Category Archives: Education

De Blasio Tours Richmond Hill HS, Touts ‘Renewal’ Program

Mayor Bill de Blasio last Thursday paid a visit to Richmond Hill High School, touting its improvement over the past three months as one of nearly 100 Renewal Schools across the city. Last November, de Blasio unveiled the $150 million Renewal Schools program, dedicating new leadership and resources to 94 schools that, like Richmond Hill, have struggled for years. The effort is overseen by Aimee Horowitz, executive superintendent for Renewal Schools. “As a mom, as a teacher, as a principal, and as … Continue reading

De Blasio, Giuliani Urge Albany to Protect Mayoral Control of City Schools

The old adage is that politics makes for strange bedfellows. But even Charles Dudley Warner could not have imagined this pairing. Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Monday sent a joint letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature urging them to renew and protect mayoral control of the city public school system. “This is a proven reform with broad support among parents, educators and officials from all ends of the spectrum,” said de Blasio, … Continue reading

Teachers, Students Blast Cuomo Education Policy

Dozens of Public School 64 students, teachers, support staff, and parents last Thursday afternoon rallied outside the Ozone Park building, blasting Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his education policy. The demonstration—one of nearly 200 across the city—was part of a “Protect Our Schools” mobilization aimed at Cuomo’s proposed school reforms in this year’s budget. Toting small signs with messages including “Show us the money,” “Less TESTING More TEACHING,” and “Fair student funding,” they marched briskly around the block a few times, … Continue reading

Queens Tops in Universal Pre-K Applications

Nearly 8,000 Queens families—the most of any borough—on Monday applied for seats as the second phase of the city’s expanded Pre-K for All program got underway, according to the de Blasio administration. Queens boasted 7,700 applicants by Tuesday afternoon, roughly 1,500 more than the closest borough, Brooklyn. In all, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, 21,938 families applied on Monday for the free, full-day program—up from 6,500 in the first day of applications last year. The administration indicated that it expects … Continue reading

Program Allows Area Students to Learn From NASA Astronauts

An afterschool initiative in Richmond Hill provides area students with the opportunity to learn about the Final Frontier—from actual National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronauts. Part of the Science and Technology program at the One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center on Jamaica Avenue, children of various grades from neighborhood public and private schools videoconference with astronauts at NASA facilities across the country, learning about everything from astronomy to physics and climate science. “I think it’s a really good program,” said … Continue reading

Borough President Accepting CEC Applications

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz last Thursday announced that she is accepting applications from qualified community- and education-minded individuals to serve as a 2015-2017 Borough President appointee to the Queens’ Community Education Councils. CECs, according to Katz, allow for parent involvement at the Community School District level and play an essential role in shaping education policies for public schools. They are education policy advisory bodies that have a number of important responsibilities, Katz noted, including reviewing and evaluating a district’s … Continue reading

CK Assistant Principal, Teacher and Student Awarded Army Core Value Award

The US Army presented awards to Assistant Principal Steve Giusto, and teacher Mike Ouellette, for their work as educators that follow the Army’s Core Values. They include loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. Senior, Alicia Torres, was also singled out amongst students who represent the Army’s Core Values.

Assembly passes NY Dream Act; Senate Approval Uncertain

  The Assembly last week passed a bill that would grant college financial aid to immigrants living in the country illegally. But the NY Dream Act still faces hurdles before becoming law. The bill was passed for the third consecutive year by the Assembly, but Senate Republicans, many who opposed it in last year’s elections, could do the same this session. Long Island Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) voted against the act, saying that legislators need to help legal students … Continue reading

Katz Adamant to Get Students Out of Trailers, End Overcrowding: Largest NYC elementary school expands capacity

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, in January’s State of the Borough address, was firm in outlining a plan to reduce overcrowding in Queens schools.  Calling it her “#1 priority,” she listed the schools that would get relief by year’s end:  P.S. 55 in Jamaica, P.S. 70 in Astoria, P.S. 92 in Corona, and Richmond Hill High School. “We need to get our kids, once and for all, out of these trailers we call classrooms,” she said. And just a few … Continue reading

Queens Library President Reports Capital Funding Needs

Bridget Quinn-Carey, Interim President and CEO of Queens Library, testified this week before the New York City Council Finance Committee jointly with the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations and Subcommittee on Libraries on the library’s capital funding needs. “Right now, our libraries are not able to give New Yorkers the full benefit of what we have to offer. The lack of reliable capital budget support has limited our ability to provide the level of services we … Continue reading

Katz Celebrates Black History Month

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz hosted a celebration of Black History Month this week at York College in Jamaica. Several distinguished African Americans and organizations received citations of honor during the event, and eight high school seniors were presented with scholarships of $1000 each. The scholarship winners were based on their academic and civic achievement and on the quality of their written submission as to what Black History Month means to them.

PS 62′s Career Day Draws Elected Guest

State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) visited PS 62 during its Career Day to talk about his beginnings as an attorney and his political journey all the way to the state Legislature in Albany. Addabbo also met with the school’s Student Council representatives. With young children of his own, Addabbo said he knows the importance of encouraging the 15th District’s youth to explore career options and grow up as well-rounded individuals. 

Goldfeder Uses Inauguration Speech to Implore Students to ‘Get Involved’

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) on Wednesday morning was sworn into office for his third term representing the 23rd District. After taking the oath delivered by Breezy Point native Judge John Ingram, Justice of the Kings County Supreme Court, Goldfeder addressed the students from the stage in the auditorium at PS 207 in Howard Beach, imploring them to “get involved” in their communities. To help illustrate his point, Goldfeder took the audience back to 5th grade, when former Assemblywoman Audrey … Continue reading

Richmond Hill Historical Society Welcomes Author

The Richmond Hill Historical Society last Friday welcomed borough historian and educator Carl Ballenas (r.), who detailed and signed his new book, “Images of America: Kew Gardens,” co-authored with members of the Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School in Jamaica Estates. Pictured with Ballenas are Ryla Pasaoa and Diego Loja, two of the 50 gifted 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students who each researched a topic for the tome.

Former Gym Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sexual Contact with Teen Boys

A former Ridgewood public high school teacher last week pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with two male students. Joy Morsi, 40, of Long Island, copped to third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act last Friday. According to the charges, Morsi, a former gym teacher at Grover Cleveland High School, engaged in sexual acts with two students on school grounds. She had sex in the school basement and other areas on campus with the first victim, who was 16 when … Continue reading