DOE Officials Try To Address Queens High School's Massive Scheduling Headaches
Department of Education officials are working to address problems at Queens Metropolitan High School, where students have had up to 10 schedule changes and many still do not have their final class schedule for the school year. NY1's Education reporter Lindsey Christ filed the following report.
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At Queens Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills, there is no science teacher, students sit in the auditorium instead of taking electives and classes are taught by rotating substitutes.
Students said they are handed new schedules, with different teachers and courses, almost once a week.
"We don't have a schedule. They tell us, let's say if I'm going with him, I just follow him," said one student. "They say, 'Go wherever you want.' They don't even care anymore."
If these problems sound familiar, that is because they are the same issues that NY1 first uncovered at another Queens school, Long Island City High School.
At both schools, Department of Education officials said early problems with getting students in the right classes snowballed, overwhelming inexperienced principals.
"The schools' principal and others didn't handle it well," said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.
City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who has two sons at Queens Metropolitan, confronted the chancellor and education panel on Thursday night.
"Many of these students have had like three hours during the day when they haven't had any curriculum," said Crowley. "Many of the sophomores haven't even had gym yet. They've been going to gym class, they have a gym teacher. But they don't get changed and they don't really do much."
Ironically, that gym teacher is the chancellor's daughter, Dejeanne Walcott. The chancellor said he and his daughter have a policy to not to talk shop at home, so while he heard of some issues, he wasn't aware of how bad things were.
"When I hear of issues, whether from a daughter or from any individual, I pass it on to the appropriate staff," said Walcott.
Officials have reassured parents and students at Queens Metropolitan that when they return from Thanksgiving vacation, students will have their official schedules for the rest of the year, and they will include all the required courses.
"As a result of what's happening, both at Long Island City High School and Metropolitan High School, we'll be even more diligent as making sure this issue will not happen again," said Walcott.
Some parents wondered why it has taken so long.
"It's November. We're tired of hearing 'we're working on it.' Something's got to be done," said parent John Sadowski.