We had a really great turnout from EVCS parents at last night’s Community Education Council (CEC) meeting. Robin and Bradley led the charge, with over a dozen other parents speaking to the success of our school, our need for more space, and the inadequacy of the proposed move to a building on Henry Street.
Elizabeth Rose, the Director of Manhattan Planning from the Department of Education, first made a presentation that highlighted the overcrowding in our building and the need EVCS has over the next three years to add three more classrooms. She also presented findings on building M056, the Corlears building on Henry Street, which showed that the three schools there are actually underutilizing their space (based on DOE metrics). In fact, M056 is the only building in District 1 that could accommodate a full elementary school, which is why it has been offered to EVCS.
Members of the EVCS community then dominated the public comments that followed. Robin spoke to the history of why EVCS is growing and asked the DOE to celebrate our success rather than punishing us for it. Bradley reviewed the inequitable distribution of space within our own building, confirmed by the DOE’s recent survey. And then parent after parent stood up to defend EVCS’s place in the community, stress the disruptive inconvenience for families if the school were to move to Henry Street, and challenge the appropriateness of the DOE’s proposal to insert our elementary school children into a building with much older kids. The message was loud and clear: we won’t move!
So what happens next? The three principals in our building will meet, as they do regularly, to see if they can reach an agreement on the allotment of rooms. DOE mediators may be involved in that process, but ultimately it’s up to the principals to see if they can work this thing out. If they can’t, there is a process of DOE arbitration that might be necessary. Robin will keep us informed as that process moves forward.