Lavelle School–UPDATE

Many of us attended a very interesting meeting with Ken Byalin, director of the proposed Lavelle Charter School. Ken has an update for us:

Dear Board members, planning team members, and friends of Lavelle Prep,

I’m delighted to tell you that Lavelle Prep has made enormous steps
toward accomplishing our goal of becoming the first Charter School in
New York State for children living with emotional and mental disorders.

To that end, I hope you will join us on Monday, June 30 to hear about
the progress we?ve made as well as the challenges, challenges we must
overcome if  the promise to Staten Island children with emotional
disorders is to be fulfilled: they can and will go to College.

In addition to hearing next steps and soliciting your thoughts, we
know we must continue to get the word out to potential parents,
teachers, community leaders and donors.  To help move this effort
forward, we have been working with Patty Kennedy of the New York
City-based marketing firm of Kennedy Spencer. To kick off discussion,
Patty will present her firm?s recommendations on positioning and
moving the communications efforts forward.

And if you haven’t seen the proposed school building in Sea View
Historic District, or if you would like to see it again, I hope you
will join us for a tour.


Date:    Monday, June 30, 2008
Time:    6:30 to 9:00 PM
Place: Lou Caravone Community Service Building,
          Seaview Hospital Rehabilitation Center
          460 Brielle Avenue
          Staten Island, NY 10314

Light supper will be served.

There will also be an opportunity for those of you who are able to
arrive early to tour the proposed site:


Date:   Monday, June 30, 2008
Time:  5 PM
Place: Executive Office, Robitschek Pavillion
          Seaview Hospital Rehabilitation Center
          460 Brielle Avenue
          Staten Island, NY 10314

Please let me know if you plan to attend the meeting, the tour or both.

As always, I thank you for your continued support, energy and ideas
around the John Lavelle Preparatory Charter School.

I look forward to seeing you.


Kenneth Byalin, Ph.D.
The Verrazano Foundation
777 Seaview Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305
Fax: 718-667-2344


One Response to “Lavelle School–UPDATE”

  1. Andrea Lella Says:



    The NYC DOE is holding a public hearing on the spending of the Contracts for Excellence Funds.

    Each year the plan proposed claims to provide focus and funding to special needs students and each year the DOE turns a blind eye to the actual spending of these funds!!!!

    The state has mandated that funds be put aside for programs to address autistic students and to increase academic standards of students with disabilities. Unfortunately the actual utilization of these funds tends to serve every population BUT special needs students!!!

    Your child needs your voice HEARD!!!!

    Oversight must be provided to ensure the children who are targeted for these funds ACTUALLY receive these services!!!!!

    The first round of public hearings concerning the Contracts for Excellence were held in June. The upcoming public hearings will again give parents, educators, and other New Yorkers an opportunity to comment on the revised plan, which will include proposed spending of school-based Contracts for Excellence funds. The Department of Education (DOE) will use the feedback in finalizing its Citywide Contracts for Excellence Plan. The public may comment on any aspect of the plan, including:

    • How schools are planning to spend their discretionary funds within the six allowable program areas;

    • How the DOE is allocating targeted Contracts funds to schools;

    • How the DOE is allocating funds for school support services;

    • The Class Size Reduction plan; and

    • The public comment process itself.

    The schedule for each hearing is as follows:

    • 6:00 p.m. – Doors open; speaker sign-up begins

    • 6:30 p.m. – Hearing begins; presentation of proposal

    • 6:45 p.m. – Public comment begins

    • 8:30 p.m. – Hearing concludes

    Hearings will be held on STATEN ISLAND THIS Tuesday evening
    July 29, 2008 at the Michael J Petrides School 715 Ocean Terrace.

    The New York City Department of Education receives a portion of its overall budget in the form of Foundation Aid from New York State. While the State allows some of the increase in year-over-year Foundation Aid funding to be used for growth in general operating costs and investment in ongoing programs, the majority is subject to the provisions of the State’s “Contracts for Excellence.” New York City schools received Contracts for Excellence, or C4E, funds for the first time in the 2007-08 school year. These are funds that, under State law, must be distributed to certain schools and must be spent by those schools in specific program areas.
    In 2008-09, New York City will once again receive funds subject to the provisions of the Contracts for Excellence. These provisions include:

    1. Funds must support specific programs areas. C4E dollars must be spent to support new programs and activities or to expand existing programs and activities in the following six program areas:

    * Class Size Reduction;

    * Time on Task;

    * Teacher and Principal Quality Initiatives;

    * Middle School and High School Restructuring;

    * Full-Day Pre-Kindergarten; and

    * Model Programs for English Language Learners (New in 2008-09).

    2. Funds must go to students with the greatest need. C4E funds must be used to improve the performance of students with the greatest educational need, including:

    * English Language Learners (ELLs);

    * Students with disabilities;

    * Students in poverty; and

    * Students performing below State learning standards or students who are at risk of not graduating.

    3. Funds must supplement, not supplant.

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