Recommendations

Councilman Brad Lander’s recommendations for a successful co-location:

• Insure safety with respect for all students.

  • Remove the metal detectors for the entire John Jay campus.  They do more to communicate disrespect and lower expectations than they do to promote safety.
  • Develop a building-wide safety plan, to help insure safety without the scanners.  This would likely include random scanning (which is in place in many NYC high schools).
  • Insure a strong school safety team, with increased school safety officers (in light of the increased student population) to maintain a safe school for all students.
  • Provide adequate training to these officers so that they can provide a safe environment with respect for all students.
  • Offer a strong and appropriate curriculum to students and faculty of all four schools on safety, respect, and inclusion (e.g. including “Respect for All” curriculum).

• Commit to diversity at the John Jay campus.

  • The DOE should commit that John Jay will remain a diverse campus, with a mix of non-selective and selective options, reflective of Brooklyn’s high school population.
  • The new school, Millennium Brooklyn, should have an explicit goal of recruiting and maintaining a diverse community, using Brooklyn’s diversity as a model.
  • All schools should serve appropriate numbers of kids with special needs and English Language Learners, as much in-classroom as possible.

• Provide equitable and adequate resource investments across schools.

  • Implement building-wide improvements, many of which are long overdue, to bring the John Jay building up to a state of good repair.  The DOE must provide a transparent, itemized list of expenditures being made with restructuring funds. – Electrical upgrade to include adequate electrical services and outlets in all rooms. – Wireless upgrade, to support wireless connectivity in all rooms. – Renovation of all bathrooms. – Cafeteria renovation and upgrade. – Maintain and improve the school library. – Establish a shared multi-media room, for use by all schools.
  • Capital investments tied to restructuring must serve all schools equally, as required by law.  If Millennium Brooklyn classrooms are outfitted with new technologies, the other three schools should receive equal investments.
  • The three existing schools should be provided with the equivalent of the “new schools” start-up money that they did not receive when they were new schools.  This would redress past wrongs, comply with the legal requirement that restructuring investments be equal, and help put the schools on a more level playing field.
  • Where one school offers AP classes, these should be open to students from all schools.
  • Allow the existing schools to consider changing their names, if they wish.

• Space planning must be done in an equitable, transparent, inclusive manner.

  • The DOE must work transparently with the principals and school communities to develop a space plan for the building – including both which classrooms/spaces belong to the individual schools, and how shared spaces (cafeteria, gym, auditorium, library, pool, etc) are utilized.  It should not be developed and presented as a fait accompli.
  • Schools must be treated equitably in space planning.  Particular space needs of each school must be addressed (e.g. the mock courtroom for the Secondary School of Law, the “nest” room for the ASD/Nest program) without reducing classroom space.
  • Remove the Alternative Learning Center.  It was originally intended that these centers would be rotated to different locations around the borough; the ALC should be removed from John Jay, where space will now increasingly be at a premium.

• Build community among the schools, and partnerships with the broader community.

  • Establish a School/Community “John Jay Campus Council,” including principal, teacher, parent, and student representatives from all four schools, elected official representatives, alumni and community representatives, to help the schools succeed together, build community, and connect to resources.
  • The Campus Council should oversee shared spaces and shared resources, which can be nurtured through shared fundraising, volunteers, etc. – Enhanced after-school offerings:  expanded PSAL sports teams that serve all John Jay students (soccer, baseball/softball, etc); as well as cultural, arts, academic, and other programs.
  • Help recruit and develop partnerships that support the individual schools.
  • The Department of Education should provide adequate support (training, facilitation, mediation, resources) for successful collaboration.

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