Archive for the ‘Community Report 1 & 2’ Category

Community Report #2 is the most recent report published by SaveNASchools.

The report includes an Appendix with information provided by the district under the Right-to-Know law.

The charts below illustrate that:

(1) In 2009, elementary enrollment was 3,500 students and the district offered 158 classes.

(2) In 2012, elementary enrollment was 3,530 students and the district only offered 145 classes.

Because the district offered 13 fewer classes in 2012, empty classrooms and class sizes of 30+ exist across the district.

If a building is closed, the district will be wed to a higher class size model.  Based on the administration’s November 28, 2012 presentation, some buildings would only have one spare available to manage class size (instead of 3 spares).

2009-2010 3rd day enrollment

2012-13 3rd day enrollment

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As presented to North Allegheny School District Board of School Directors on November 28, 2012.

[click here] Community Report 1

Based on current enrollment, closing a building would require the remaining buildings to operate at capacities that limit the district’s ability to manage class size and make the system dependent on spare classrooms.  Under the new model, spare classrooms would be used as regular classrooms and “other spares,” such as faculty lounges and open group instructional spaces, would become potential classrooms.  The rooms identified as “other spares” under the new model are not as conducive to learning as a regular classroom setting and displace programs integral to the elementary curriculum.  This compromises the district’s ability to deliver excellence in education and equity across all schools.

The decision to close a school is contingent on a decline in student enrollment and relies on projections made in the Phase 2 Demographics and Feasibility Study (Phase 2 report) and projections made by the administration.  The administration has a 13-year history of forecasting enrollment several hundred students below actual enrollment.  The enrollment projections in the Phase 2 report are below the forecasts provided by the administration, the data used for population projections does not tie to governmental records, and there is a mathematical error in the demographic study that has a significant impact on conclusions related to future growth.  Thus, both sources the district is relying on with respect to a decline in enrollment raise concern with respect to the accuracy of such projections.  If current enrollment goes up, the district cannot reasonably accommodate additional students and faces spending more money than it saved from closing a building.

This report summarizes our concerns, observations, and evaluations in regards to the district’s ability to reasonably accommodate all elementary students in the remaining buildings without compromising the district’s successful elementary education model and curriculum.

  1. Introduction
  2. Building utilization under a new elementary education model
  3. Reliance on declining enrollment projections
  4. Additional Concerns
  5. Conclusion