2005-10-27 / Top Stories

Special Programs May Help Boost District 18’s Rating

CECassistant Anne Browne-Cae-sar and Alan Maisel
CECassistant Anne Browne-Cae-sar and Alan Maisel By Delia Bray

With Community School District 18 still categorized as a District in Need of Improvement (DINI) by the city’s Department of Education, Marlene Roy, the district’s Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Programs, told parents at last week’s meeting that expanding astral and gifted programs could help raise the standards in troubled schools.

School District 18’s Astral Program for Gifted Students is, according to Roy, for more than 3,000 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in half of the district’s 18 schools.

“In middle schools, the enrichment program,” Roy explained “is meant to expose students to many and varied experiences.”

She pointed out that teachers must now be certified to teach in the program.

Alan Maisel, chief of staff for Assemblyman Frank Seddio, asked if there were courses in place, adding, “Without a curriculum, the program is meaningless.”

Roy assured him that a curriculum is being assembled and should be finished sometime next month.

Intermediate school pupils can apply for the program next month while elementary school children can apply in January.

Community 18 Superintendent Feli-cita Santiago reported some good news, telling parents and members that P.S. 233 was removed from the corrective action list due to the efforts of Prin-cipal Aletta Seales and her staff.

Santiago also noted that the district has a Saturday Academy for middle school pupils that begin this weekend. She claimed that education research has shown how students do in seventh grade determines how they will do in high school.

“The extra help children receive through the Saturday Academy,” she said, “will help to prepare them to do well in high school.”

The superintendent noted that a Magnet Fair for middle schools would be held November 7 from 6-8 P.M. at South Shore High School.

The council announced elections would be held November 8 to fill an existing and new council seat vacancies. CEC president James Dandridge said that Marlene Paisley had resigned for personal reasons. Jennifer Duncan, is a new member, appointed by Bo-rough President Marty Markowitz.

Members also voted to change the day of their monthly meetings to Mon-days.

After sparse attendance at the last meeting, Maisel had some positive words for the council, saying, “I just want to congratulate James (Dandridge). It seems like the Council has gotten its act together. Maisel went on to pledge his continued support to the Council’s efforts.

Council members seem to be firmly committed to improving the education of the district’s children. Before the meeting, CEC Vice President Derek Booker said, over and over, “If you fail, it is because you want to fail.”

When he was asked what he meant, Booker explained, “With so many educational resources out there, if a person falls, it is because they want to fall.”

He emphasized that the Council intends to see that all students in the district make use of those resources.

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