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Queens Chronicle

‘Turnaround’ schools will keep old names

DOE confirms in letter to principals

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Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 10:49 am, Thu Aug 9, 2012.

John Adams High School will open its doors in September as John Adams High School.

It and the six other high schools in Queens that were closed as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s “turnaround” plan will keep their names after a state Supreme Court judge upheld an arbitrator’s ruling from June that said the plan, which would have reopened the schools with largely new staff and new names, violated the Department of Education’s contracts with the teachers and administrators unions.

“Your school will open in September with the original school name and DBN,” read a letter sent to principals late last month from Elaine Goram, the DOE official overseeing the “turnaround” plan. “Please use your original school name and DBN for all business transactions and communications.”

The DBN is the numerical code given to schools to identify them.

The DOE also told principals to work with their rosters from June. That means principals are working to find out if the teachers who were laid off are interested in coming back or have found new opportunities. Under the judge’s ruling, the staff who were laid off as part of the “turnaround” plan still have their jobs, though many have moved on into other positions.

The city is appealing the judge’s decision, but hearings will not start until after the beginning of the school year, leaving the DOE with no choice except to scrap the plan for now. Twenty-four high schools across the city were part of the plan.

The letter also informed principals that families with students enrolled in the schools will get more information about the status of the schools in the first few weeks of August.

Besides John Adams, the other high schools affected in Queens are August Martin, Flushing, Long Island City, Newtown, Richmond Hill and William Cullen Bryant.

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