North Allegheny Board votes 7-2 for Redistricting

Posted: February 20, 2014 in Community Information, Press Coverage
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Since September of 2012, Save NA Schools has advocated redistricting in order to create more equity across all elementary schools and better utilization of “excess capacity” in some buildings.  Balancing enrollment is critical to reducing class size- which has been a central focus of this group.

On March 15, 2013, Save NA Schools stated that balancing enrollment would allow the district to

  1. keep class size within the district’s guidelines
  2. adequately administer elementary programs (music, ESAP, GOAL)
  3. reasonably accommodate future growth

Many members of the North Allegheny community, including parents from HES, IES, MCK, MES and PES,  spoke in support of the redistricting proposal for those reasons.  On Wednesday, February 19, the North Allegheny School Board voted 7-2 to balance enrollment across all of the district’s buildings– making the 16-month community campaign to “save class size” a success.

The redistricting plan incorporated the top two requests from the community:  1.) move the fewest number of students, and 2.) grandfather current 4th and 7th grade students.

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The North Allegheny School Board Wednesday approved redistricting students for the next school year. The plan moves fewer than 200 elementary students and allows for current fourth- and seventh-graders to stay in their current schools. It was introduced by the administration last month to take into account comments from residents about three previous plans

To read more, click here.

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Comments
  1. Bill Lundgren says:

    We need better plans for the future! This is only a temporary fix which may be undone in the near future (e.g. redistricting in another few years). Why put people through this without looking at all the options?

  2. Lynn Tonti says:

    From my perspective, we (NA community) are looking at the fork in the road again. Do we want to maintain our “neighborhood” small school elementaries or do we want to opt for a mega school model for our elementary schools? Perhaps we close Peebles, Bradford Woods & Ingomar Elementary schools and build-out the other 4 schools? Except for McKnight, the other 3 are all sitting on enough district-owned land to do it. McKnight has the unfinished space talked about previously. This. of course, is an extremely expensive idea. It is also not what NA parents have indicated that we want. Most of us like our neighborhood schools big & small.

    So, what do we do when our district neighborhoods experience fluctuations? Do we accept that from time to time some schools will be under-utilized, while others are over-utilized? The over-utilization of Franklin has been known for a very long time. It is the reason we redistricted last time. Over-utilization results in larger class sizes and loss of special area classrooms which is not beneficial to students. Franklin parents, students & staff experienced this prior to the last redistricting and are fast-approaching it again.

    I don’t see how we can have it both ways…1.) small school model + 2.) no redistricting…unless we are willing to accept an over-crowded school from time to time? Is that the best solution? I’m simply asking…

    Do we spend the money to put mobile classrooms at a crowded school in place of redistricting? How do we convince the larger community (esp. those without children in NA) to spend more money?

    Personally, I feel every NA child should attend the elementary school closest to their home…but right now I don’t see how that is possible.

    I hope our parent community will come back together quickly. This is not an issue that should be dividing us but rather re-focusing us on the best solution. No solution will please everyone and we have to accept that too.

  3. Jill baran says:

    Good job to the administration and board on finding a solution that affects the least amount of children! Ultimately this will be good for all of us…. Well done!

  4. Joe Cramblit says:

    What is your personal threshold of an overcrowded classroom for grade school kids? What number gets you thinking your child’s EDUCATION may be suffering? 30…35….45? Save NA schools has been a great grass roots organization. If not for the tireless efforts of all the people involved with it I can assure you Peebles would be closed today. How do think this would all look with 300 more kids pushed into the remaining six schools?

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