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Far Rockaway Student to Mayor: We Don’t Want to Leave


Nine-Year-Old Pearl Paul Wants to Continue Learning at Success, Where She Has Gained Self-Confidence and a Strong Academic Foundation  — But Mayor de Blasio Is Ignoring Her Need for a Middle School

Far Rockaway, Queens — Pearl Paul is poised beyond her years, always holding her head up high and displaying her unflappable confidence each day as she speaks in the classroom. Her principal, Jose Rosario, says she has already mastered the firm handshake, as displayed each morning when she greets him at the door at Success Academy Far Rockaway. When she is not dazzling her teachers in the classroom, you can find her on the court as a member of SA Far Rockaway’s basketball team. She’s got big plans for her future – she wants to become a doctor or a biologist after college. Pearl is one of the Success Academy fourth graders without a middle school next year. After 33 months of delay, the mayor has failed to fulfill his promise to provide a permanent school. She and 226 other children will have to return to district schools, where on average only one in three students is able to read or do math at grade level. Pearl is zoned to attend fifth grade at P.S. 43, where 24% of students met state standards in ELA and 19% passed math. Pearl was at City Hall the day Mayor de Blasio ignored the 200 Success Academy students who had come to plead for space to learn. “I’m disappointed because I’ve been in this school for four years,” said Pearl. “We’ve already built a great foundation and I want to continue here. We don’t want to leave.” ### ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS

Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 45 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 18,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. Success Academy schools received more than 17,000 applications for about 4,000 open seats for the 2019-20 academic year.


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