January 29, 2009

Silver Holds Open House at Tweed Courthouse
For Parents Of Fall 2009 Kindergarten Students

Over 150 Parents Tour Temporary Classroom Space

Children Set To Learn At Courthouse As New Schools Are Built To Accommodate Overcrowding

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In preparation for the 2009-10 school year, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver hosted an open house at the Tweed Courthouse on Chambers Street for parents whose children will enter kindergarten this fall. Silver took a group of parents from Lower Manhattan on a tour of the courthouse's temporary classroom space where their child will be learning while the two newly- established schools, Spruce Street and P.S. 276, are being built.

The need for the new schools was established several years ago when Silver responded to the concerns of his constituents about overcrowding in Lower Manhattan schools. The Speaker formed a Taskforce on Overcrowding, which documented the area's residential growth and increasing student population. With that data, Silver and the members of the taskforce successfully convinced the Department of Education to build Spruce Street and P.S. 276 schools in order to provide the community with the additional classroom space it needed.

Over 150 parents of children expecting to attend kindergarten at the two schools this September attended the open house and visited the space at the courthouse.

"Many of the parents were dealing with the city's public school system for the first time, and they indicated that they thought the open house was very helpful and informative. They appreciated the convenience of being able to speak to school principals and officials from the Department of Education all at the same time, face to face," said Silver.

Silver noted that he and the task force extensively searched for a suitable location to house the incubation of each schools' kindergarten class and found the Tweed Courthouse to be the best available option.

"The expanding population of Lower Manhattan makes it a very exciting time for our community and while we will do everything we can to encourage this residential growth, the task force and I will continue to monitor our schools to ensure there is adequate classroom space for our students," said Silver.