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With no way out, a Village school plans for continued crowding

Yesterday, I wrote about parents who are protesting what they fear is a Department of Education plan to move their school, the Clinton School for Writers and Artists. This morning, I spoke to a mom who wouldn’t mind seeing the move happen.

The mother is a parent at Greenwich Village Middle School, where parents and school officials have been hoping for a larger space. They might have gotten just that had Clinton vacated its space in Chelsea. Instead, the Greenwich Village school will open this fall in the same space it now occupies. Parents say the space, on the top floor of PS 3, is overcrowded and stressful.

According to the DOE, Greenwich Village Middle is only at about 93 percent capacity. But school leaders say the tight quarters have left the school without a library, up-to-snuff science lab, or dedicated gym. (It shares a gym with PS 3.)

Plus, parents say the crowding causes stress, especially for teachers, who can’t have their own classrooms because every space must be used every period of the day. When one teacher is almost finished with a class, another teacher has to “sneak in at the last minute” to start preparing for the next period, PTA President Marianna Mott Newirth told me.

On top of that, there are no dedicated classrooms where students can receive special education or English as a Second Language services. Those services happen in a broom closet or in the hallways, Mott Newirth told me.

“There’s no breathing space between classes,” she said. “It’s like traffic: When there’s gridlock, it’s stressful.”

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