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Michael Elsen-Rooney

Reporter, Chalkbeat New York

Mike Elsen-Rooney writes about New York City public schools. Before joining Chalkbeat, he covered education for the New York Daily News, Columbia Journalism School’s Teacher Project and The Hechinger Report. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, USA Today, and The Boston Globe Magazine. Mike started his career as a high school Spanish teacher and afterschool program coordinator in the Washington DC area.

A new working group launched by Council Member Lincoln Restler brings together student and staff representatives from nine schools in the area, along with police, school safety agents, and civic leaders to talk about how to make Downtown Brooklyn safer.
Families of students with disabilities have for years described an opaque and complex system that makes it difficult to obtain appropriate support for their kids.
Shifting the application timeline to align with the general kindergarten admissions process is the latest in a series of reforms to the contentious gifted and talented program.
The Manhattan charter school had 17 of its 54 staff members out sick as of Tuesday. COVID, RSV, and the flu affected many staffers, officials from the Washington Heights school said.
At the American Museum of Natural History, student field trips have increased markedly this school year compared to last year, but are still only about half of what they were before the pandemic.
Leaders High School’s annual camping trip serves as a bonding experience and a chance for teens to get a taste of independence, especially after the past few years.
Overall, K-12 enrollment fell by about 15,000, or 1.8% this year — a significant drop but less than expected.
The city will spend roughly $4 billion over the next seven years to retrofit the school buildings so they no longer burn fossil fuels for heating.
Of the city’s 478 middle schools, 59 will select at least some portion of next year’s incoming sixth graders based on their fourth grade marks. That’s down from 196 before the pandemic.
Some child care providers are closing or on the brink of insolvency because of delayed payments
Middle schools admissions screens existed at hundreds of schools before the pandemic, but were paused for the past two years.
Some of the city’s selective high schools became more diverse after admissions screens were reduced during the pandemic.
Education department budget directors last week warned some principals that they will likely have to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a midyear budget adjustment.
Education department officials stressed that the community group partners in the $9 million initiative will offer far more than violence interruption.
The new program, called College Choice, will provide up to $15,000 a year, after financial aid, to cover any remaining tuition costs for city teens in foster care at any college they choose.
Eighth graders with course grades in the top 15% of their class last year will have priority in scoring seats at some of NYC’s most selective high schools.