Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

New York City is a mecca for the health profession — yet the state’s first specialized high school for the purpose of educating future nurses will be hours away thanks to the Albany pulse.

The innovative Nurses Middle College Charter School is one of five newly approved charter schools in New York, with its goal of helping alleviate a staffing crisis caused by COVID-19.

Still, it and all the new schools will be located outside the Big Apple – due to the state legislature’s continued limit on the number of charters in the city.

“It’s a shame – because we know the demand is there,” Joseph Belluck, chairman of SUNY’s Charter School Committee, told The Post.

The Nurse Education Charter in the Albany Capital Region will be the first of its kind in the state when it opens in the fall of 2022. It is modeled after a nursing preparatory high school in Providence, RI.

Students will earn college credits to an associate degree in nursing while obtaining their high school diploma — hence the “middle school” model.

“It’s a very cool program. The school is also focused on increasing the diversity of nursing. It meets a real need. There is a shortage of nurses, ”Belluck said.

During a recent presentation on the new website of the SUNY Charter School Committee, nurses who helped found the school were unable to attend the meeting — because they were too busy filling the shortage of hospitals triggered by the state coronavirus vaccine mandate for health professionals.

Also upstate, the Destine Charter School for K-5 students will open one year from now, just as the Rochester Academy of Science Charter School serves the same grades.

Two other charter schools in elementary school will open in the fall of 2022 in Suffolk County, Long Island: Academy Charter School in Wyandanch and South Shore Charter School in Central Islip.

Destine Preparatory Charter School
Destine Charter School for K-5 students opens in a year from now.
Destine Preparatory Charter School

The five charter schools were approved by the State University of New York’s Charter School Committee last week.

In a twist, Senate Democratic Majority Press secretary Georgina Parsons is a board member of Destine Charter – though her bosses are stopping action to lift or remove the ceiling for new charter schools in the Big Apple.

Charter is publicly funded, privately run alternative schools that are largely exempt from union rules and have a longer school day and school year. They have traditionally been opponents of teachers’ associations.

There are currently 242 charter schools in New York City with a total of 145,000 students, accounting for one in seven elementary school students.

Proponents say a nursing-oriented charter school would be popular in New York City, home to the country’s largest health and medical system.

Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College
The innovative Nurses Middle College Charter School is one of five newly approved charter schools in New York.
Google Maps

An opinion poll conducted in June showed that the overwhelming majority of parents in the city – including registered Democrats – support the opening of more charter schools.

Susan Birkhead, a board member of the new Nursing Charter School who was a Nursing Lead Demiologist at the Centers for Disease Control, noted that high school is a good time to start preparing students for the rigor of the profession.

“It is very important to prepare people for nursing school. It’s a tough road to chop, ”Birkhead said at the recent presentation of the SUNY charter.

Students at NursesMC receive 300 minutes of weekly science tuition. In addition, they will have the opportunity to take courses in biology, chemistry and anatomy and physiology at the college level through partnerships with local colleges, including SUNY’s University at Albany and Hudson Valley Community College, which allow students to earn required college credits. for most nursing and health science degrees.

Students are also required to develop a personal career plan that includes internships in the health field.

Co-teachers at Yung Wing School PS 124 Marisa Wiezel (who is related to the photographer) and Caitlin Kenny give a lesson to their masked students in their classroom on September 27, 2021
The overwhelming majority of parents in the city support the opening of more charter schools, according to a poll.
Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

They will also attend a nursing research seminar that exposes students to academic journals and medical studies and will write a research paper at the college level on a self-chosen health topic and demonstrate how the project will impact their future careers.

In the spring, The Post reported on a number of proposed charter schools in the city aimed at helping students struggling to drop out and disadvantaged children in Harlem, as well as copying a successful Math Engineering and Academy Charter School in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

But in the legislature, the majority of legislators are opposed to expanding charter schools as an option for families.

“The statutory ceiling on the number of charter schools serves to limit the amount of education funds diverted away from public schools, and there is no compelling reason to raise that ceiling simply because it has been reached in New York City,” the senator claimed. John Liu (D-Queens), chairman of the Senate Panel on Education in New York.


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