Trainspotter 0 Posted November 28, 2007 Share #1 Posted November 28, 2007 With no middle schools in Highbridge, children make exhausting commute BY TANYANIKA SAMUELS DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER November 28th 2007 [float=right] Highbridge middler-schooler Matthew Garcia, 10, has to take three buses to get to class at Frederick Douglass Academy III on Third Ave. [/float]Matthew Garcia gets up at 6 a.m. to ready himself for his hour-long commute - to middle school. The 10-year-old Highbridge boy has to take three buses from his home on Anderson Ave. to Frederick Douglass Academy III on Third Ave. "Matthew comes home super-tired," said his mother, Marisol Burgos, 33. "He comes home and goes to sleep. It's hard for him." With no middle schools in Highbridge, students such as Matthew have complicated and lengthy commutes to school. Community organizers say enough is enough. "It's an issue of safety. It's very clear there is an imbalance here," said Jesse Mojica, director of education and youth in Borough President Adolfo Carrión's office. Highbridge is a rapidly growing community of 40,000 residents with five public elementary schools, one public elementary charter school and two private schools. "The population is growing so much. We need a middle school," said Ocynthia Williams of United Parents of Highbridge. The city Department of Education sees things differently. "We do not see a seat need in the neighborhood," said DOE spokeswoman Margie Feinberg. "There are plans for four new PS/IS schools in District 9, which includes Highbridge. Two already are in construction." The new schools will create 1,890 seats in the district, she said. But concerned parents said it will not help current middle schoolers who have to venture beyond the Grand Concourse and Cross Bronx Expressway to get to school. "We have buildings coming up all over the place. The children will come with these families. With more children here, we need a school, no question," said Yolanda Romero, of the Highbridge Community Life Center. With the DOE's next five-year capital plan on the horizon, community organizers said the time is right to push for a new program. "Highbridge is a big community," said PS 11 PTA President Llunorkys Veras. "Why shouldn't we have a middle school?" Community groups have already rallied support from local politicians, clergy and parent groups to push the DOE and the School Construction Authority to agree to a middle school. "We don't want a situation to arise where - God forbid - a child is hurt or some tragedy happens before there's a response," Mojica said. "It's clear that there needs to be a middle school in Highbridge." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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