After a three-year hiatus from the Impact Schools initiative, the John F. Kennedy Campus was placed back into the program, which is designed to clean up campuses with high crime rates.
The Kennedy Campus, which houses six traditional schools and two charter schools, landed on the Impact List this fall because incidents of grand larcenies rose, according to John F. Kennedy High School Principal Lisa Luft. Three additional school safety agents have been assigned to the 3,000-student campus, which brings the number of security personnel stationed at Kennedy to 21, according to school staff. The Kennedy community will also get advice from safety experts who review hundreds of best practice strategies.
Campuses are flagged as potential Impact candidates during biweekly school crime statistic meetings with NYPD and Department of Education staff. Safety related transfer requests and suspension rates are also factored into the decision, according to the DOE.
Once it is designated an Impact School, the NYPD stations more school safety agents on campus. City safety officials scrutinize the campus using a checklist of more than 100 variables –– such as entry and exit procedures, hallway conditions and the use of suspension rooms ---- --–– before suggesting ways to improve the school climate.
The NYPD wouldn’t explain why Kennedy was placed in the Impact program. The DOE did not return requests for comment. The department refused to divulge which schools were on the Impact list and why they were designated Impact schools when The Press sought background on the initiative with a Freedom of Information Law request this fall.
Ms. Luft said she believed a spike in grand larcenies brought campus crime rates up.
“It’s unfortunate,” she said. “We’ve had AED equipment taken. They have to be in public places and you cannot lock them down … We, along with the police department, are looking to make sure that those things don’t happen again.”
Police classify theft of items valued at $1,000 or more as grand larceny.