Legacy High School for Integrated Studies

New York

Students bring anti-turnaround message to PEP members

New York

In protest against closure plan, Legacy students find silver lining

Legacy students sat on the panel to present anecdotal and data-driven reasons why Legacy should remain open By the time Wednesday's closure hearing began, students at Manhattan's Legacy School for Integrated Studies had already said everything they could to support their school. For weeks, they had been making a case for their school, on the Today Show and WPIX, NY1 and YouTube and Facebook and Twitter. And yet, revved up from a multi-school rally in Union Square, they said it all again. In the school's packed cafeteria, students said once again that their new principal, Joan Mosely, and the many new teachers hadn't had time to turn the school around. Last year's poor academic performance, they said, reflected stricter standards and higher expectations. They even made a formal presentation about the school's performance and demographics. Their arguments were seconded by teachers, parents and representatives of several elected officials, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, both candidates for mayor. But Marc Sternberg, a Department of Education deputy chancellor, said the city did not want to wait for improvement that might never arrive. “The question ultimately is, how patient can we be?” Sternberg said. “Our inclination is to act on behalf of our future students quickly.” Students and teachers said the closure proposal had in some ways dampened the mood at the school. But they pointed to a silver lining: that the sustained protest against the city's plan had given them purpose, public speaking skills, and an esprit de corps.
New York

Legacy HS supporters rally against closure, beg for more time

Parents, students, and staff gathered to show support for Legacy Carolyn Blackette wasn’t thrilled when she first found out her daughter would be attending Legacy High School for Integrated Studies because of its reputation. Blackette's daughter had been assigned to the school after not getting into any of her high school choices, so Blackette marched down to the Department of Education to protest. A DOE employee convinced her that it was a good school and moving in the right direction under new leadership. Still skeptical, Blackette went to orientation — and fell in love with Legacy. Within the first four months of school, she has received a personal call from the principal to make sure her daughter was adjusting comfortably, had frequent correspondences with teachers about her daughter’s performance, and witnessed her daughter welcomed into a warm school environment. “I’ve been through the system before,” Blackette said, having put several other children through public schools. “I’ve never seen them take such interest in a child.” With such an overwhelmingly positive experience, Blackette was shocked – as were other Legacy parents and students – to hear the school was placed on the chopping block last week when the DOE proposed its phaseout. On Wednesday night, Thomas Fox, a DOE official that works with a number of schools including Legacy, facilitated a public hearing on Legacy’s proposed phaseout. As soon as parents and students caught wind of the event, they mobilized to rally – painting black and red “Save Legacy” tees, posting fliers around the school, making phone calls to bring in the troops. Approximately 100 staff members, students, and parents filled the cafeteria to hear what Fox would say and to push back.