Fight for B.P.C. 6th grade continues

The uproar continued this week over the fact that the Dept. of Education has not committed to open the sixth grade at P.S./I.S. 276 in 2010.

The new Battery Park City school will be Lower Manhattan’s first K-8, and parents want as many grades as possible to open as soon as possible.

After Downtown Express reported that the D.O.E. would consider opening the sixth grade in 2010 but would not commit to it, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wrote a letter to Schools Chancellor Joel Klein saying that was “unacceptable.” Silver said that D.O.E. officials had told him and other parents as recently as March 5 that the sixth grade would definitely open in 2010.

“It is unclear why D.O.E. would change this plan,” Silver wrote.

Klein replied that opening the sixth grade “remains under serious consideration” and he committed to work with Silver and Silver’s overcrowding taskforce, Silver wrote in a letter to parents.

“I will continue to press for a firm commitment regarding the opening of these sixth grade classes in 2010,” Silver wrote.

Silver and other local officials have also taken a strong stance against the potential move of the Greenwich Village Middle School into extra space in P.S./I.S. 276 in 2010.

“The situation is outrageous,” Julie Menin, chairperson of Community Board 1, said before the board passed a resolution advocating for the sixth grade and against the Greenwich Village Middle School move. “This board found the site for P.S. 276.” For Greenwich Village students to use the school rather than Lower Manhattan students “is completely untenable,” Menin said.

— Julie Shapiro