ASD Program Finds A Place To NEST At Marine Park Jr. High School
State Senator Martin Golden and City Councilman Lew Fidler issued separate statements last week to announce that the city’s Department of Education (DOE) has approved the the NEST program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for placement at Intermediate School 278, the Marine Park Junior High School on Stuart Street, for the 2012-2013 school year.
“The New York City Department of Education should be commended for working with the school, and listening to the community and the parents, and granting their wish to see Intermediate School 278 designated as an ASD Nest Program site,” said Golden.
“For the past couple of years,” he added, “I have strongly encouraged the Department of Education to increase their capability to serve higher functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder students by adding the program at this school…This is a victory for all of School District 22.”
“The I.S. 278 community asked the DOE to allow the school to run a NEST program. There are no other intermediate school NEST programs in the entirety of southern Brooklyn, forcing children with autism of middle school age to travel long distances to either northern Brooklyn or Queens.”
“The dire need, combined with the available space, resulted in a win-win situation,” the councilman said. “It’s been a long and, at times, confrontational journey.”
Fidler continued, “Credit goes to our active and involved parents, to our dedicated school administration, and to our local Community Education Council, to our local civic associations and community boards, each of whom worked for this together with my office and Assemblyman Alan Maisel, Senator Marty Golden and Congressman Anthony Weiner.”
Assemblyman Alan Maisel said, “I am very pleased that the NEST program has been approved for I.S. 278. A program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder is long overdue in our community. Credit for this amazing accomplishment goes to Principal Debra Garofalo and Councilman Fidler for their foresight and diligence in bringing this to fruition. I also must commend the DOE for again proving that they are listening and responding to the needs of children in southern Brooklyn.”