I am writing to request your assistance with an issue of child safety on Roosevelt Island. My daughter recently started kindergarten at PS/IS 217
in the Gifted and Talented program. She is one of 20 students who ride
daily from our home in Jackson Heights, Queens to the school in a van chartered and paid for by the families of the children. Despite the high numbers of enrolled students from our neighborhood at the school, the
NYC Dept of Education rejected our request for DOE-funded bus service to
PS/IS 217 - because we see promise in the Roosevelt Island school, we each
pay $65 per week for the van service to and from school each day.
We are troubled to learn that our van, which is chartered solely to bring
students to and from school on Roosevelt Island, is not allowed to park in
the bus loading area in front of the school. The Public Safety officers
are insisting that our drivers find regular parking spots in a location
remote from the school and then walk the children to the school - from
wherever they are able to find parking. Our drivers are wonderful, and we
trust their ability to drive our children safely to school - but to then
ask them to park potentially far away from the school and to walk 10
children each over to the school is too much.
It is common sense to let these two vans stand in the bus-loading area
while the drivers bring the chidren to and from their classrooms - safer
for the children, the van drivers and the other drivers in the area.
Please work with the Public Safety Department to let our chidren be dropped
off and picked up from school in a safe manner, at the loading location
where all of the other student transportation is allowed to stop.
Thank you for your help with this issue - I look forward to hearing back