“The proposal announced by the Department of Education (DOE) to temporarily move Clinton Artists and Writers Middle School to PS 33 is far from anyone’s first choice.

“On October 21st, Speaker Quinn’s office convened a Relocation Task Force with DOE, elected officials, the Community Education Council, the principal and the Clinton School’s own relocation task force. Our goal was to try to identify a new permanent site that would be ready for occupancy by 2010 or 2011, in order to avoid the disruption caused by a temporary move. The parents especially worked hard to find a site, even prior to the start of the Relocation Task Force.

“The Relocation Task Force was successful in convincing DOE to commit to pursuing acquisition of a new facility for Clinton at the community’s preferred site. In addition, DOE has identified and committed capital funds for this project. DOE has also agreed to continue to participate in frequent stakeholder meetings to make sure the process to secure a permanent home for Clinton stays on track. Unfortunately, while the task force looked at various options, we were unable to identify a site that could be occupied in the near term.

“We share the community’s disappointment in this outcome. We agree with parents when they say DOE needs to start planning and consulting earlier in the process when overcrowding is predicted to avoid facing hard choices and disruptive temporary moves in the future. But given the overcrowded conditions that both PS 11 and Clinton have struggled with already, and the projected growth in enrollment at PS 11, we reluctantly determined that it was untenable to support Clinton remaining in its current location for another year.

“PS 33 is a good school that can potentially offer facilities more suitable for middle school children than PS 11, including a full size gym. We think it is a viable temporary option, as by moving now, no Clinton student would be subjected to multiple moves during their three year tenure.

“It should also be noted that DOE has determined this move will require the majority of the PS 138 classes, a Special Education District 75 school currently located at PS 33, to relocate to the American Sign Language & English School at 225 East 23rd Street. This displacement and relocation needs further examination and analysis.

“We commend DOE for committing to a permanent new facility for Clinton as part of this process and we will continue to work with DOE, the principal, and parents, to ensure this promise is fulfilled in a timely manner.

“We are at the beginning of the public review process for this proposal, not the end. The DOE proposal will now be subject to a formal public review as per the new State law. We look forward to input and feedback from all impacted school communities and stakeholders at the upcoming hearings, which are slated to be held at PS 11, PS 33, and the American Sign Language & English School.”