Overcrowded Riverdale school gets new space

RIVERDALE - The Department of Education has arranged for an overcrowded Bronx school to move into a large annex nearby, which will shrink class sizes and allow the students more one-on-one time with teachers.

School officials say P.S. 24 in Riverdale experienced an enrollment boom for the 2009-2010 school year, with applications for the new kindergarten class increasing from 110 to 133. According to Philip Scharper, principal of P.S. 24, the school immediately reported the increase in applications to the DOE in an effort to find a more spacious facility.

City Councilman Oliver Koppell caught wind of the situation and became a persistent supporter of the school's mission to expand. He wrote a letter to New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, which many believe was the reason behind the school's future move to the annex.

Both Scharper and Koppell hope to completely transplant the school to the new location before the start of the fall 2009 academic year. Koppell says the new space will bring new opportunities for students.

"We even have demand for more gifted and talented classes," Koppell says. "We can't consider that without additional space. Now we have the space, we can look at that again."

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