 to fight the proposal, administrators said.

"PS 32 is one of our public schools that truly works, and the Nest program has a proven record of giving autistic children the support they need to grow and thrive," said Squadron in a statement today.

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