October 25, 2019
Dear Colleagues, Families and Members of the District 15 Community:
As you are probably aware, the DOE has been partnering with CEC 15 and school communities since spring 2019 to develop a collaborative rezoning and admissions plan that aims to increase diversity and integration, reduce overcrowding, and advance equity. This planning has involved seven zoned schools: P.S. 38, P.S. 261, P.S. 32, P.S. 15, P.S. 29, P.S. 58 and P.S. 676 Red Hook Neighborhood School.
The engagement process has been community-driven, entailing extensive outreach across this area of the district. Many planning meetings were held with CEC members, principals, and SLTs, along with 12 public community meetings, many of which were targeted to reach families in historically underserved communities, such as Red Hook and Gowanus.
As a result of this engagement, the DOE and the CEC heard from hundreds of District 15 community members. One piece of feedback that stood out was the need for more time to consider potential plans and further empower historically underserved communities in the process through Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods that directly connect community members with other community members to maximize participation in the process.
Given community and CEC feedback, the DOE announced at last week’s CEC meeting that it has decided not to submit a proposal for 2020-2021 implementation in order to provide more time to hear from as many voices as possible, and to further empower communities. Therefore, instead of submitting a proposal for a vote by the CEC for implementation beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, we will work with our communities on PAR and other engagement opportunities with the goal of a Spring 2020 vote for 2021-2022 implementation. The DOE is also planning a similar process for potential rezoning in Sunset Park aligned to new schools and buildings opening over the next few years.
In the coming weeks, the DOE will begin months-long engagement with the CEC and other community stakeholders about the process, and expects to provide further details at the November 19 CEC meeting. Please note that while the zone for P.S. 32 will remain unchanged for the 2020-2021 school year, the school will use the new facilities in the addition to increasing enrollment accordingly.
If anyone in the community has feedback on what this process should ultimately look like, please reach out to me, your Superintendent, at 718-935-4317 or by e-mail at email@example.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank the CEC members for their ongoing partnership and you, the dedicated District 15 community, for your continued willingness to engage in this process as we continue to develop a plan that advances equity and excellence for all our students.
Community Superintendent-District 15
Cc: Chancellor Richard Carranza
Deputy Chancellor Karin Goldmark
Executive Superintendent Karen Watts