The Accelerated Timeline for Closure

Posted: January 18, 2013 in The Impact
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The proposed timeline for closing Peebles is an April 30, 2013 vote with closure effective for the 2013/2014 school year. In contrast, the proposed timeline for Bradford Woods was outlined as follows in the Aug 17, 2011 school board minutes:

8.17.11 Meeting minutes excerpts

So, why is the proposed timeline for Peebles an April 30th, 2013 vote with closure effective for the 2013/2014 school year?

The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities provides the following guidelines with respect to the decision to close a school:

  • Ideally, a decision to close a school should be made as early as possible in the school year, but no later than December.”

There are several reasons:

  • “It will permit parents and students adequate time to adjust to choose a new school or adjust to their new assignment”
  • “It will provide adequate time to plan and execute the actual closing of the building.”
  • “It will permit the financial impacts to be included in the annual school budget. There will be both additional costs and savings that need to be identified for that school.”


“When a district builds a new school or renovates an existing building, there is usually a comprehensive community involvement process used. Closing a school should also include a similar process.
Adequate time to conduct this process is important so that all relevant information can be examined and included in the deliberations. This process must have integrity above all else.”

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Comments
  1. Jamie Kilgore says:

    Excellent question -why is there such a rush to PUSH this threw?

  2. Rhonda Fries says:

    I truly think it is a shame that our school board would choose to close a school that is so important to our district. Also, WHY….would you close a school to save a little bit of money and have to spend three times as much to renovate another. It makes no sense to me. I have children in Marshall Elementary and we are VERY concerned about taking on new students as there are already three new developments around our school that will add to our enrollment.

    What is the School Board thinking? Do they want the class size to be 30 or more. Also as a parent of a Hearing Impaired Child who went through Peebles, I am appalled at the decisions our district is making or even considering.

    Does the School Board truly know what a wonderful asset the Hearing Impaired Program has been to our district? I am literally sick over the thought that these children will be shoved somewhere in a corner. I cannot even express how wonderful this program was for my daughter who is now thriving in her Freshman year at College and we feel we owe it all to those teachers who taught her coping skills during her Elementary Years. I have been singing the praises of our district for years because of the Hearing Impaired Program and what they have accomplished for deaf children. I always felt great pride to say I was part of North Allegheny because of the hearing impaired program and other programs we provide for children with disabilities. This is what our district is supposed to be about. Helping ALL kids..not just those we pick and choose.

    Please reconsider this closing or a closing of any school. It is going to change the whole focus of our district which used to be on education.

  3. Elizabeth Warner says:

    I have serious doubts that four months (and only one month while school is in session) is enough time for a successful transition after the decision to close a school. The information gathered under the current accelerated timeline has only convinced me that all of NA’s elementary schools are excellent, but closing a school will increase average class sizes and jeopoardize the quality of the remaining schools.

  4. Jeff Allshouse says:

    This major difference in timelines is yet another example of the urgent need for a community task force!! Too many significant questions and differences remain insufficiently answered to make a decision of this magnitude!!

  5. Joe Cramblit says:

    Heartland homes sent me an advertisement for the 14 new homes they are buiilding behind the old Duncan Manor Shoppes, Heartland is also planning on building 53 townhomes in the new Mccandless Crossing developement and Venango Trails in Marshall will have over eighty new homes in Marshall. The board seems completely unaware of these developements which will by themselves put pressure on our schools to accept new students especially if Peebles is closed. As for the phase 2 report ,look at the Thomas and Williams website which lists three of our schools as their construction management jobs. Would the company be OK’d to manage the 8 million dollar Bradford Woods project after “donating ” the report to keep it open when the phase 1 report said the opposite.

  6. Steve Bloomquist says:

    From the beginning it been clear that the district is attempting to fast track this process so that the deed would be done before the community had a chance to organize. Only time will tell if the inconvenient truths raised by concerned taxpayers, which seem to refute the dubious ‘study’ findings of conflicted interests, will meet with rational decision making by the school board. The world is watching, North Allegheny.. will you do what is right, or what is easy?

  7. Tom Podnar says:

    Maybe the prospective tenant has a requirement to be renting Peebles in the fall of 2013 or early 2014? Hard to say, since the board hasn’t elaborated on where the sense of urgency is coming from to close Peebles ASAP.

    I had read that LaRoche College is the possible rental tenant. Looking at Google Maps, you can see just how close Peebles is to LaRoche College from a property border perspective. Very very close!

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=15237&aq=&sll=41.117935,-77.604698&sspn=5.925185,10.942383&vpsrc=6&t=h&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Pittsburgh,+Pennsylvania+15237&ll=40.566928,-80.011244&spn=0.004126,0.005343&z=18

  8. Laurie Steele says:

    Wow, yet again it appears our school board knows better than national guidelines! Why the rush when the numbers are so off base? The board stated themselves that the projected numbers are not even close to actuals! Look at the true numbers board!

  9. Kim Aggazio says:

    I registered my daughter for kindergarten today. The irony of kindergarten registration rescheduled for the same day as the hearing is not lost on me.

    I am concerned (and confused) about the kindergarten registration schedule and how it coincides with the possible closing of Peebles Elementary and the redistricting of elementary students so late in the school year (I posted as much on the NA blog).

    During registration, I requested morning because that works better with my schedule. If too many parents prefer one time over the other, a lottery is conducted. After April 15, a letter is sent confirming: am/pm assignments, DIAL 3 assessment test time, and kindergarten orientation in August.

    DIAL 3 assessment tests take place on April 18th and 26th at the school the child is registered. So I am taking my child to the school she thinks that she will be attending, meeting the kindergarten teacher who she thinks that she will have, and taking a test in the library, which she is already very familiar.

    The vote to close Peebles takes place April 30th. AFTER the am/pm assignments. AFTER the DIAL-3 assessment test. AFTER my child meets her teacher.

    If the vote is to close Peebles and a redistricting occurs, what happens to these placed kindergarteners? Why are we registering for school now and selecting a time at a school our children may not even be attending? Why are we getting an am/pm assignment that may change?

    This is just another example of how little thought and consideration has been done on the part of the school board in regards to their accelerated timeline and makes me wonder if they even have a plan or is the only thing in their sites closing the school?

    My neighborhood has been targeted in the redistricting before. I am assuming that we will be again.

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