September 27, 2013
Dear Parent or Guardian:
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 is a federal law designed to improve education for all children. In September 2011, President Obama invited states to request flexibility regarding specific requirements of NCLB in exchange for state-developed plans to improve educational outcomes, close achievement gaps, and increase equity. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) received approval from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) for its flexibility request in May 2012, authorizing New York State to revise its accountability system. Effective from 2012-13 through 2014-15, the new system puts greater emphasis on student growth and college- and career-readiness.
The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is committed to helping all schools reach high standards for student achievement and giving every child in every school a quality education. We are making progress, but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done for all our children.
Last summer, NYSED identified our school 18K588 as a Focus school as required under new State accountability rules. This means that, according to NYSED criteria, our school has not performed as well as other schools in the State.
We are making every effort to provide the highest quality instructional program to best meet the needs of your child. I am confident that the interventions and supports that will be introduced at our school will make this school year a successful experience for your child.
Previously, as a Title I school in negative status, our school was required to provide Supplemental Educational Services (SES) to eligible students, including tutoring or other remedial services. While we are no longer required to provide SES under the new system, we will continue to provide focused supports for struggling students and we will have more flexibility to fund those supports. Specific information regarding supports for struggling students will be provided to the parents/guardians of these students in a separate notification.
In addition, you have the option of transferring your child to another NYCDOE school in the 2014-15 school year under the Public School Choice program. Public School Choice applications are expected to be mailed to the homes of eligible students in spring 2014.
I ask that you support your child by making sure that she/he comes to school every day on time, and that all homework assignments and school projects are completed on time. I also invite you to participate in all school activities. Please stay in close contact with our Parent Coordinator or other parent liaison and your child’s teachers to monitor your child’s academic progress. Please tell teachers you want to hear from them as soon as problems occur so that you can work together to find solutions. I also encourage you to become active in the school’s Parents’ Association and School Leadership Team.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. Our entire school staff is looking forward to a successful year for our students and school community. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 718.342.7563 or come to a PTA meeting to become more informed.
Neil J. McNeill, Jr.
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