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Location, location, location! City should not move IS 381 in with ‘dangerous’ school, parents say

About to get bigger: The city wants to move middle schoolers from IS 381 in Midwood to the Andries Hudde school on Nostrand Avenue, but parents are not in favor of the move.
Brooklyn Daily
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The city must halt its plan to co-locate two Midwood middle schools, because one is known to be less safe, parents are demanding.

The Department of Education wants to move IS 381 in with Andries Hudde because the latter campus is under-enrolled and has better facilities. But parents of IS 381 students say they picked the school in part because it did not have Hudde’s rough-and-tumble reputation.

“Parents did not choose this school for their kids — they chose 381,” said Elaina McDuffie, whose son just started sixth grade at IS 381. “And the question I have as a parent is: If my children are moved from a safe environment to an unsafe environment, who is responsible when my children are put in harm’s way, if that’s the case?”

And McDuffie was not alone — several parents echoed her concern at a Dec. 12 hearing on the planned move.

“We have received numerous reports and complaints of incidents that happen at the school and around the school. Please make note the number-one priority for my children is safety,” said Jennifer Bartholomew, whose two kids attend IS 381.

Students, however, feel the schools are about the same when it comes to safety, according to city records.

A 2015 Department of Education survey found that 70 percent of Hudde pupils feel safe at the Nostrand Avenue junior high — while 78 percent of IS 381 students reported feeling secure in their E. 22nd Street campus.

And Hudde students apparently outperformed their IS 381 counterparts in math last year — 30 percent of its test-takers met state math standards last year compared to IS 381’s 13 percent. IS 381 had the edge on English however — 38 percent of pupils there passed the state language exams compared to Hudde’s 31 percent, records show.

IS 381’s roughly 300 sixth- through eighth-graders would benefit from Hudde’s superior science lab and library, as well as better high-school prep work, according to the city’s proposal. There are 800 students currently enrolled at Hudde, but the campus can fit about 1,400, records show.

IS 381 is currently co-located with PS 197, and officials are hoping to increase enrollment at the primary school if IS 381 moves in with Hudde, the proposal states.

Officials voted on the measure late Wednesday, after this paper went to press.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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