First junior high school in College Point set to open its doors as new school year dawns

Photos courtesy of Councilman Paul Vallone

College Point will opens its first public junior high school in the area on the first day of the new school year, Sept. 5.

Next Wednesday, M.S. 379, located at 124-06 14th Ave., will welcome a class of incoming sixth-grade students in the area. For years, residents have pushed for a middle school in their neighborhood, as the closest options for College Point students were P.S. 185 in Flushing or P.S. 194 in Whitestone.

M.S. 379, also known as College Point Collaborative, was chosen by students in the nearby elementary schools P.S. 29 and P.S. 129. The 507-seat school will be housed in an air-conditioned and fully ADA-accessible three-story building with 19 classrooms and two district special education classrooms.

Other amenities include a reading resource classroom, art classroom, science lab, music suite, library and gymnasium with locker rooms.

The NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) was responsible for the design and construction of M.S. 379, at the site of the former St. Fidelis School, which closed its doors in 2013.

Back in 2017, QNS reported that residents had started a petition to replace St. Fidelis with a middle school the same year the school closed. The Department of Education (DOE) gave the green light to move forward with the middle school in April of last year.

MS 379 library

On Aug. 28, Councilman Paul Vallone was joined by Interim Acting Principal Renee Klager and representatives from the SCA for a walkthrough of the state-of-the-art school.

“I’m very excited about opening the very first public middle school in College Point,” Klager said. “I cannot wait to welcome students and the community to the school and look forward to working collaboratively with students and the community to build a student-centered learning environment.”

“To stand at the doors of College Point’s brand-new middle school on the eve of its inaugural year is to realize a long-awaited dream for the community,” Vallone said. “College Point Collaborative is truly a team effort that has included the parents and families of College Point from day one. Principal Klager’s vision and determination is clearly seen in the beauty and uniqueness of every room in the school.”

Vallone has been working closely with the school and local community organizers in the implementation of M.S. 379’s marine biology programs.

MS 379 gym

“We’ve also partnered with the New York Harbor School and the Coastal Preservation Network to provide further marine biology resources, environmental awareness and opportunities for students moving forward,” the councilman said.

The Coastal Preservation Network in partnership with the school’s science department will allow students to take two trips to the nearby waterfront to observe oysters and plant seagrass with marine pathologist Dr. James Cervino. In addition, the school is also working with the Billion Oyster Project to study oyster life and survival.

In advance of the school year, Vallone has also been working with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to secure a “school slow zone” for the safety of students, parents and teachers.

On Friday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 a.m., College Point Collaborative will host a “Coffee and Conversation” event to meet Klager and view the school. An official ribbon-cutting is slated to take place on Monday, Aug. 20, at 3:30 p.m.

For more information and photos of M.S. 379, visit the school’s Facebook page.

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