2014-01-24 / Top Stories

PS 106: Complaints Continue

By Miriam Rosenberg

After years of complaints, the current investigation into allegations against PS 106 and its principal seems to have given parents a feeling that they could speak out openly about problems at the school.

Among them are mothers of children who have special needs. Jessica Pastor’s son Joseph Paul, 5, is in kindergarten. The boy attended pre-K at HeartShare, which specializes in special education. Notebooks that enabled communication between teachers and parents were exchanged. “In pre-K I was always able to set up a meeting to discuss issues,” said Pastor.

Joseph Paul, who has ADHD, is now in an integrated class – half are general education students and half are special needs students. His mother says she has no idea how he is doing in such classes as speech or occupational therapy.

“A week into school he was having problems fitting in,” said Pastor. “There were teacher complaints about how he was behaving in class.” She soon began to feel her son needed to be in a smaller class. “I requested a meeting once in the beginning of the year to discuss changes, and they never got back to me,” said Pastor.

According to the Department of Education website, parents are entitled to request a review of their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) once a year. So far, any communication between her and the teacher has been verbal, sometimes in front of her son or the whole class.

In addition she is not happy her son is attending class in one of the trailers, where conditions are said to be poor. “In the setting he was in, we were used to the way they cared for the child,” said Pastor. “Here they seem more annoyed than trying to help.”

Christine McCargo’s son was left back in kindergarten because the teacher said he was misbehaving. The following year he passed because McCargo said, the new teacher “knew how to deal with his behavior.” He is now in first grade. But three months into the year his teacher was assigned to another class and the students were divided up into separate classes. McCargo is once again receiving complaints about her son’s behavior.

McCargo’s son was tested for an IEP in 2010 and denied. Approximately a year later his doctor found the boy had ADHD and prescribed medication. Two months ago McCargo requested, through the school, that her son be reevaluated. “I was told they are waiting for the social worker and psychologist,” McCargo said. She says her son is behind in reading and the school is threatening to hold him back.

“I have been going back and forth and haven’t gotten anywhere [or] anything accomplished. It’s been a

There have been other complaints against the school concerning special education. In 2010 The Wave reported that Tara Alameda’s son, because of the Individual Education Program was to have a co-teacher in all his classes. Alameda said her son was not provided a special ed teacher in music. In addition the article also reported that the music teacher allegedly tore the rubber bracelets off his wrist.

In the meantime, The Wave has learned that a July 2013 allocation of $100,000 to PS 106 by Councilman Donovan Richards for tech supplies has yet to be used. “School Construction [Authority] is working on installation and purchasing new technology,” said Richards earlier this week.

“They still have some technology like smart boards and some, I heard, in the library,” Richards said, who toured the school in March. “But most of [Sanders’ $400,000 allocated] technology was in the annex and was destroyed.”

The Wave did not receive responses from the DOE for information concerning a timeline for IEP reevaluations or the tech equipment issue.

After an onsite visit by Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson on January 13th, new and needed books arrived last Wednesday. On Monday new furniture arrived for kindergarten students and the decision was made to move pre-K students into a larger space.

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