School Desk

Fariña announced single–stall restroom initiative


New York City schools chancellor Carmen Fariña announced a new initiative to designate a single-stall restroom in all New York City public schools. The restrooms, she said, would provide schools with an additional facility with a privacy option for students with disabilities as well as transgender and gender non-conforming young people.

Utilizing the space will not require special permission or medical documentation.
It’s part of Fariña’s plan to provide students with a safe and productive learning environment.

“As part of that commitment, we want to ensure that all students receive the additional privacy they need and have access to a restroom that aligns with their gender identity,” she added.

Cafeteria health inspection reports available online
Starting this fall, health department reports on New York City public school cafeterias will be available online, state Sen. Jeffrey Klein said in a statement.
The city’s education department will post the reports on Inspections, along with steps to correct the violations, will be sent home to parents and guardians, Klein added.

“Parents deserve to be aware of the condition of the cafeterias that their children eat in every day,” Klein said. “I’m proud that we were able to quickly come to an agreement with the city to make sure that this information is made easily available to parents.”

Last December, the Independent Democratic Conference — which Klein leads — released a report on the cleanliness of school cafeterias across all five boroughs.

Education wins in participatory budget
Eight area schools are getting technology upgrades, thanks to support from the community and a line item in the city’s 2018 fiscal budget.
Getting upgrades locally are Sheila Mencher P.S./M.S. 95, AmPark Neighborhood School P.S. 344, P.S. 340, Discovery High School in Kingsbridge.

Each school will receive $50,000, according to Councilman Andrew Cohen, including $15,000 each from his remaining capital funds budget. Schools will use the money to purchase items like smart boards and laptops.
Other winners were the 50th, 47th and 52nd police precincts to install street security cameras within the district. They will share $300,000 in support towards the project.

The Riverdale Library is set to receive $500,000 to upgrade its bathroom to meet the requirements established by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
“These projects will have a huge impact on the quality of life in our community,” said Cohen, in a release.

“Making our public spaces more accessible, upgrading technology for our students, and improving our public safety are all worthwhile endeavors that I am proud to provide funding for.”

Number of students living in shelters on the rise
A new report from the city’s independent budget office reveals the number of students living in shelters while attending public schools is up 15 percent during the 2015-16 school year. That brings the total number of kids living in shelters while attending school to nearly 30,000 citywide.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has provided funding to help move families out of hotels, as well as cluster sites, may have increased the concentration of students in some schools, while reducing it in others, stated the report.

The IBO found that more than 40 percent of shelter-residing students attended a Bronx school. That is a 44 percent increase in the borough since 2011-12.