It would be ironic if the BOE did rezone East Side kids to PS 217 as currently there are Queens kids bussed into PS 217 as space is available for kids to attend. I believe the kids being bussed in are also attending based on the “No Child Left Behind Program” and their local zoned schools are not meeting their educational needs.
At the same time, some Roosevelt Island kids that may have attended PS 217 for Kindergarten and into First Grade are pulled out by parents looking for schools with better average grades than PS 217 as well as due to fears of alleged disciplinary problems in the upper grades. The school is a K through 8 school.
"Frankly, telling a kindergarten parent that you're going to ship their kid to Roosevelt Island is not going to help you make friends and influence people," Ms. Silver said. "Why don't you send them to Princeton? It's crazy."
Well Ms. Silver I can tell you the issue of PS 217 is an emotional issue for parents of school age kids on Roosevelt Island not just parents concerned about a possible rezoning plan which will probably never come to pass. I have met several groups of parents who over the years tried to organize groups of parents to band together and send their kids into PS 217 but many break down and send their kids off island for wanting a better school and not willing to invest the time, and energy into what they see as not a sure thing.
Overall the issue of PS 217 is a shame and has a history of bad politics, missed opportunities, and plain old misinformation. I don’t even know all the facts as I have heard PS 217 at one time was one of the top schools in NYC not just District 2. The crazy thing is the grades are supposedly improving and the teachers and administration at the school are known to deeply care about the kids and their school.
It is a great building and a shame more island kids dont attend school in it. For disclosure purposes I will admit my own kids attend different District 2 public schools in Manhatan.