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Charter Middle School Seeking Space In Jackson Heights/Corona

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Jan. 6, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge

A proposed tuition-free charter middle school hopes to open in the Jackson Heights/Corona/East Elmhurst area by next year.

The fifth through eighth grade college prep school, called Forte Preparatory Academy, is currently searching for space to open.

DNA Info originally reported on plans for the school.

Founder Graham Browne said that he wanted to open a school in the area – where schools are already severely overcrowded – in order to “increase the number of high quality seats… that will prepare students for college and a lifetime of opportunity.”

“[This is] a place with incredible diversity, and amazing people and community members, and proud residents,” Browne, who is a local resident, added.

Forte Preparatory Academy intends to open with 90 fifth graders, adding one grade of 90 students per year until all are filled.

Browne said he is still working on staffing numbers but estimated that there will be seven or eight teachers per grade plus school support coordinators, with more potentially being added in later years.

Browne is a Fellow with Building Excellent Schools, a charter non-profit with schools throughout New York City and the country. He said his curriculum will focus primarily on literacy and math, with programming including performing arts and digital literacy.

The school will also focus on English language learners with tutoring and extended teaching time, he said.

For now, the “big challenge” is finding space for the school, Browne said.

“We’re committed to being incredibly creative about the types of space that we can occupy,” he said. “We’re looking at any and all potential opportunities.”

Forte Preparatory Academy has launched a community feedback survey, which is available online here.

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