2009-01-30 / Community

'Where Are The Parents?' The Queen Asks

By Jessica Durham

Queen Makkada talks about the importance of parent involvement during her interview with The Wave. Queen Makkada talks about the importance of parent involvement during her interview with The Wave. As the reality of this year's closing of P.S. 225 sets in among parents and students, the president of the Parent Advisory Council for District 27 claims that the school is closing, in part, because of the lack of parental involvement present in schools today.

Queen Makkada, the president of the council, spoke with The Wave about what she feels needs to take place during the school's reconstruction process.

"We, the elected parent leadership of this district, plan to make sure that this reconstructing truly adheres to this mandate that parents are partners." Makkada said.

The New York City Department of Education cites a disruptive environment amongst students, reported on this year's annual performance report cards, as the reason for the school's closing.

"Every school that gets a D potentiall can be restructured and with P.S. 225, that's how this happened, because they received a D two times in a row," Makkada continued.

In September, there will be two new schools built in P.S. 225 - a middle school and an elementary school.

"As president of this district, I have actually stated that an elementary school must have a strong literacy component," Makkada said. "Because this is why the school failed. Half of the children are failing their literacy test. That's not even feasible. There has to be a mixture of parent involvement and understanding direction."

Makkada also says parents would like to see other components, such as art programs, in the reorganized school.

"The president of P.S. 225, Sandra Ojeda, wants to see an arts program," Makkada said. "We need that academic focus to have an arts component because we don't want our children to become bored."

The council, along with the Parent Teacher Association of P.S. 225, hosted a meeting earlier this month to discuss the school's future. The presidents from 15 schools attended, including M.S. 43 and P.S. 183, both located in Rockaway.

Two resolutions from the Community Education Council's December meeting were supported. These two resolutions stated that the Department of Education will cease to close schools without timely notification.

The District Council President meetings are the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m., in the district office at 82-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. These meetings will handle the rest of the district's PA and PTA concerns for the year.

Makkada says the elected parent leadership has great things in store for the future of parent involvement in schools.

"Parent involvement raises scores," she said. "That's what people need to understand."

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