Keep us informed of planned Jamaica HS closing

An open letter to city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein:

As the local state and city representatives for the communities affected by the proposed closing of Jamaica High School, we are writing to you in an effort to facilitate communication between the city Department of Education and community.

Jamaica High School has an illustrious history in the community. Established in 1892, the school has taught students for more than 117 years and produced many distinguished alumni, including film director Francis Ford Coppola, the musical group The Cleftones, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley and columnist Art Buchwald.

We are pleased to hear the DOE is holding a public hearing on the proposed closing Jan. 7. It is essential parents and community residents be given clear and accurate information not only about the closing, but the future of this school and how any change will affect the community.

Without doubt our offices will be where our constituents seek answers to their concerns. In order to be prepared for this, it will be imperative for us to remain in close dialogue with you and your staff.

In order to serve as an effective conduit to the community, we are requesting a meeting with the DOE to inform us of the process for making a final decision on Jamaica High School’s future as well as your plans for improving the educational opportunities of the children it serves.

We look forward to meeting with you as soon as possible to start this dialogue.

James F. Gennaro

City Councilman

Fresh Meadows

Rory Lancman

State Assemblyman

Fresh Meadows

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