Wednesday, January 16

Richmond Hill cafeteria offering early bird special to unlucky students

Lunch at 8:59 a.m.? That's what some kids at Richmond Hill High School are scheduled for -- so they've taken to drinking water all day to feel full. In today's "On Education" column in the Times, Sam Freedman continues his crusade against overcrowding in the city's few remaining comprehensive high schools, writing about conditions at Richmond Hill now that it enrolls 3,600 students, twice what it is meant to hold. He last wrote about the impact on Beach Channel High School of being slammed with dozens of poorly behaved students entering through "over the counter" enrollment.

Principal Frances DeSanctis says only a construction project can reduce the crowding pressure. But while DOE officials say it's a "priority" to reduce enrollment, their only plan seems to be to hope that new small schools in the area siphon away entering 9th graders.

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