Campus Magnet crime drops 89%: City

By Alex Christodoulides

Campus Magnet High School in Springfield Gardens showed the biggest decrease in major felony crimes among impact schools in 2007-08 as part of an overall report on the decline in crime in the city's public schools.

The city's so-called impact schools are designated as such based on the number of reported incidents involving weapons, the number of major crimes and a qualitative review of school conditions, with the goal to reduce violence and disorder and create safe places for students to learn.

The nine newest members of the impact school list, which includes Beach Channel, Campus Magnet, Jamaica and Newtown high schools and IS 291 in Queens, saw crime drop 57 percent on average in the last school year compared to the year each was placed on the list, the mayor's office said.

As their crime statistics improve, schools are removed from the impact list.

In general, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly trumpeted an 11 percent decline in major felony crime at city public schools last year. The announcement was made last week at a news conference at Manhattan's High School of Graphic Communication Arts, which saw its own crime rate drop 88 percent since last year.

As for Campus Magnet, it had 89 percent fewer incidents reported in 2007-08 than in 2006-07, when it was first put on the list, the mayor's office said.

During the 2007-08 school year, 1,042 major crime incidents were reported, down from 1,166 the previous year, representing an 11 percent decline in major felony crime, Bloomberg, Kelly and Klein announced. The major felony crime categories tracked for schools are burglary, robbery, grand larceny, felonious assault, rape and murder.

“Crime is down citywide again this year. Crime in the subways is at its lowest in memory and crime in schools is down dramatically. It's not a coincidence that crime is down on all fronts,” Kelly said.

In the last seven years, major felony crime in schools was down 34 percent, the mayor's office said. Violent incidents have declined by 10 percent in the last school year and 31 percent since 2000-01, the mayor's office said.

“The NYPD, [city] Department of Education and schools officials have all worked collaboratively to ensure that schools are a safe place for students,” Bloomberg said. “Their efforts are succeeding and are giving our children the safe learning environments that they deserve — and that all parents have every right to expect.”

. When the impact program began in the 2003-04 school year, there were 87