DOE Decides Not to Close Threatened Brooklyn Middle School

February 8, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Manhattan School Also Taken Off Phase-Out List

By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

NEW YORK CITY — Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Wednesday that the Department of Education (DOE) has changed its mind about phasing out a Brooklyn school that was on the list of about two dozen slated to be closed down.

The Panel for Educational Policy was scheduled to vote on the phase-out of Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy VII (KAPPA VII), located in Clinton Hill, at Thursday’s (February 9) meeting at Brooklyn Technical High School.

The Chancellor said that DOE was also withdrawing its proposal to close down Wadleigh Secondary School in Manhattan.

KAPPA VII received a D on its latest School Progress report.

 “This morning we made a decision to withdraw our proposals to truncate Wadleigh Secondary school and phase out Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy VII,” Walcott said in a statement. “Over the last two months we have closely monitored all 25 schools and listened to what their respective communities have had to say. And so while these two schools continue to struggle, what we learned is that they are also poised to quickly improve. We will pay close attention to both going forward to ensure that they make the needed progress and can ultimately provide the kind high quality education that students deserve.”

As part of the public review process, DOE has been meeting with parents, staff, students and community members to discuss the planned school closings. People involved with KAPPA VII said that the principal that took over this year has begun to make the changes required for success, bringing in new staff and working to implement a variety of new programming and cultural changes.

At Wadleigh, a new principal, Tyee Chin, will be coming in from Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn. Since Wadleigh Middle School is quite small, with only 86 students, DOE felt a new leader would be able to turn the school around and strengthen the whole school, which includes a high school. The high school has 441 students.

Almost a dozen Brooklyn schools are facing phase-outs. One of them is the all-boys Academy for Business and Community Development (ABCD) in Bedford Stuyvesant. (See Eagle story here)

ABCD earned a B on its 2008-2009 progress report, but sank to a D this year. ABCD is one of four middle schools the Department of Education is seeking to close in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

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