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Massive Schedule Changes At NYC School Sends Teachers, Students Scrambling

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Students outside Long Island City High School (credit: CBS 2)

Students outside Long Island City High School (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A sudden and massive schedule change is causing anger and confusion at a public high school in Queens.

Teachers told CBS 2 the unexpected schedule changes impact almost everyone at Long Island City High School. They’re frustrated over getting all new students and struggling to play catch up, while students are frustrated after spending two months on course work that no longer counts.

“Some people have no math for two weeks already,” sophomore Austin Mauro told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

“Some people don’t have all their classes,” said freshman Lisa Gomez.

Carlin tried to talk to Principal Maria Mamo-Vacacela, but was turned away. So he took the concerns to the top and reached out to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

“It’s about Long Island City High School. They changed all their schedules after two months,” Carlin said.

“I can’t talk right now, sorry,” Walcott answered.

CBS 2 did receive the following statement from Walcott later Friday evening: “We regret and apologize for the inconvenience caused by adjusting students’ schedules at this point in the school year. Over the past week, school support staff have been working to help the school to properly reprogram student schedules, ensuring that each student will get his or her required classes and be able to complete them on time. Guidance counselors will also work this weekend to ensure that students have access to other classes they want to take.”

With more than 200 fewer students than expected, the school was forced to reorganize and scramble.

“Long Island City High School created student schedules based on enrollment projections that have changed. As a response they distributed new schedules,” said Education Department spokesman Frank Thomas.

“All my son’s teachers have changed and I can’t talk to them about his progress,” Barbara Costa, of Woodside, said.

“We try to accommodate everybody,” one school staffer said.

The scheduling issues led some students and parents to wonder if the only solution is to transfer out of the chaos.

“You change your whole mindset. You lose focus,” said sophomore Jose Padilla.

The school was identified as under-performing and received $5 million in federal funding to try and turn it around.

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