NYC schools struggle to cope with influx of 5,500 migrant kids

A Manhattan public school with just one certified bilingual teacher is reeling under the weight of a sudden influx of migrant students who don’t speak any English, The Post has learned.

“We’re overwhelmed,” one frustrated teacher at PS 33 Chelsea Prep said Tuesday.

“We’ve all got migrant students in our classrooms. The teachers don’t speak Spanish. There’s no resources helping us out right now — it’s a very challenging situation.”

One outraged mom said migrant kids — easily identified by lime green ID tags that hang from their necks — have swelled the size of her daughter’s class from 15 to 20 kids.

“She’s in the third grade. Her teacher is giving her lower-level work due to the immigrants. They’re making the curriculum easier,” said Maria, a 29-year-old fashion designer.

“The work is too easy for my daughter. There’s first-grade, second-grade and third-grade levels in her class. It’s ridiculous.”

The burden has some furious parents preparing to pull their kids out and send them elsewhere.

Many public schools are struggling to keep up with the influx of migrant students.

Maria said she’s “been looking at a private school on 42nd Street” where she’s planning to enroll the girl.

Another parent, Cooper, a 45-year-old chef, said he’s also “trying to change schools” for his 7-year-old son, who’s in second grade.

The alarming situation offers an example of how the flood of migrants to the Big Apple — now nearly 19,000 strong, with no sign of stopping — is straining the city’s ability to provide them with housing, education and social services.

On Friday, Mayor Eric Adams said that 5,500 migrant kids have been enrolled in the city’s public schools, revealing the startling number as he declared a state of emergency over the migrant crisis.

Many of the students do not know any English.
Around 5,500 migrant students have entered the NYC public school system.

An official tally by Community Education Council District 2 lists 50 migrant students PS 33, which enrolled 555 children in 2020-21, the most recent school year for which the Department of Education has data posted online.

But a PS 33 teacher said that the count was far too low.

“There’s way more than 50 migrant students. It’s at least 90 right now,” the teacher said.

Other official totals include a combined 120 at PS 111 and MS 933, which share a single building, 65 at PS 51 and 15 at MS 297, with an unknown number at PS 11.

Earlier this month, The Post exclusively revealed that the influx of migrant kids swelled some classes at PS 111 to 38 students, leading to the transfer of 15 to PS 51.

The DOE decides where migrant kids can attend school, based on factors including the proximity of the shelters where their families have been placed by the city and the availability of seats in area schools.

Class sizes have swelled in schools where migrants have been enrolled.
Many of the schools do not have enough bilingual teachers for the students.
kevin c downs

At PS 33, administrators have been scrambling to reassign teachers who can speak at least some Spanish even though they’re not certified to teach kids who don’t speak English, sources said.

“Maybe they were teaching another subject before but because they have second-language skills, maybe they’re teaching core subjects,” a PTA member said.

A dad of a PS 33 fourth-grader said his daughter told him the migrant kids in her class “look so lonely, quiet and lost.”

“They keep them in a separate corner in the classroom and they sit at a table by themselves,” he said. “They don’t understand anything and there’s no Spanish-speaking teacher in her classroom. They only communicate with themselves at the tables.”

The father likened the disturbing scene to “throwing someone in the ocean who can’t swim.”

Kelleher is a member of CECD2.
PS 33 mom Robin Kelleher collected 20 bags of clothing donated by United Nations International School parents and dropped them off this week at two hotels where the migrant kids and their parents are living.
Stephen Yang

Meanwhile, PS 33 mom Robin Kelleher, a member of CECD2, collected 20 bags of clothing donated by United Nations International School parents and dropped them off this week at two hotels where the migrant kids and their parents are living.

The DOE didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

But schools Chancellor David Banks tried to put a positive spin on the situation citywide during a morning TV appearance on PIX11, saying, “I feel great about where we are.”

“It is a challenge, to say the least, to have this many new families, many of them who do not speak English,” he said.

“We already had a shortage of bilingual educators. It is a challenge, but it is a challenge we feel we will meet, and we are meeting.”

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Bulletin Reporter is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected] . The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More