BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
After a lot of pushing from Jackson Heights parents, IS 230 will see a new dual language program, starting in September 2015.
The immediate need for a dual language program at IS 230 comes after a proposed rezoning set forth by the Dept. of Education’s Office of Portfolio Management. The rezoning would work to equalize utilization across IS 230 and IS 145 and alleviate overcrowding at IS 145.
Since IS 230, located at 73-10 34th Ave., will see a new annex building, Q297, slated to open in September, students who would originally go to IS 145 will have the ability to go to IS 230 once Community District Education Council 30 votes on the rezoning plan in April.
According to many parents at a recent town hall meeting at IS 145, the proposed rezoning for the two middle schools comes with many concerns, including the lack of a dual language program at IS 230.
Issac Carmignani, co-president of CEC 30, said students who would have originally continued learning dual languages from elementary school after starting at their zoned middle school, IS 145, will now continue to practice and learn dual languages at IS 230.
“Most of them don’t mind going from IS 145 to IS 230, but that dual language piece is real important to them,” he said.
Carmignani said starting a dual language program at IS 230 is beneficial because “it provides continuity for them.”
“It also gives an opportunity for those who aren’t in a dual language program to try to get in,” he said. “I feel really good for these families because their concerns and needs have been overlooked for a long time now.”
Although the languages for the new program at IS 230 have not been decided yet, Carmignani said the school’s administration has a year to hire and plan the logistics of the program.
He said IS 230’s Principal Sharon Terry will work tirelessly to replicate what IS 145 has successfully been doing for more than 12 years, which consists of a Spanish/English program.
Carmignani said most parents he has spoken to about the dual language program are happy with it, but some aren’t.
Marisa Bassi, Parent Teacher Association president at PS 89, voiced her concerns about a new dual language program starting at IS 230, by saying an experienced group of teachers is hard to find and even harder to duplicate.
“For a program to be successful, it takes a lot of years and very dedicated teachers,” she said. “I’m sad to say that my other son Christian, now in 4th grade and also in the Dual Language program at PS89Q, will not be able to attend IS 145 and will be forced to go to a sub par program at IS 230 that is seven to eight blocks farther than IS 145 would be.”
A DOE spokesperson said they are “aware of the interest to open a Spanish dual language program at IS 230 and will be supporting the school community with the planning process.”
Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Tsakhuja13.