Looking for Your Feedback on the Department of Education’s Rezoning of PS8 School Proposal


[UPDATE: DNAinfo’s update on the first of two townhall meetings quotes one community member at the meeting: “You’ve got a plan that only considers half of this community — and once again the half that’s not considered is the black half,” he said. “There’s issues of race and class that need to be figured out.”]

The Department of Education (DOE) released its rezoning proposal for District 13 (Brooklyn Heights, parts of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and Vinegar Hill) in response to overcrowding of the P.S. 8 school (Robert Fulton). The rezoning proposal will place students from Dumbo and Vinegar Hill in P.S. 307, with the geographic divider along the Brooklyn Bridge (see map above). If the change is approved, the DOE provides the following rationale:

  • Alleviate overcrowding at P.S. 8, a school that cannot accommodate all students in its zone.
  • Grow the P.S. 307 zone and enrollment to serve more students.
  • Plan for the future growth in the area by creating zone sizes more aligned to each school’s space.

During the 2014-2015 school year, there were 162 kindergarten enrollees at P.S. 8, but only 17 at P.S. 307. Under the plan, DOE projects that kindergarten enrollment at P.S. 8 would drop to the range of 120-130, while P.S. 307 would be in the range of 115-120. P.S. 8 enrollment is at 142 percent capacity with an enrollment of 870 students this year, according to the DOE. PS 307 has 423 kids enrolled. The DOE has eliminated 25 kindergarten seats at P.S. 8 for the upcoming school year. Any changes to the zone wouldn’t take effect until the 2016-17 school year.

The DOE is looking for public feedback on their draft proposal regarding the rezoning of P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights and P.S. 307 in Vinegar Hill. District 13 Community Education Council (CEC) have scheduled two town halls. The mission of the Community Council of District 13 is to support District 13 families, children and the schools they attend.

Town hall meetings scheduled to gather feedback on the preliminary scenario include:

  • Wednesday, September 16, 6-7:30 pm: PS 307, 209 York St.
  • Monday, September 21, 6:30 – 8 pm: PS 8, 37 Hicks St.

DOE’s Office of District Planning (ODP) will provide a short presentation followed by a question and answer session. All currently enrolled students may remain in their school until graduation.

Following the town hall meetings, ODP will present the CEC and the public with an official proposal on Wednesday, September 30th, 6:30 pm at P.S. 307. The official proposal may contain revisions to the preliminary scenario presented on September 1, based on community feedback.

If you’re a resident of the area, you are encouraged to attend the town hall meetings or submit comments through the CEC’s website, the Office of District Planning (BrooklynZoning@schools.nyc.gov) or to the Community Superintendent (BFreeman6@schools.nyc.gov).

{Zoning Process – Overview, Timeline and FAQs, CEC13.org}
{Information about the PS 8 and PS 307 rezoning process released, Dumbo Parents}
{CEC & DOE To Hold Re-Zoning Town Hall Meetings, Brooklyn Heights Blog}
{Town halls planned on Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO school rezoning, Brooklyn Daily Eagle}
{NYC Department of Education – Office of District Planning Draft Scenario (PDF)}
{Have your say on PS 8, PS 307 school rezoning, Brooklyn Paper}