Changes Set For Three Local High Schools
By Neil S. Friedman
When the New York City Department of Education (DOE) last week announced The High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media (I.A.M. High School) was slated to open next September on the Canarsie High School campus, it completed plans for restructuring the three area high schools that had been earmarked for closing.
The I.A.M. school will join two other small high schools - the High School for Medical Professions and the Urban Action Academy - at the 1600 Rockaway Parkway site for the 2008-09 school year. All three schools are currently recruiting students for the fall.
Two months ago, the DOE revealed that Canarsie High School would be phased out at the end of the current school year. That news came five weeks after the secondary school received a grade of "F" in the first citywide schools progress reports and one year after the DOE announced two other local high schools - South Shore and Tilden - were being reorganized.
Four new, smaller schools, according to the DOE's Directory of new New York City Public High Schools , are already operating at South Shore: the Victory Collegiate High School, the Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, the Brooklyn Generation School and Brooklyn Bridge Academy at South Shore. Tilden already houses the Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School and It Takes A Village Academy with the Cultural Academy for the Arts and Sciences opening there in September.
Following the DOE December announcement, the agency notified the secondary school's staff and parent leaders that the phase out will begin next year and it would not accept freshmen in the fall. Current students will complete their high school education, and, if qualified, graduate with their respective classes. According to preliminary estimates, DOE officials project that only 32.3 percent of the 2,600 students will meet graduation requirements.
When Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz discussed the I.A.M. school in his State of the Borough speech last Thursday, he pointed out that it was the first ever public high school dedicated to Advertising and Media. (See related story on Page 5.)
Adaleza Michelena will be the I.A.M School Leader and project director for the school implementation. She will spearhead the project with the support and encouragement of members of Advertising Week's Board of Directors, the Brooklyn Borough President's office, New Visions for Public Schools, and an advisory board of advertising and media experts, led by Rick Boyko, Director of the VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) Adcenter, one of the country's premier advertising programs.
Michelena stated, "The coming months will be dedicated to student recruitment, staff recruitment, curriculum development, outreach in the Canarsie community, and creation of an industry council."
Ron Berger, chairman of Advertising Week and alumni of Abraham Lincoln High School in Brighton Beach, is excited about the school. "As a proud product of the Brooklyn public school system, I am ecstatic to see our dream of creating this high school coming to fruition. I have no doubt that this school will be very significant to both the future of the industry and the community at large."
Advertising Week is the largest and most prestigious annual gathering of advertising and media industry leaders in North America and will take place in New York City next September.
"The advertising mecca of the world has always been just a subway ride from Brooklyn, but unfortunately that career track has long bypassed our black and Latino communities. In fact, the buying power of African-Americans is expected to exceed a trillion dollars over the next several years, yet they represent less than five percent of the advertising industry workforce," Markowitz said. "This school will go a long way in preparing our very talented and creative communities of color for exciting and very lucrative careers in advertising and marketing."
The Brooklyn Borough President's office has already committed $2 million in capital to the creation of the school. For more information, visit www.advhigh.com.