new school

New York

Over school's objections, some parents protest planned move

A plan to move a high school seven miles from its Williamsburg home has support from school leaders and students. But elected parent officials from its current geographic district and the one it would move to this fall say the plan is ill-conceived. Members of both the Community Education Councils for District 14 and District 19 joined together at a public hearing Monday night to argue that the school's high quality and focus on writing makes it a poor choice for the move. Ever since the Department of Education announced it was considering moving Williamsburg's Academy for Young Writers to East New York, members of the school community have given their endorsement. Under the plan, Young Writers would get space in a brand-new building and expand to include middle school grades. "We're excited about the opportunity described in the proposal," Principal Courtney Winkfield said at a public hearing about the move Monday night, which drew about 50 people. "In this current school year over 60 percent of our students come from East New York and Brownsville, and travel an hour each day. About 25 percent come from Crown Heights or Bed-Stuy, and travel an hour and 45 minutes to get here," she said. "[The DOE] is taking a program that has served them for the past several years, and putting it in their neighborhood." But parent leaders in District 14, where the school is currently located but which supplies just 10 percent of students, said they don't want to see Young Writers leave — in large part because a Success Academy charter school is set to move in under a DOE proposal.