Category Archives: Education

De Blasio, Stringer Spar Over Pre-K Plans

City Comptroller Scott Stringer says his office has less than 30 percent of all city universal pre-kindergarten contracts just days before the first day of school.   Stringer said he only received 141 of more than 500 contracts for pre-K service providers, preventing an independent review and registration of more than 70 percent of contracts before the Sept. 4 start date. “My office will continue to work expeditiously to review and register contracts as we receive them, in accordance with … Continue reading

Ulrich, Communities Prep for Participatory Budgeting

While formal meetings to discuss proposals and vote are still several months in the offing, City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and community leaders talked to The Forum this week about the participatory budgeting process and how it has impacted the concept of local governance. Last year, Community Board 9 was introduced to the participatory budgeting initiative—an optional “democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. In other words, the people who pay … Continue reading

Program Preps Woodhaven Women for Success

An affordable education program is helping Woodhaven women make the grade. For only $30, women 19 years old and up can enroll in special classes that will prepare them for the high school equivalency diploma test. formerly known as the GED. The classes are held Monday through Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the School Sisters of Notre Dame Educational Center at 87-04 88th Ave. In order to attend classes this fall, interested applicants must register at the center … Continue reading

No Consensus on Common Core

Despite the fact that city students showed some progress in the second round of standardized test scores, based upon the re-made and highly controversial Common Core standards, many members of the community, from parents and educators to politicians, said they remained skeptical about the more rigid Common Core curriculum and standards. First implemented in New York State in 2011 with the initial round of testing just last year, Common Core has made more than its share of enemies. Although the … Continue reading

De Blasio Touts After-School Initiative in Richmond Hill

Bill de Blasio’s successful mayoral campaign was built around his “Tale of Two Cities,” which highlighted what he saw as unprecedented socioeconomic inequality facing the Big Apple. One of the ways in which he sought to bridge that pervasive gap was through education, particularly after-school programs, and last week he visited Richmond Hill to applaud the efforts of educators and raise awareness of enrollment applications for these enhanced after-school activities. De Blasio and city Department of Youth and Community Development … Continue reading

Southern Queens Pre-K Clear to Launch

The city kept busy this summer making sure its universal pre-kindergarten sites were ready to launch on Sept. 4, but announced some sites were still categorized as public health hazards. Nonetheless, southern Queens was ready to go. The city Health Department along with the Department of Education said this week that 12 of the more than 1,100 sites where pre-K classes were being offered still showed violations and were in need of immediate action if they wanted to open on … Continue reading

State Veterans Summit Produces Results

Elected officials from across the state came together back in March to discuss some of the toughest issues facing our veterans as they return home, and one piece of legislation was signed into law this week to achieve that goal. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new law on Monday, which he said would expand and strengthen services for veterans, active service members and their families by easing the transition to a new school for children of military families that relocate … Continue reading

New Principal Preps for Success at Ave Maria

With not even an entire week under her belt, Ave Maria Catholic Academy’s newest principal Marybeth McManus said she already has big plans for her first full-time school administrator role. Looking ahead, the new principal said she looked forward to engaging students in community service and team-building exercises as she sets her roots in the Howard Beach community. As she becomes more familiar with the area, the administrator said she would be drawing on her extensive background in Catholic education … Continue reading

Youth choir rocks Howard Beach

The Our Lady of Grace Youth Choir brought down the house on Sunday, July 27th with their production of “Singin’ in the Summer.” Performing to a capacity crowd of more than 300 family and friends, the afternoon featured not only a 15-song show, but also a meal donated by the families of the 30 choir members. A bounce house and balloon sculptures provided by Jeanie Beanie of Over the Moon Entertainment topped off the day’s festivities. Steven Eriquez, choir director, said … Continue reading

Avella money revamps Queens College lab

A Queens College science research and teaching laboratory will soon receive what many consider to be a much-needed facelift after state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) provided $2 million to the school. The classroom in need of renovations was originally built as a teaching laboratory for physical chemistry in 1949 and was changed into a student research laboratory in 2010. The switch only facilitated the building of new floors, leaving the original tabletops, gas, vacuum and water supply lines and wooden … Continue reading

Pre-K program lands in Woodhaven

Parents of young children in Woodhaven will not have to look high and low for open pre-kindergarten classes come September, because the Woodhaven Public Library will be rolling out its free program in the 2014-2015 school year. It is the first of its kind not only in the city, but also in the entire country. Southern Queens was seen as an area that greatly needed universal pre-K classes, due to competitiveness of the current programs, according to Joann King, director … Continue reading

Woodhaven teen’s spirit honored through scholarship

The life and spirit of High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture (CTEA) graduate Roman Pirozek may live on through a $1,000 scholarship awarded to Rickey Ramkishun at this year’s CTEA graduation in June. Pirozek , a 19-year-old Woodhaven resident, died unexpectedly in September 2013, when a remote-controlled helicopter he was operating at Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn struck him, causing severe trauma to his head and throat. He died the scene. Staff members at CTEA began raising money … Continue reading

Meng Honors Student Art Contest Winner from Flushing in Washington, D.C.

  U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) honored Queens student Xiangkun Kong in Washington, D.C. for winning the Congresswoman’s 2014 “Sixth Congressional District Art Contest.”   Meng’s second annual art competition, which consisted of submissions from numerous high schools throughout Queens, is part of “An Artistic Discovery,” the national Congressional art contest that showcases the artwork of high school students from across the nation.   Kong’s winning artwork – along with the winning pieces from art contests in Congressional districts throughout … Continue reading

Maspeth honors high schoolers

Maspeth High School showed off last week when it honored students at its third annual awards ceremony, thanking distinguished members of its 30 clubs and awarding even more on their academics. Joshua Vazquez received one of the top honors in the form of the Citizenship Award and shook hands with Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir and the Maspeth High School faculty at the ceremony. Other award recipients included: Declamation Award – Presented by Mr. Kwon Gold Award – Tyrell Harrison Silver Award … Continue reading

Queens College welcomes new president

There is a new president at the helm in Queens College. The City University of New York’s board of trustees tapped Dr. Felix V. Matos Rodriguez to serve as the borough college’s president, replacing James Muyskens, who was appointed on an interim basis on Jan. 1. The Ivy League-educated teacher and former cabinet secretary of the Department of Family Services for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was selected after a national search and brings leadership and educational experience to the … Continue reading