Parents displeased about the addition of an extra high school class at the Queens Metropolitan Educational Campus in Forest Hills have reason to be excited this week, as the Department of Education has pledged that the incubation period will last only one year.
Last month, the Panel For Education Policy approved a plan to incubate the freshman class of a new Maspeth High School — Q585 — at the new Queens Metropolitan Educational Campus. The plan caused a stir among local parents who chose to send their children to the Metropolitan Avenue campus specifically because of it’s low population.
Now, word has come down from the Department of Education promising that the incubation will only last one school year.
In a letter to elected officials from Forest Hills, Department of Education Executive Director Lenny Speiller said that because of the construction schedule of the new Maspeth High School, he is confident that the school’s siting at the new Forest Hills campus will be over before September 2012.
“The School Construction Authority has confirmed construction of the new building continues to be on schedule for a September 2012 opening, and we have no reason to believe these plans will be derailed or delayed in any way,” Speiller wrote.
While the incubation at the Forest Hills campus happened over the protest of local electeds, who spent more than a decade working to get the school built to ease overcrowding in District 28 schools, leaders said they were pleased that the incubation has now firmly been limited to one school year. The incubation comes at a time when the new campus is not yet close to capacity on available seats.
“The parents, elected officials, and community members have insisted from day one that the incubation at the Metro Campus only last for one school year,” City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz said. “Receiving this official language from the Department of Education proves that our voices were heard on this matter.”
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi echoed the councilwoman’s sentiments.
“I would like to thank the DOE for recognizing our concerns and those of our communities. I believe this is a great first step towards ensuring a successful incubation that minimally affects our children,” Hevesi said. “In following this plan, the DOE shows how they can successfully collaborate to meet the needs of our community.”