Massapequa parents and students upset over middle school back and forth

Kristin Thorne Image
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Massapequa parents and students upset over middle school back and forth
Kristin Thorne has the latest details on the Massapequa middle school back and forth.

MASSAPEQUA, Long Island (WABC) -- The kids are upset because thought they were going to a new middle school next year, only to be told a week ago they are not.

"I've been looking forward to doing the languages and the clubs and meeting new people," said Angelina DeMaio, a student.

They will stay in their respective elementary schools in the Massapequa School District.

"We picked our languages. We've gotten our chrome books and to go back after we already graduated is really upsetting," said Gianna DiNello, a student.

The decision affects about 550 upcoming 6th graders who thought for the past year they would be going to Berner Middle School with the 7th and 8th graders this fall.

"We did three orientations over at Berner, we had three parent orientations over at Berner," said Bethann Schiffl, a parent.

"We will not accept it. We will be protesting. We will make sure they will hear our voices," said Rose Stein, a parent.

But not all parents are for the move and for paying for the $2 million it would cost each year to operate Berner with the 6th graders in it.

"All the research shows that it's much better for them to stay in a nurturing environment in elementary and that's what I want for my daughter," said Thomas Baglione, a parent.

"Our 6th graders in our K-6th configuration actually outperform many 6th graders in middle schools across Long Island," said Chere Urgo, a parent.

It's been a back and forth for the past three years, until recently, when several new school board members came in and voted last week not to move the kids to Berner.

"Basically our only recourse was to take control of the board by winning elections. This is a democracy. Everybody gets a chance to vote. We feel the community has been heard at the polls," said Dave Insana, a parent.