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Independent video showcases Jamaica HS teachers’ concerns

After hearing about Jamaica High School’s proposed closure, former New York Times multimedia producer Monica Evanchik was inspired to seek out stories from some of the school’s teachers.

Evanchik then condensed those interviews into a 10-minute video of five teachers reflecting on what Jamaica’s dissolution would mean for its students and staff. Mike Pallisco, a history teacher at Jamaica, talks about what it’s like to watch parents turn away from his school’s table at the city’s annual high school fair.

Every once in a while, and it hurts even worse, you get someone who graduated from Jamaica. They’re there looking for a high school and they go, ‘Oh I can’t send my kid there.’ And I look at them and I go, ‘But you went there.’ And they’re like, yeah but with all the news I’ve heard…I can’t send my kids there. And I look at them and I say there is absolutely nothing wrong with the school.

The citywide school board, known as the Panel for Educational Policy, will vote on Jamaica’s closure tomorrow evening.