NYC parents want principal Claire Lowenstein ousted from Manhattan School for Children

A gaggle of Higher West Facet households are renewing a years-long marketing campaign to oust the principal of their youngsters’s public college, saying her administration has pushed out dozens of academics and college students.

Greater than 100 mother and father signed onto a letter this summer time to switch embattled Manhattan Faculty for Kids principal Claire Lowenstein, who The Submit reported in November was hit along with her second no-confidence vote in simply two years.

“We’re a big coalition of involved P.S. 333/MSC mother and father who’re working to ensure our faculty is as soon as once more a heat, supportive surroundings,” reads the letter, obtained by The Submit.

“We don’t assume that is doable with the present principal.”

The households allege that Lowenstein has “sullied” the varsity’s fame within the neighborhood and amongst potential employees. They accuse her administration of “actively hostile” relationships with mother and father of particular training college students, and of “documented racism.”

Dozens of academics have left the varsity, serving grades Okay-8, because the principal’s arrival in fall 2014, in line with the mother and father’ letter. The Division of Training ignored a number of requests for the exact determine.

Pupil enrollment has additionally dropped by the a whole bunch — from 760 college students in 2014-15, the under-fire principal’s first 12 months, to 501, in line with metropolis knowledge. The DOE initiatives it is going to lose one other 94 college students subsequent college 12 months.

The letter claims Lowenstein has "sullied" the reputation of the school.
The letter claims Lowenstein has “sullied” the fame of the varsity.

Mother Kate Dominus, who signed the letter, advised The Submit she transferred considered one of her youngsters out of PS 333 for center college, and desires she moved the opposite child, too. Dominus mentioned her son was bullied and acquired little assist from Lowenstein.

“This can be a lady who advised me this was a public training — and what was I anticipating?” mentioned Dominus, who famous, “I’m a product of a New York Metropolis public training!”

Enrollment at Manhattan School for Children has fallen from 760 students in 2014-15 when Lowenstein first started to 501.
Enrollment at Manhattan Faculty for Kids has fallen from 760 college students in 2014-15 when Lowenstein first began to 501.

Fellow dad or mum Jonathan Goldman mentioned a suspected battle with the principal led his youngster’s first-grade trainer to give up with simply 24-hours discover.

College students in his child’s class have been moved to different homerooms, which ballooned to rosters of round 30 college students every, angering mother and father, he recalled.

“The primary grade mother and father have been on fireplace this 12 months,” Goldman mentioned. “As a bunch, they’re livid.”

Adams Pinckney, one other of the letter’s signatories, mentioned his son’s particular training trainer was immediately pulled from the classroom in September with not more than a weekend’s discover.

“That was the beginning of 1 bombshell after one other, when there was no alternative for response or dialogue,” Pinckney mentioned. “The ‘dialog’ was both so unresponsive, or so cursory to be nearly insulting. Like come on, we don’t want a platitude.”

Pinckney’s son has an individualized training plan (IEP) for lessons that have been co-taught by basic and particular training academics. The rising second grader — nicknamed the “mayor of the varsity,” as a result of he typically shakes fingers — loves going to class however began to fall almost a 12 months behind in math, the dad mentioned.

“We tried to be affected person and understanding — we’re popping out of the pandemic,” Pinckney mentioned. However after ready nearly a full college 12 months to switch the particular training trainer, “We determined we’ve been too affected person for too lengthy.”

One other father, who requested for anonymity as he navigates a contentious custody battle, accused the varsity of switching his son’s handle in its data on the mom’s request.

However the change, which positioned the son as residing in New Jersey, briefly shut him out of the town’s Summer time Rising program that the mother and father have been counting on for youngster care.

“I used to be begging her simply to make issues honest,” he mentioned of the principal. “I wasn’t asking for extra — simply comply with the principles till that is finished.”

“I’m not some deadbeat dad who’s not a part of his life,” mentioned the dad or mum, who’s black and Hispanic, and believes the incident was racially tinged. “She was treating me like I had no rights as a father.”

Lowenstein’s union denied the allegations made within the letter.

“As we now have acknowledged up to now, Principal Lowenstein is a extremely efficient and devoted college chief, and PS 333 has carried out nicely beneath her tenure,” mentioned Craig DiFalco, a spokesperson for the Council of Faculty Supervisors and Directors.

Chyann Tull, a spokesperson for the DOE, mentioned in an announcement that the division is working with households and faculty employees.

“Our new district superintendent actively engages with households and the remainder of the varsity group to implement interventions that greatest serve everybody,” she mentioned. “We’ll proceed to collaborate with employees and households to make sure that all college students are receiving the prime quality care and training that they deserve, whereas preserving them on the heart of planning.

“Each scholar deserves a supportive and reliable studying surroundings,” the assertion added.

Lowenstein couldn’t be reached for remark.

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