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Elected Officials Laud Preservation of Gifted Program at P.S. 122 Mamie Fay School

Elected Officials Laud Preservation of Gifted Program at P.S. 122 Mamie Fay School

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Published by Aravella Simotas
Elected Officials Laud Preservation of Gifted Program at P.S. 122 Mamie Fay School
Elected Officials Laud Preservation of Gifted Program at P.S. 122 Mamie Fay School

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Published by: Aravella Simotas on Apr 16, 2013
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Elected Officials Laud Preservation of Gifted Program at P.S. 122 Mamie Fay School
Department of Education withdraws proposed cutbacks after outpouring of support from parents, teachers, and students
ASTORIA, N.Y.- On Monday, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Senator Michael Gianaris, Congressman Joseph Crowley, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney announced that the Gifted and Talented (G&T) program for middle school students at Public School 122 in Astoria would remain unchanged. The Department of Education (DOE) had originally announced that the school would see a reduction in its G&T seats beginning with next year’s kindergarten class. “For nearly 30 years, P.S. 122 has been a pillar of academic excellence. In particular, the G&T academy is well-known as a first-rate model for other institutions, and I am relieved that it will remain unchanged,” Simotas said. P.S. 122’s middle school students consistently rank at the top in several key metrics among all New York City Schools. In conjunction with the PTA, families, teachers, and students, local elected officials worked over the past two months to find a tenable resolution to the proposed changes. After several community meetings, rallies, and a round-table discussion with Chancellor Dennis Walcott, it was ultimately decided to forgo the original plan. “I am thrilled that the exemplary academic program at P.S. 122 will be preserved moving forward; P.S. 122 is a gem in our community that should be allowed to continue improving the lives of the children and parents of Astoria for years to come,” Gianaris said. “Rest assured that I will continue to fight to preserve this laudable educational model. For as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke don't fix it.”

Rep. Maloney remarked, “I commend Chancellor Walcott for responding to the concerns of families in the community who know that the system has been working for their children for more than 25 years. Parents, teachers and students were loud and clear in their message: ‘Save Our School!’ Through their extraordinary efforts, advocates and DOE officials were able to find common ground. P.S. 122 is a top-rated school that attracts countless young families to Astoria and I am encouraged that the academy will remain intact for many years to come.” “I’m extremely pleased the Gifted and Talented program at P.S. 122 will continue,” said Rep. Joe Crowley, who joined Rep. Maloney in a letter urging Chancellor Walcott to keep the program in place. “Our number one goal should always be to expand educational opportunities and ensure each and every student has the chance to reach their fullest potential. This is a shining example of what can happen when parents, educators and public officials come together to focus on the children of our community, and I thank all those who made keeping this program strong a priority.” This fall, a new G&T program will open at I.S. 126 in Long Island City. This new middle school program will be modeled after that of P.S. 122, and its 60 spots will be guaranteed to students from P.S. 166, which will remedy that school’s current outstanding G&T needs. “Over the last few months, it has been inspiring to see everyone come together in support of the flagship program at P.S. 122,” Simotas said. “I am thankful to all those who dedicated their time, hard work, and advocacy in the name of our children—the future of our community.” ###

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