2004-10-22 / Community

Health Careers Charter School To Open At MS 198

By Howard Schwach

A new charter school that would prepare high school students for careers in the health care field will open at Middle School 198 in Arverne in the fall of 2005, according to a Michelle Lloyd-Bey, the District 27 Superintedent.

The school, which would open in September of 2005 with approximately 100 students, is the brainchild of the Reverend Les Mullings, the executive director of the Neighborhood Multi-Service Center and a public school guidance counselor.

For the past year, Mullings has been working with Region Five Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Cashin and officials from the two local hospitals – St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway and the Peninsula Hospital Center in Edgemere.

“We’re really excited about this program because it will fill a need and feed into the largest industry in Rockaway,” said Liz Sulik, the Director of External Affairs for the Peninsula Hospital Center. “We are glad to be collaborators in the program and our nursing managers are working now to develop the curriculum and then they will work with students to graduation and afterwards.”

According to Lloyd-Bey, the students who graduate from the program will receive both high school diplomas and certificates as Limited Practical Nurses (LPN’s) and health aides.

There is also a possibility that there will be a course in pharmacy technician as well, according to Lloyd-Bey.

“The Rockaway Nursing and Allied Health Fields Charter High School,” as the new school is now being called, will be open to all high-school eligible students in the city as a choice program, Lloyd Bey said, but Cashin told reporters that she would like to “give special consideration to a certain percentage of the applicants from the Rockaway community as a means to encourage local enrollment.”

“Nobody will be sent to this school against their will,” Lloyd Bey said. “the staff will be knowledgeable in the field and will serve as both teachers and advisors to the students.”

Within four years, the charter school will be geared up to serve upwards of 400 students each year, perhaps at another setting in a high school or in a free-standing building.

Lloyd-Bey said that the school has already been accepted by the State Board of Regents and that she is sure it will open on schedule.

“There is a real potential for academic success in this charter school,” Lloyd-Bey said. “There will be a small community of learners and they will be geared to a specific career goal.”

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