The embattled Shuang Wen School has a new principal. Department of Education officials have appointed Iris Chiu, a 19-year veteran of the city school system, as the interim principal at the Lower East Side’s Shuang Wen P.S. 184 school.
Chiu replaces longtime school leader Ling Ling Chou, who was reassigned to administrative duties last week amidst nine DOE investigations ongoing at the school, including allegations about improprieties in enrollment practices, after-school programs and other issues. Chou had headed the Cherry Street school since it opened 12 years ago.
Parents and school supporters have sued the education department in response, claiming the investigations are discriminatory and racially motivated. Shuang Wen’s population is largely Chinese, and its classes are taught in Chinese and English languages.
Chiu, who was named in a letter to parents from the administration dated June 30, has most recently served as an assistant principal in charge of guidance and humanities, including at the Brooklyn School of the Arts. Prior to that, she taught English as a second language and Mandarin Chinese in elementary and middle schools, according to the letter from Daniella Phillips, the District 1 community superintendent.
“This news may raise many questions for you, and I want to provide opportunities over the summer for you and others to meet Ms. Chiu, express your thoughts and ask questions,” Phillips wrote, encouraging parents to attend informational meetings at the school. The meetings are scheduled for Monday, July 25, from 9 to 10 a.m. and again from 6 to 7 p.m., and also on Thursday, Sept. 1, from 6 to 7 p.m.
A full search process for a new principal, involving parents and staff, will be undertaken during the 2011-12 school year “if warranted,” Phillips told families in the letter.