2001-05-05 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Education: Our Number One Priority

On Monday evening, April 30, 2001, Beach Channel High School held an Educational Forum sponsored by the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce and the Wave.

Superintendent Matt Bromme was a featured panelist.  His leadership has brought many important changes to District 27.  It is obvious that he is
passionate about getting the best possible education for our children.  He
outlined his priorities for the district as follows:
1. Busing: It is Superintendent Bromme's goal to eventually have every elementary school child walk to their neighborhood school. Currently,
approximately 5,000 children a day are being placed on a bus to go to school. This is the result of the severe overcrowding that exists in all schools in Queens.
2. Leadership: Superintendent Bromme stressed that we are responsible and accountable to provide the best education for each child.  Since he became the Superintendent of District 27 approximately two years ago he has taken decisive action to provide new leadership in our schools by appointing nine new principals and seven new assistant principals.

3. Improving Services to Children: Superintendent Bromme took over District 27 which is the lowest performing district in Queens.  He has appointed Ms. Lloyd Bey to work with the schools and implement a policy of assessing children all during the school year.  This will help the pedagogues to ascertain the children's needs and work on assisting the children to meet their educational goals.

4. Special Education: Superintendent Bromme has appointed Mrs. Marks as the Director of Pupil Personnel Services.  She is working with the children to integrate them into the regular classroom where appropriate.

5. Professional Development: Superintendent Bromme stated that this year District 27 has hired 450 new teachers.  This is more than any other district in the city.  Superintendent Bromme is firmly committed to providing a strong professional development component for teachers and para professionals in the district.  As Director of the Professional Development Program at Kingsborough Community College/CUNY, I have worked closely with Superintendent Bromme to offer Kingsborough courses in the Rockaways and in Howard Beach for the teachers and para professionals.  In addition, Superintendent Bromme is working on many other initiatives.

6. School Safety: Superintendent Bromme is actively working to provide a safe school environment for the children, administrators, teachers and staff.  One of his initiatives is to place a school safety officer in each of the districts middle schools.

7. Grants: Superintendent Bromme is working with Phyllis Greenberg, our District 27 grant specialist, to bring additional monies to our district.  He announced that a Magnet Grant proposal has been submitted and that we are awaiting a decision.  To date, the district has received a Pryse Grant for Rockaway Youth and Safety in Education totaling $9 million and a 21st Century Gateway Learning Grant for $3 million and a School Safety Grant. District 27 is the only school district in this country that has an airport and Gateway, a National Park.

Terri Thompson, the Queens member of the NYC Board of Education also shared her expertise with the audience.  Liz Sulik, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, chaired the forum.  The panelists were John Lapore from All State Insurance and Howard Schwach from the Wave. Their questions were well-framed and thought provoking.  A lively informative discussion ensued.  

Members of the audience had the opportunity to voice their concerns and get answers.

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