March 7, 2012Mr. Dennis Walcott, Schools ChancellorTweed Courthouse52 Chambers Street New York, NY 10007Dear Chancellor Walcott,We are writing to express our opposition to the Department of Education
’s (DOE) proposed co
-location of Manhattan Charter School II (MCSII) in the Corlears 056 complex. This proposed siting isproblematic for a number of reasons:
Lack of space
Space in the complex is already at a premium. The Corlears Complex is already home to 3middle schools, one high school, and the Space Education Center. We believe that thisproposed co-location would come at the expense of students already in the buildings. Inparticular, all four schools rely heavily on open space for self-contained classes for specialneeds and English Language Learners (E.L.L) students.
Further squeezing the schools’
available resources will have a disproportionately negative impact on these high needsstudents.
Manhattan Charter School does not currently provide special needs instruction throughself-contained classes at its present location. It is doubtful that MCSII would be able to meet this need at Corlears 056 due to space constraints.
The four schools currently share one gym, which has been split in half. The gym is alreadyover capacity, and any additional claims on the space would be detrimental to current students. Although Manhattan Charter School plans to use a classroom instead of the gymfor the first year, in later years students will need the gym for physical education. Toaccommodate this new need, the co-location proposal says that one of the schools
thoughit does not specify which one
will have to use off site gym space.
Classroom space is already being shared between three schools, including science rooms,music rooms, the yard, and gym space. Adding another school will make it that much moredifficult to schedule classroom space, especially since the schools do not operate on thesame block periods.