Thursday, December 25, 2014

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The Call Blog: Parents, Teachers Protest Classrooms In "Temporary" Trailers

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These trailers may have been fine for a short while, but now they're clearly in a state of disrepair and in need of some fixing. As some of the callers pointed though, maybe restoring them instead of getting rid of them may be a better solution, considering the half a billion cost. Or at least the spaces should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the school's needs. Your thoughts and comments are posted below.

Some parents and teachers are trying to get classroom trailers removed from schoolyards across the city. At a rally today outside P.S. 48 in Washington Heights, the group complained of mold, leaky ceilings, rodents, and an assortment of issues detrimental to the learning environment for kindergartners at the school.

There are 352 classroom trailers in schools across the five boroughs. They were supposed to be a temporary fix to overcrowded school buildings in the 1990s. Today, about 12,000 students attend class inside one every day. The latest capital budget from the Department of Education includes $480 million for removing the structures, rehabilitating the schoolyards, and accommodating the displaced students.

What are your experiences teaching or learning inside one of the "temporary" classroom trailers? Do you welcome attempts to remove them or do they serve a necessary purpose to alleviate overcrowding inside school buildings? Is this a smart use of $480 million tax dollars?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

$480 million dollars? Really? That's $1.36 million per trailer. With that kind of money, 352 lucky kindergarten kids could each move into their own one-bedroom apartment on Park Avenue.

Murray Hill

This is 2014 those trailers should of been abolished by now, the students need a good environment for learning not a environment with rodents leaky ceilings and mold because they can get sick. Mayor Diblasio allocated a big budget for education some of that money can be used to build new school buildings for the students because they need a safe clean and rodent free environment to learn. because they're our future

Upper West Side

Yes, Get rid of them they are an eyesore and isolate students. They should build more new schools with the money and bring our public school system back to the top of the charts.

Park Hill

No matter what! We are always back to square one. This was maybe a good idea for an emergency
way back when but look at all the other priorities that were taken after all of these trailers were put up
in all the different school yards. Then for many years now the mold and whatever else is growing
inside these trailers plus the different climates the poor children had to endure all of these years.
It seems to me that the powers that be seem to not give enough attention to the complaints.
So how can anyone tell us we can’t have a sugar drink unless it’s in a cup of a certain size. It’s bad
for our health. HMMMM!!!!
Whatever they do or did in this city and state they start projects and then they never
continue with the up-keep for anything at all.
How can we still have trailers with muck growing on the inside and also it is detrimental to the health
of all the students. Yet they the politicians have gone overboard with the charter schools and also come
to find out that they don’t have to have their books audited. Also we are into the Pre-K classes. Amongst all of
this that’s happening what is the story with NYCHA, and etc. We have many etc’s. on going.
The repairs/upkeep to be done in this city are past the point of no return. In the Bronx I just red a story
that the Bronx boro president is advertising a water taxi and yet the Bronx is filthy dirty and in need of
filling the damn pot holes.
In the middle all of this DeBlasio is still calling Sharpton his friend and they are going to break ground
for something that has to do with his Action Network. Not sure what that is all about but after the story
came out today why wouldn’t this mayor put some thought behind his friendship with Sharpton.
Where are we going with all of this. I question as to just what do they spend all of our tax dollars on?


Morris Park

Here we have yet another government screw up. These "temporary" trailers should never have been built. Real brick, mortar and wooden schools should have.

Port Richmond

There is absolutely no reason for hundreds of school children to be going to trailers to have class. The Department of Education needs to immediately rectify this very serious situation. Why should children have to sit in unheated,mold and vermin infested trailers,with no heat or air conditioning?The Chancellor needs to get her act together and see to it that these unacceptable teaching conditions are dealt with immediately!She certainly would not want her grandchildren to have to learn under these ridiculous conditions. Teachers should not have to teach under such conditions either!

Fresh Meadows

It is a disgrace that children are attending and teachers are working in decrepit trailers. Why don't we put these children in the space that is going to UPK. Where is Michael Mulgrew hiding? Probably under Deblasio's desk.

Midtown East

I myself have attended a high school about 8 years ago and had several of my classes in the trailers. I loved them because most schools in the NYC area don't have air conditioning and modern bathrooms, that the trailers offer. Instead of spending half a billion to remove trailers they should fix them since these structures do house working classrooms.

E. Hernandez

I am a retired Principal. My school used 3 double trailers for the 2nd grade. In my last few years, I noted that these trailers had buckling floors and stale air. They were also very isolated, in the yard, which made for a dangerous situation for children and teachers, as anyone could enter the yard, without security clearance. This was the most important reason to eliminate these trailers.


Shame on Bloomberg for not replacing these trailers during his 12 year reign. We are coming to find that Bloomberg left a lot of things unattended to. Including upkeep of our roads and bridges and the contracts of 150 unions. DeBlasio has to fix a lot of things that were left by Bloomberg.


Don't you love how the self-proclaimed education mayor and health nanny only spent millions on useless computer sytems, tests and consultants instead of on art, phys ed, music, classrooms and lowering class size? I feel like Alice, disorientedly staggering out of the rabbit hole into the glaring light of a brave, new world...

Park Slope

Trailers are without question an embarrassment to a nation that puts on a good show about education reform, but does little of any substance.

However, the story doesn't end with trailers. I've taught in classrooms with paper thin walls, and jam-packed with children. Conditions that even the most talented, and well planned teachers find impossible to navigate.


This is our previous mayor, Bloomberg's legacy. He was more concerned with creating more charter schools so the Eva Moskowitz millionaires could become more wealthy off the backs of poor children. He was never concerned with the betterment of public schools.Now Mayor deBlasio has to deal with this decade old problem along with finding space for thousands of all day Pre-k children in the fall.

The trailers are there now. Let them stay and use them for office space and storage space, not for children. This is not appropriate learning environment. Call your council member, borough president and the mayor's office. Get this taken care of before September.


They remind me of trailer trash
homes and never like those
"modules" as they were called
when my kids went to PS132
in Brooklyn back in the late
80's. My kids were always sick
from the poor ventilation and
lack of adequate heat and air
conditioning plus it took away
space from the school yard.
I started a petition along with
other parents to have them
removed, I was successful
in that effort and the children
had a brand school yard.
Parents should always advocate
for their children and keep up
the fight.


Remove the trailers!! Its just not right to teach our children under these drop out conditions. Its 2014 for gods sake !! Put the kids back in the school buildings and find a way to build REAL SCHOOL BUILDINGS!!!!!


I agree that the removal of temporary trailers from schools in Washington Heights such at the ones at PS 48 and the metal Annex at IS143 in district 6 is long overdue. I taught at this annex and the heating and AC kept breaking down. In 2006 I submitted a proposal to CB12 Ed committee for a new 400 seat middle school building at this city owned site and nothing has been done ever since.

Washington Heights

To make school a better place they need to start by focusing all their resources on finding the best people to educate the students, if every school had a rating and the teachers salaries were based on this rating they would have the brightest and best educating Americas future, the only way for school to change is for more parents to be a part of the PTA to make it less of an institution. With the money and power this country has they can build a new school for every child in less than a week.


Put Eva Moskowitz's "Overflow" in the Trailers!

At least for as long as it takes to see if the Success Academy "waiting list" is for real!

Morningside Heights

I'm hearing a lot of people saying the trailers should be gone and not really offering solutions. If the trailers are removed then we should use the space they were in as well as making the school yards smaller. After that's done then there will be more space to expand the schools and add classrooms. When schools were built the population was smaller and we now need to evaluate all the space, such as in the gyms, and make them smaller so as to add more classrooms.

Fresh Meadows

surprise, surprise, this goes back to guillianis era.who owns and profits from these trailers. i bet many politicians have recieved campaign funds. same with boilers in projects. who is profiting from this. yes replace the trailers. stop talking and take action.

I am fortunate enough to have my daughter go to private school . I can't imagine having my child learn in that type of environment this is really unacceptable I'm sure the city can find a way to have this students properly relocated...

East Harlem

I agree with earlier callers. Build on the school yards. Do any of these schools even let the kids out for recess?

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