UPDATE 7:40 PM - Received the following joint statement from Assembly Member Micah Kellner and NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin:
“It is with great joy that we are able to announce that the Roosevelt Island gifted and talented program has been saved. Two weeks ago, the Department of Education unilaterally announced that the program would not be accepting a class of kindergarteners for next year. This was the wrong decision and our offices immediately began working with parents and school officials to make it right. At a meeting with us and parents on June 11, the DOE committed to maintaining the program if at least 18 students could be found who were interested in attending. Our offices worked with parents from Manhattan, Queens, and Roosevelt Island to spread the word and recruit families for this program."
"We are pleased to say that as of today, there are 18 students enrolled in the program. There will definitely by a new G&T kindergarten class on Roosevelt Island next fall."
“This is a huge victory for parents who worked so hard and who refused to take no for an answer. More than that, this is a victory for the families who will now have a first-rate gifted and talented program for their children this fall.
"We’d especially like to commend PTA President Nikki Leopold, Principal Mandana Beckman, and Elizabeth Rose of the DOE for their efforts to preserve the G&T program on Roosevelt Island. This is excellent news and we look forward to continuing to watch the G&T program on the Island grow and thrive in the years to come.”Assembly Member Kellner adds:
"Now that next year’s kindergarten class has been secured, we will seek to expand the program to make it citywide — bringing some of New York City’s brightest students to Roosevelt Island and securing the Island’s gifted and talented program for the long term."And another update from P.S./I.S. 217 PTA president:
I am happy to announce that PS/IS 217 has 19 families who are ready to enroll in our Kindergarten G&T program for the 2010/11 school year. This is a major victory for our school, made possible by the strong support and advocacy of Council Member Lappin, Assembly Member Kellner and our dedicated parent body made up of families from Roosevelt Island, Queens and Manhattan.
The G&T program has been a wonderful and welcome addition to our school. We look forward to the growth of the program, as a component to the existing elements that make our school so unique.
Comment by Nikki Leopold — June 24, 2010 @ 11:59 pm