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Saturday, February 6, 2016

PS 24 to switch support networks, 141 to stay put

By Sarina Trangle

PS 24 is straddling two school networks.

Assistant Principal Manny Verdi said the school will officially join Children First Network 103 when the next fiscal year begins on Sunday, July 1. Until then, PS 24 will turn to Children First Network 104 for legal advice, personnel needs and other support while crafting its budget with help from CFN 103.

Public schools are required to join a network, or a cohort of schools that collaborate with a team of educators, to offer one another support in human relations, legal needs, professional development, special education, guidance counseling and other matters.

PS 24’s new network, CFN 103, focuses on streamlining schools’ operations so “the people who know schools best: principals, teachers and school staff” can focus on instruction and accelerating student achievement, according to its website. PS 24 will join Ampark Neighborhood School and Urban Science Academy as the third Bronx member of a predominately Manhattan-based network.

CFN 103’s affiliation with several academically successful schools appealed to PS 24. Mr. Verdi described the network as staffed with “people who work with schools that are pretty high achieving.”  The assistant principal said he knew the network was a good fit when it understood the “clubs” or enrichment models PS 24 uses without any explanation. 

“We’re kind of half in now. Once the new budget comes in, we’re supposed to work on the budget with the new network, but the other support still comes from the old network,” Mr. Verdi said.

PS 24 began interviewing school support organizations after hearing the team leader of its network was retiring. The school later learned Robert Cohen wouldn’t retire from leading CFN 104. 

PS 24 decided to remain with its new network for the sake of stability, according to Mr. Verdi.  He said the school already “made a connection,” and considered the first year a test run. 

“If it doesn’t work out, we’ll go back to where we came from,” Mr. Verdi said.

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