4 THE QUEENS COURIER • OCTOBER 17, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
‘We are not going away’: Southeast Queens Success
Academy families urge mayor to open a new middle school
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
For months, families of Success
Academy students in southeast Queens
have been pleading for a new middle
school, and are blaming the the mayor is
failing to deliver on his promise.
Despite proclaiming that Success
Academy families would get a middle
school, city offi cials showed up empty
handed at a Tweed Courthouse meeting
A Sept. 26 rally at Roy Wilkins Park in St. Alban’s where 4,000 parents, students and teachers demanded Mayor de Blasio provide a middle school for
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in Manhattan on Oct. 8 without a single
potential site for a permanent middle
On Sept. 26, 4,000 parents, scholars
and teachers rallied in Roy Wilkins Park
in St. Albans demanding action from
Mayor Bill de Blasio. Since July, parents
have made 350 phone calls to the mayor’s
offi ce, sent hundreds of emails, met with
their local elected offi cials, and secured
more than 12,000 signatures on a petition
— all in an attempt to get the mayor to be
accountable to their children.
When the parents tried to deliver the
petition signatures to Mayor de Blasio on
Sept. 12, they were shut out of City Hall,
according to a report from the New York
“We are not going away,” said Eva
Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success
Academy. “Our kids, our families deserve
a great middle school.”
Success Academy opened its fi rst elementary
schools in Queens in 2014. In
need of a new middle school, Success
made a request for space in January 2017;
in October of that year City Hall promised
it would provide a building in time for the
Photo: Carlotta Mohamed/QNS
2019-20 school year, which has resulted in
a two-year wait.
According to city data, and an analysis
by independent researchers, southeast
Queens has seven half-empty school buildings
with 450 to 700-plus available seats
that could be used to open a middle school.
Without a confi rmed middle school
location, 227 fi ft h-graders will be forced
to leave Success Academy or travel to
another borough. More than half of the
public school students would go to their
zoned schools — 36 of the most overcrowded
district schools in southeast
During an interview with Errol Louis on
NY1’s Inside City Hall on Sept. 25, New
York City Schools Chancellor Richard
Carranza, pledged to provide a school,
without acknowledging the two-year wait
or specifying a timeline.
“To those families, I’m going to say
you’re gonna have your middle school.
We have a process, and one of the things
that I’m really proud of in this administration
is that a cornerstone of our process is
engaging the community,” Carranza said.
At the Oct. 8 Tweed Courthouse meeting,
neither Carranza nor offi cials off ered
explanations on why the city had delayed
two years in starting the process, according
“Success Academy parents don’t give up.
We’ve learned that from our kids,” said
Pershemia Milliard, Success Academy Far
Rockaway parent. “Mr. Mayor, keep a
great free public education in our community.”
Fellow Success Academy Far Rockaway
parent, Jamaal Shah, said the mayor has a
responsibility to all kids.
Shah’s message: “Don’t abandon our