2004-08-20 / Front Page

MS 198 Begins Conversion To ‘Goldie Maple Academy’

By Howard Schwach


Middle School 198 will soon be reorganized as the Goldie Maple School, a pre-k to grade 8 school that will address the needs of the whole peninsula.

Middle School 198 will soon be reorganized as the Goldie Maple School, a pre-k to grade 8 school that will address the needs of the whole peninsula. When the first middle school in Rockaway opened in the early 1950’s it changed the face of education on the peninsula, moving the elementary schools in the area from K-8 to K-6 organization.

Now, more than 50 years later, that school, designated as Junior High School 198 and later as Middle School 198 is once again changing the face of education in the central part of the peninsula with its conversion to the pre-K to 8 “Goldie Maple Academy.”

A sign outside of MS 198 announces registration for the new pre-k to grade 2 academy.


A sign outside of MS 198 announces registration for the new pre-k to grade 2 academy. Maple, a former school activist and long-time member of Community School Board 27, was instrumental in the building of JHS 198 and of helping many young teachers become administrators.

Michelle Lloyd-Bey, the present Community School District 27 Superintendent, is one of those.

“Goldie helped me when I was a young teacher at PS 42,” Lloyd-Bey recently told The Wave. “She motivated me to be a supervisor and then helped me get an administrative position at JHS 198.”

“Twenty-five years later,” she says, “I become the supervisor of a school named in her memory.”

The school will begin phasing out the middle school component in September. Only the seventh and eighth grades will remain this year, to be joined by eight new pre-kindergarten and elementary schools classes.

This year, the school will host two pre-k classes as well as two classes each in grades one and two. The following September, a third grade organization will be added. In each year subsequent to that, one more grade will be added until the school attains a pre-k to grade eight organization.

The school is not only reorganizing its grade structure, but the way it educates children as well, according to Lloyd-Bey.

First of all, admission to the Goldie Maple Academy will be by application only. Nobody will be zoned to the school.

“This will begin as a model early childhood school,” Lloyd-Bey says. “It will house an Astre Program [the district’s gifted elementary program] and will use the Core Knowledge Program at all grade levels.”

It will also have an extended day program much like the program that moved PS 105 from its designation as a Chancellor’s School a few years ago.

Students will be provided with laptop computers as part of the program.

Region Five has appointed Michael Bostic, an educator from District 17, as the assistant principal in charge of the new program. In addition, the school will have an early childhood staff developer assigned full-time to the school and Region Five early childhood supervisor Sherry Copeland will spend lots of time at the new academy as well, Lloyd-Bey promises.

“We really want to make the Goldie Maple Academy an attractive alternative for Rockaway children,” Lloyd-Bey concludes. “We need to restore trust in that school.”

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