Also votes to approve a large retail and affordable housing development on the Upper West Side

City Hall – Today, the Council voted unanimously in favor of a bill that will provide unprecedented information regarding student disciplinary measures and actions relating to school safety.

The Council also voted to approve the Riverside development on the Upper West Side, which is anticipated to improve the neighborhood with additional affordable housing units, retail space and a school.

The Student Safety Act will require the Department of Education and the NYPD to submit reports to the New York City Council detailing school safety matters and student disciplinary measures. The reports will provide information about school-based disciplinary actions including detailed information regarding suspensions, and about policing in schools including information on the number of arrests and summonses issued by school safety agents or police officers who are members of the school safety division. To provide further transparency, information in the report will be broken down by categories of race/ethnicity, gender, grade level, age and whether the student has special education or English Language Learner status. Accurate and detailed reporting about policing in schools will be a valuable tool that will be used to monitor activity in schools, as well as to identify and address any problems that may occur.

“Students trust that when they are in the care and supervision of their school, they will be safe. That trust must never be broken,” said Speaker Quinn.” The Student Safety Act will help make sure the city provides a safe and secure learning environment for our children by promoting transparency in the way discipline is administered and schools are policed. Thanks to the dedication and collaborative work of the Council, Department of Education, NYPD and the Student Safety Coalition, we are now a step closer to having real accountability for students.”

“Students must be provided with the safest possible learning environment and Intro 442 will serve to enhance school safety by providing detailed reports on student disciplinary actions, suspensions, transfers, and police department activity relating to schools,” said Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson. “The availability of this information will better prepare the Department of Education, advocates, and the City Council to handle any possible incidents in our schools. The information will also help us to recognize whether or not there are locations that require special attention and to more adequately address student needs in regard to school safety.”

“I am very pleased that the Student Safety Act was unanimously approved by the City Council, after several years of advocacy and negotiations,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “This bill will equip the Council and advocates with the information we need to ensure that DOE disciplinary policies and the actions of school safety agents are promoting not only the safety, but the dignity of our students. I thank Speaker Quinn and Council Member Jackson for their leadership on this issue, as well as all of the young people and advocates who have worked so hard for this important victory.”

Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr., who wrote the existing crime in schools law, said, “Access to this important information will help everyone involved keep their kids safer.”

The Council voted to approve the development the Riverside Center, which is expected to increase the neighborhood’s population by 3 percent. The 3.1 million square-feet development project would be on the Upper West Side’s undeveloped area between West End Avenue and Riverside Boulevard, from West 59th Street and West 61st Street.

The development will include:

High-rise buildings with 2,500 housing units;
A 100,000-square foot public school, critical to alleviating current overcrowding and meeting future needs in grades K-8 on the upper West Side;
1,500 parking spaces, which will include a garage with car share spaces, bike parking and electrical charging stations;
Almost 120,000 square feet of retail space (including a possible movie theater);
More than 100,000 square feet of office space; and
Funding for West 59 Street Recreation Center and Riverside Park South to mitigate the development’s impact.
Of the 2,500 units that will be created, 20 percent, or 500,000 square feet, will be affordable housing units. This includes, 135,000 square feet, (180-220 units) of new affordable housing units will be created on-site.

In addition, energy efficiency measures with respect to fuel consumption and energy use will be incorporated into the building design resulting in at least 10 percent less energy consumption in building systems than the required New York State energy code in effect at the time of the building design.

“I have been adamant that Riverside Center must not become an exclusive enclave for the wealthy,” said Council Member Gale Brewer. “Our goal has been the preservation of the upper West Side as a vibrant, family-oriented community, cognizant of its history and values, open to all, friendly to business, eager for living wage jobs, and dedicated to a common public interest. Much has been achieved to date by working in an atmosphere of good will and serious reflection. With the agreements reached today, I believe that we have achieved many of our most important goals, improved the quality of the development both for residents and neighbors, and laid a solid groundwork for the project. I look forward to the hard work ahead.”