Posts Tagged ‘new housing’

A realtor with Howard Hanna recently submitted information to the school board that outlines 850+ proposed new homes located in the North Allegheny School District.

One of those developments is Ridge Forest, which is located off Nicholson Road, in Franklin Park.

ridgeforestcollage

From the Ryan Homes website:

“Ridge Forest is located in desirable Franklin Park, a growing community located northwest of Pittsburgh in the highly sought after North Allegheny School District. With quick access to I-79, I-279 and more, Franklin Park is within easy reach of the region’s retail centers, world-class universities, hospitals, Downtown Pittsburgh and cultural and recreational destinations like Blueberry Hill Park.”

To read more, click here.

Ridge Forest was also discussed at the the August 17, 2011 school board meeting.  Board President Maureen Grosheider, who continues to push forward the agenda for closing a building, noted that these homes will be sold to families with kids.

FACTS:
ISSUE:

If the administration needs to add 10-14 sections to keep elementary class sizes below the district’s guidelines, and only 14 spare classrooms are available after the district expands McKnight and closes Peebles, the remaining buildings would be left with no spare classrooms if class size is held within the district’s guidelines.

CONCLUSION:

The administration should withdraw its recommendation to close Peebles Elementary based on the following facts:

  • Elementary enrollment has increased over the last several years.
  • The district does not have enough classrooms to keep elementary class sizes below the district’s guidelines if a building is closed.
  • New housing developments are projected to add 850+ homes to the district.

If the board votes to close a building, the district will be wed to higher class sizes both now and in the future.

 

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14 spares

The administration has recommended adding 5 classrooms (four regular and one special education classroom) to McKnight Elementary to address the issue of class size. However, the “new recommendation” does not provide enough spare classrooms to keep class sizes below the district’s guidelines.

Here’s why…

  • If Peebles is closed and 5 classrooms (four regular and one special education classroom) are added to McKnight, only 14 spare classrooms would remain across the district. This is taken from the administration’s presentation on March 20th which shows three spare classrooms at both McKnight and Ingomar and two spare classrooms at each of the four remaining buildings.
  • To keep class sizes below district guidelines, the administration said it would need to add 10-14 elementary sections next year.  This assumes a class size cap of 29 students for intermediate grades and 24 students for primary grades.  If third grade is treated as an intermediate grade, the district would need to add 10 elementary sections.  If third grade is treated as a primary grade (like it is at Pine Richland), the district would need to add 14 elementary sections.
  • Thus, the district would have to utilize all 14 of the spare classrooms available under the new recommendation in order to restore class size to 2009 levels (when the district offered 158 classes to 3,500 students).  This means no spare classrooms would remain if a building is closed.

As previously noted, elementary enrollment has increased over the last several years. The district has allowed class size to go above district guidelines, thereby creating “empty classrooms,” by only offering 145 sections to our 3,560 elementary students.

If a building is closed, the district will be wed to higher class sizes both now and in the future. Given there are several new housing developments across the district, which are projected to add hundreds of elementary students to the system, the “new recommendation” has the same class size issues as the original recommendation.

A realtor with Howard Hanna recently submitted information to the school board that outlines 850+ proposed new homes located in the North Allegheny School District.  The details of these new housing developments are summarized below:

  1. Ridge Forest by Ryan, located off Nicholson Road
    –112 townhomes, 88 single family homes
    –community is actively selling with 21 presold homes
  2. Venango Trails, located in northern Marshall Township
    –120 townhomes, 350 single family homes
    –community is actively selling with 35 presold homes
  3. Village at Marshall Ridge by Ryan, located off Warrendale Bayne Road/I-79
    –104 townhomes
    –community is actively selling with 5 presold homes
  4. Waterford Place by Heartland, located off Ringeisen Road
    –14 single family homes
    –community is actively selling
  5. Chapel Hill Estates, located off Wexford Run Road
    –20 single family homes
    –community is actively selling
  6. Park Ridge Manor by Madia Homes, Summer Drive-Allison Park
    –20 single family homes
    –community is actively selling with 6 presold homes
  7. 33 acres of property sold behind Franklin Elementary
    –developer unknown
    –30 single family home sites have been proposed

As noted in last week’s post, elementary enrollment has increased since the start of the school year. Peebles and McKnight, which are not situated next to new housing developments, have seen the largest increases. Thus, the new developments listed above would be in addition to the growth the district is currently experiencing.

Based on the February demographics meetings at each elementary school, the administration said it only expects to have 10 spare classrooms if students from Peebles are redistricted into the 6 remaining schools. This means some schools would only have 1 spare room available to manage class size.

If Peebles is closed, the district would continue to experience 30+ students per classroom or displacement of programs integral to the elementary curriculum, such as music, ESAP, and GOAL.