P.S. 110—the public elementary school by McGolrick Park—is facing teacher shortages for the 2024-25 school year. 

Parents were notified in an early June PTA meeting and were quick to express concerns over the impacts: larger class sizes and a reduction of the French Dual Language Program (FDLP).

In some ways, the situation is nothing new: the school has faced budget cuts and teacher shortages for the past two years. The PTA has been able to stave off losing teachers and increasing class sizes until now because they’ve voted to provide financial support, in the form of salaries for substitute and cluster teachers.

“This solution was not sustainable in the long term,” Francois Servranckx, parent of two students at P.S. 110, said. “At the end of the day, it is down to how much support and resources the [Department of Education] wants to provide.”

Without additional funding from the DOE, students across all grades and programs will be impacted by larger class sizes. In some cases, like the incoming 2nd grade FDLP, this means a near-doubling of class sizes, from 15 to 30 students. In most cases, the proposed class sizes are not compliant with the latest ambitions outlined in the Class Size Reduction Plan for New York City Public Schools.

The collapse of classes impacts the FDLP in other ways. While kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade will continue to have dedicated French instruction—albeit in larger classes—the 3rd grade FDLP is now combined with general education classes. These students will receive less French instruction each day.

This is not the first time that P.S. 110’s FDLP—only one of ten in the city’s public school system—is contending with reductions. The 4th and 5th grades saw similar changes in the past couple of school years.

Nassima Khelifa, a parent whose child graduated from P.S. 110’s FDLP two years ago, saw the dwindling of the program begin post-Covid. Fully-French instruction moved from alternating full days to daily hour-long periods.

“Honestly, that year it did feel like my daughter did lose some of the French,” Khelifa said. “For them, at that age, it’s really quick to lose when they’re not making a constant effort.” 

For Khelifa, it informed her decision to move her child to a private school for 6th grade onward. 

It’s an unfortunate trajectory for the program, which began in 2011 and has since been an attractor of new families to Greenpoint. In 2015, in an article about FDLPs across the city, Chalkbeat highlighted the “transformation” that P.S. 110 brought to the neighborhood. Since then, public records show an increase in enrollment at P.S. 110 from 310 students in 2012-13 to 416 in 2022-23.

“Over 10 years ago, P.S. 110 was performing very poorly and was on the brink of being partially converted into a charter school,” Servranckx said. “The principal at the time, with support from parents, decided to bring a FDLP to the school. This worked beyond her expectations with registration climbing (especially before Covid) and the overall performance of the school improving.”

After being notified of these changes, over 60 parents at P.S. 110 collaborated to contact David Cintron, Superintendent of District 14.

“Most people received a message thanking them for reaching out and sharing their concerns, but not really providing concrete answers about class sizes and the future of the FDLP at P.S. 110,” Servranckx said. 

Greenpointers also reached out to school administrators and Superintendent David Cintron but did not hear back by the time of publication.

Parents and administrators are planning town halls in the coming weeks, with the school expected to present a final budget for 2024-25 on June 20. Some parents, such as Lindsay Benedict, who lives in East Williamsburg and commutes to P.S. 110 specifically for the FDLP, see this as a decision point.

“It is my desire that my second child will have the same opportunity to develop their French language skills like their sibling did,” Benedict said. “I am observing carefully what decisions are being made right now by the administration.”

Join the Conversation


  1. This is bucking the national trend. Schools are closing by the thousands every year because of birth rate is below replacement rate, lowest in modern time.

  2. More then the French program I am concerned about the lack of special education teachers the school has. Where is the article on the lack of ICT classes and how special education teachers have to move from class to class hourly often leaving IEP students without help?

    1. Hi Kelsey, thanks for your comment. Fighting for the survival of the French program does not mean not supporting special education or GenEd at PS110. At the end of the day, class sizes increase will impact everyone. Appropriate resources should be attributed to the education of all our kids.

  3. I grew up on Long Island in the 60s and my class size from 1-7 was 50 kids. In 8th grade, we then split into two classes of 35 each. I don’t think I suffered from it. It can be done.

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