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About

We are the District 15 PAR Project in the Gowanus/Red Hook/Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill areas of District 15. In addition, we are working in Sunset Park to develop a framework for a PAR process to begin Summer/Fall 2020 to help plan for new school buildings coming to that neighborhood.

What is the background of this project?

With the new school addition opening at P.S. 32, the DOE has been partnering with CEC 15 and school communities since the spring 2019 to develop a collaborative rezoning and admissions plan that aims to increase diversity and integration, reduce overcrowding, and advance equity in the Gowanus/Red Hook/Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill areas of District 15.  This planning impacts seven zoned schools: PS 676, PS 15, PS 32, PS 58, Ps 29, PS 38 and PS 261. During conversations over the past year, a central piece of feedback that stood out was the need for more time to consider potential plans and further empower historically underrepresented communities in the process. This feedback ultimately resulted in a commitment to undertake a PAR process in both this area and Sunset Park.

What is PAR and what are the goals of this project?

Participatory action research (PAR) is a framework that is rooted in the belief that community members most impacted by an issue should be the ones to lead investigations and develop responses and recommendations.. In this project, the PAR research team will be made up of a variety of community members, particularly from underrepresented communities within the seven school zones listed above (for info on the Sunset Park process and team, see below). The PAR Research team will pull from their own expertise, lived experiences, community knowledge, and existing data to collaboratively design research, collect and analyze data, produce findings, and develop recommendations regarding rezoning, admissions and school policy in this area of District 15. This project will seek to build a complex understanding, based on community expertise, of:

  • What does equity mean and what does it look like for different members of different school communities?
  • What do families value when it comes to their children’s elementary education?
  • What schools and schooling experiences do families desire?
  • What are current perceptions and desires with regard to the different existing elementary school options?
  • What supports do families desire within schools once their children are enrolled?

Who is facilitating and working on this project?

We are the District 15 PAR Collective. In Red Hook/Gowanus/Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill, we are Edwin Pacheco, Red Hook community leader; Maddy Fox from CUNY’s Public Science Project/Brooklyn College’s Center for the Study of Brooklyn; Matt Gonzales from NYU Metro Center; representatives from the NYC Department of Education with support from the Red Hook Initiative and YOU!

Our team so far includes:
Edwin Pacheco: Edwin is the Lead Pastor of Redemption Church and visionary behind Redemption Red Hook, the community-based arm of the church. He is the Title 1 Chairperson, SLT member (School Leadership Team) and parent of a PS 15 student. He also serves on the ReDesign Leadership Team at PS 676. Edwin has over 20 years of experience in Community Organizing, Youth Development, and Non-profit work in urban communities. Contact: edwin@redemptionredhook.com

Maddy Fox: Maddy is a PS 15 parent, a faculty member at Brooklyn College, a founding researcher with CUNY’s Public Science Project and faculty in the Center for the Study of Brooklyn at Brooklyn College. She has been conducting participatory action research projects focused on young people’s experiences with public policy (like schooling) for the past 18 years. Over the past several years, she has been honored to collaborate closely with the Red Hook Initiative on various PAR projects. Contact: madelinefox@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Matt Gonzales: Matt is an educator, an advocate, and a policy analyst. He is founder, and director of the Integration and Innovation Initiative (i3) at NYU Metro Center, a project designed to support policy development and design, implementation, and advocacy for school integration. He is co-founder of the NYC Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation (nycASID), and serves as the Policy Coach for the youth-led advocacy group IntegrateNYC. He supports and advises schools and communities in New York and across the nation on integration and equity efforts. Contact: mmg14@nyu.edu

And YOU!

For more information on how to participate see our How to Get Involved page

What about Sunset Park?

We are collaborating with school communities and local organizations to develop a PAR plan for Sunset Park that would begin in Summer/Fall 2020. Stay tuned for more info in the coming months!

Any thoughts? Feel free to contact the District 15 PAR Project collective at: district15parproject@gmail.com