BY LUIS GRONDA
Despite protests and disapproval from parents and community members, the Panel for Educational Policy approved the closing of the annex of Richmond Hill High School.
The PEP voted 7-4 for the measure, with Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s appointments all voting for it and the boroughrepresentatives, including Queens Representative Dmytro Fedkowskyj, voting against closing the annex.
Now that it has been approved, the annex, which is based a few blocks away from the main building at 95-27 117th St., will be turned into a separate high school. The students at the annex will be moved to the main building.
Fedkowskyj said closing the annex is a negative for the school because it will overcrowd the school and increase the class sizes. It will force the high school to use trailers to accommodate the higher number of students coming in. He added that, in the past, the Dept. of Education has promised to stop using trailers in its future capital plans but so far that has not been the case.
“It’s too bad that something that’s working is now being broke,” Fedkowskyj said.
Vishnu Mahadeo, the PTA president of the high school, said everyone has expressed their dismay about the measure at multiple public meetings, including one held at the high school last month, and it serves as a disservice to the children at the school.
According to Mahadeo, attendance at the annex is high, around 95 percent in total, and gives the kids placed there a better learning environment. He said the DOE is trying to make it look like it is creating new high schools but does not alleviate the overcrowding problem many schools like Richmond Hill HS have.
“It’s sad. These people are doing things willy nilly and not taking how it affects kids into consideration,” Mahadeo said.
Mahadeo said several parents are urging him to take legal action against the DOE to stop the move. Although he has not decided either way yet, he said a decision on that is expected in about one week.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @luisgronda.