Posts Tagged ‘McKnight’

What would McKnight Elementary have looked like if Peebles was closed this year?  This slide is from the Administration’s November 28th presentation to the school board:  MCK Scenario #1  

  • McKnight would pick up 57 new students if Peebles was closed.
  • Its operating capacity would go from 88% to 95%.
  • 5th grade would have had to operate 6 sections (instead of 5) and use a spare room (which would have displaced the ESL program).
  • 4th grade would have increased by 2 students per class (current class sizes are 27, 27, 28, 28, 28, but would have been 29, 29, 30, 30, 30).
  • 3rd grade classes would have increased by 3 students per class (current class sizes are 26, 26, 26, 26, 26, but would have all been 29 students).
  • 2nd grade would have had to operate 6 sections (instead of 5) and use a spare room (which would have displaced programs operating in that room).
  • 1st grade would have increased to 25 students in EVERY CLASS (which is the district class size guideline for grades K-2).
  • Kindergarten would pick up 6 new kids and no new sections.
  • With the extra sections added under the new model (grades 2 and 5), 2 spare “classrooms” would remain (Student Assistance Room and Faculty Lounge).
  • If current enrollment goes up, McKnight would have to use its Student Assistance Room and Faculty Lounge as classrooms.

Using Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines, McKnight has an 875 student gross capacity.  As discussed in yesterday’s post, buildings are not designed to run at gross capacity.  If Peebles is closed, McKnight would have an enrollment of 851 students and be just 24 students shy of operating at its gross capacity.

To learn more about the impact of operating at gross capacity, go to the Building Utilization Video on the North Allegheny School District web site.  Let the video load and listen to the consultant’s comments at minute 42.  He states that it’s unrealistic to operate buildings at gross capacity and that the district does not have the ability to close an elementary school unless it abandons Pennsylvania Department of Education guidelines and uses its own guidelines instead.

See page 19 (Attachment #6) of the SaveNASchools Community Report for Pennsylvania Department of Education gross capacity guidelines at each school.  Reference the far left column titled “PDE Capacity per Most Recent PlanCon Submission” to locate the 875 student gross capacity for McKnight.

A December 6th Post-Gazette article included a comment by a parent that said Peebles or Hosack students would be hurt by attending McKnight, which the parent categorized as an underperforming school.

This statement was not made by SaveNASchools.  It was made by a parent who attended the board meeting on November 28th.  SaveNASchools does not agree with the parent’s statement.

SaveNASchools is a group that believes the district is comprised of 7 top-notch elementary schools and advocated in its November 28th Community Report to keep all 7 elementary schools open.  Page 3 of the report specifically advocates for McKnight Elementary.  It notes that McKnight Elementary would become dependent on spare classrooms the first day the new elementary model went into effect and that the district’s ability to deliver excellence in education to these students would be compromised.

McKnight Elementary is a phenomenal school with a reputation for excellence.  SaveNASchools is comprised of many parents from McKnight Elementary and these families represent everything that makes this district great.

Here is a list of useful links for North Allegheny parents and all residents.  This list will be expanded as necessary:

North Allegheny School District links:

Facility Information: