In the News: Possible Student Shortage at P.S. 234

ps234 by tribeca citizen••• “P.S. 234 is facing a shortage of students. […] The Tribeca school that seems to have become synonymous with kindergarten wait lists and crowding worries is now looking toward a future of too few kids, according to its principal, Lisa Rip­perger.” —Tribeca Trib

••• “Unsupervised kids in Washington Market Park [are] said to be trampling plants and eating the edibles.” —Tribeca Trib

••• “We now use Tribeca for the New York neighborhood, rather than TriBeCa, which has fallen out of use.” Someone please tell Apple and the New York Times. —Wall Street Journal

••• “Stymied by a state rule that forbids selling alcohol within 200 feet of a house of worship—and therefore blocking a fine-dining restaurant from renting the space—the landlords of the former AT&T building [195 Broadway] have sought and won an exemption to the law for their lo­ca­tion. The new law, yet to be signed by the governor, was passed last month in the waning days of the legislative session.” Why do churches get this protection anyway? —Tribeca Trib

••• “Both houses of the State legislature have passed a bill that may transform how new schools are planned, approved, and built, a development that may have profound implications for Lower Manhattan. […] The measure will require the City’s Department of Education to collect and consider population-growth data at the neighborhood level, rather than relying on residential numbers for much larger areas (such as school districts, boroughs, or the City as a whole) when planning new schools.” —Broadsheet

••• “High-end Realtors who use drones to take aerial property photos are being slapped with subpoenas by the FAA, which is demanding to know exactly how the technology is being used.” —New York Post You’ll recall my recent run-in with a drone….

drone 420

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  1. Just read the tennis court saga and maybe it’s got me fired up but I can’t resist adding a public comment of my own on the separate but perennially-interesting issue of the local public schools.

    (With all due respect to Smithers, commenting amusingly as always on the tennis court situation): our daughter *is* heading into kindergarten, and we endured the usual agony of the over-educated-high-achieving-doting-and-attentive parents . Test prep, G&T, private school tours, public school tours — several, since our first choice actually was and is to send her to public school, but we got a bad impression from our local zoned (an impression not unfounded, as I now gather from current parents, the news, and the playground rumor mill, but say no more).

    So there we were, with a seat at the undesirable local and an empty clutch of wait lists. I called up 234 to see where things stood on the infamous list. Had a nice talk with the PC, but she made it clear that there wan’t much she could do. Tons of kids still waiting at 276, the DOE always over enrolls, 276-ers will move first, seven kindergartens and the school is still bursting at the seams, etc. Found dd’s name down, further down on the list, and…a sympathetic shrug. Did she have any discretionary authority? Was the door open a crack? Hard to say; she was friendly but noncommittal. I looked history in the face, assumed there was no chance, and hit the phones to call 89.

    Here the vibe was cool as a cucumber and smug as a…well smug as a parent coordinator at a desirable downtown school in an affluent, over-populated neighborhood. Forget it. No chance. And you’re into a great zoned school already, lucky you, just what every parent is looking for. Things got chilly quick when I ahemed, voiced a few polite reservations — she gathered the wagons and didn’t want to hear it. Gives me a business-like run through the usual overcrowding situation, laced now with a scrupulous by-the-numbers attitude that was edging quickly toward hostility when I asked just how the mysterious waiting list gets cleared.

    So we moved on. DD ended up getting a good G&T placement — lucky us. But here’s the thing: in the end we still wanted a gen-ed, local public school. It’s a story for another day, and no one is more surprised than me to find, untold hours and several thousand dollars later, that I’ve developed strong objections to the entire G&T principle. So we gave it up for a long-standing, excellent gen- ed public school in another neighborhood, where they bent over backward to help us out. Encouraging, patient phone calls, transparent about the process, obviously similar values, superb teachers and high morale. She’ll get a superb education, and we’ll give generously in both time and money to the PTA.

    Now I read that both 234 and 89, it seems, are under-enrolled and everyone is wringing their hands. The irony of it all. Did we get a call off the scrupulously managed waiting lists? Not a ring. The whole Taste of Tribeca always felt a little self-congratulatory to me anyway.

  2. Finally, the real problem within the republic of Tribecan’tstandya has revealed its well-heeled self, we need less schools and more tennis courts. I hope CB1 will see fit to allow 4 am closings on all new tennis courts to give every resident the chance to not get adequate court time. Now the only thing left to do is officially end Taste of Tribeca. I believe a press release will be forthcoming….