Khalil Gibran International Academy: NYC's 1st Arabic Public School

In so many ways, New York City operates on a different dimension than the rest of the country. Love it or hate it, there's simply no other city like it in the country--or in the world. In my opinion, only the Canadian City of Toronto comes close.

More proof of its uniqueness came this week when the Department of Education announced that among next year's crop of 40 new schools is the City's first Arabic Public School. Yes, an Arabic Public School in an American City--and home to the country's largest Jewish population.

My friends, only in New York!

Named after the Lebanese poet and philosopher, the Khalil Gibran International Academy for grades 6-12 will be located in Brooklyn. The school is being sponsored by the Arab-American Family Support Center and New Visions for Public Schools with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

When it opens in September, only sixth grade will be offered, with another grade added each year, and eventually serving 500 to 600 students in grades 6-12. By the third year, the school hopes to offer half the classes in Arabic and half in English.

The school's principal is Debbie Almontaser, a 15-year veteran of the school system. She was quoted by a New York City newspaper as saying, "We are wholeheartedly looking to attract as many diverse students as possible, because we really want to give them the opportunity to expand their horizons and be global citizens."


  1. Anonymous2/26/2007

    Khalil Gibran International Academy -
    Regarding the creation of this
    Arabic school and all others:

    The fact that this school wants to teach half in Arabic language in three years should be alarming to everyone. This is how Islam crept into the British system. There is absolutely No reason to have an arabic school amongst us.
    I am completely opposed to it, as are millions of Americans who are the 'silent majority'. I hope we all speak up.
    I will also be writing to every congressman and woman, the various Departments of Education
    involved and to the schools expressing my objection.

    Everyone should write to keep the islamic fundamentalists from reaching in and killing us.
    Here are addresses you can write to:
    US Dept. of Education

    400 Maryland Ave., SW

    Washington DC 20202


    NY State Education Dept.

    89 Washington Ave.

    Education Bldg. Rm. 111

    Albany, NY 12234
    Attn.: Richard P. Mills, Commissioner of Education

    PH: (518) 474-5844

  2. Anonymous3/12/2007

    My son is in 3rd grade at PS282 the proposed new site of this school. No one in the school was involved in this decision, and the school community was only notified about it tonight at the PTA meeting. We were shocked at the arrogance with which this was done. They told us 240 students, so I'm curious to know where the 500-600 figure comes from?
    We are planning protests and will have our next meeting next Monday 3/19 at 6:30 pm. thank you for the address of the Dept. of Education. Please contribute names and addresses of any other possible contacts, press would be a great help!

    concerned mother in Brooklyn


  3. Anonymous3/13/2007

    These new schools are supposed to be located in schools that are being closed for poor performance, PS282 is a great school.They will suffer severe cutbacks affecting their afterschool and enrichment programs.This is not fair.FIND ANOTHER LOCATION IN AN ISLAMIC NEIGHBORHOOD!