Posts Tagged ‘save na schools’

North suburban school district reorganizations

Tara Fisher was elected president and Kevin Mahler, vice-president. Mrs. Fisher had been acting president since March.

Seven of nine members were sworn into office by District Judge William Wagner, the large number occurring because of two-year terms resulting from resignations. Returning incumbents are Mr. Mahler, Libby Blackburn, Michael Meyer and Richard McClure. Mr. Meyer and Mr. McClure had been appointed to fill vacancies, and Mr. Mahler was originally elected to a two-year term. New members are Christopher Disque, Suzanne Filiaggi and Christopher Finley.

Christopher Jacobs did not seek re-election, and Joseph Greenberg and 20-year veteran Maureen Grosheider were defeated in their re-election bids. Most of the successful candidates had been endorsed by Save NA Schools, a group formed three years ago to fight larger elementary class sizes and the potential closing of Peebles Elementary School.

To read more, click here.

North Allegheny superintendent lauds parents and students

The annual Report of Student Achievement gives the North Allegheny School District “much to celebrate,” but substitute superintendent Robert Scherrer was quick to give credit, not just to district employees, but also to parents and the students themselves.

“We thank you for all your efforts each and every day,” Mr. Scherrer said during the board’s Dec. 2 reorganization meeting. “We focus on the whole child and strive to support each student academically, emotionally and socially, allowing each student to find success in a changing world.”

To read more, click here.

Post-Gazette logo

The Save NA Schools group continued to rack up victories for school board seats.

The group’s endorsed slate of three incumbents and three newcomers swept the Republican nominations for four- and two-year terms. Incumbent Joe Greenberg was defeated on both ballots, and longtime incumbent Maureen Grosheider’s name will appear only on the Democratic ballot in November.

Candidates whose names will appear on both tickets are incumbents Kevin Mahler, Libby Blackburn and Michael Meyer and newcomer Chris Finley for four-year terms, and newcomer Suzanne Filiaggi for a two-year term. Mrs. Blackburn was elected four years ago and Mr. Mahler two years ago. Mr. Meyer was appointed to the board last year.

Newcomer Chris Disque of McCandless won a Republican nomination and longtime incumbent Mrs. Grosheider won a Democratic nomination.

To read more, click here.

 

Pittsburgh Tribune Review logo

Incumbent North Allegheny School Board member Joseph Greenberg did not make it past the May 19 primary, but the other candidates will move on to the general election in November, according to unofficial results from the Allegheny County Elections Division.

Challenger Suzanne Filiaggi received both the Democratic and Republican nominations for a two-year term and has won that seat unless there is a successful write-in campaign. She beat incumbent Maureen Grosheider, who sought only the Republican nomination for that seat.

“Transparency and accountability — that’s what we believe, and we are all humbled by the opportunity to serve as directors,” said Suzanne M. Filiaggi, 46. of Franklin Park. She was part of a slate that also included fellow challengers Christopher Disque and Christopher Finley and incumbents Libby Blackburn, Kevin Mahler and Michael C. Meyer.

To read more, click here.
Two years ago, a bipartisan group of NA residents came together to advocate for change on the North Allegheny School Board.   At that time, most of the school board members had been on the Board for over a decade, including Maureen Grosheider–who has been on the Board for 2 decades.
 
Under Grosheider’s Leadership, NA lacked a long-term strategic plan:
  1. The Board raised taxes for 3 years in a row (2010, 2011, and 2012).
  2. Inaccurate projections led to the recommendation to close an elementary school–the District projected an $8 million deficit, but ended the year with a $5 million surplus and an increase in elementary enrollment.
  3. Elementary classes operated above class size guidelines (11 sections were above the guidelines at the start of the 2012-13 school year).
  4. Classroom technology fell behind comparator districts (including Hampton and North Hills).
  5. The District was not compliant with Board Policy #4125–which requires that the District maintain a Citizen’s Advisory Committee to provide feedback on important District matters.
As a result of these issues, the district-wide movement to Save NA Schools took hold and 3 new members were elected to the NA School Board.  After the 2013 election, board members chose new board leadership and began the process of moving NA forward.
 
Under New Board Leadershipthe following changes have occurred:
 
  1. A new Budget and Finance Committee, comprised of 3 Board Members, was created to help prioritize District expenditures and develop a long-term plan with respect to fiscal management and tax increases.
  2. A new Technology Advisory Committee, comprised of teachers, parents, and taxpayers, was created to provide a variety of stakeholders with the opportunity to develop recommendations around advancing classroom technology. 
  3. A new Elementary Class Size Policy was created to provide guidelines for determining the number of elementary sections at the start of the year.
  4. A new Alternative Revenue Initiative was created for soliciting “payments in lieu of taxes” from large, non-profit organizations that reside in the District and benefit from the NA brand.  
  5. A new Citizen’s Advisory Committee was reinstated to give NA constituents the opportunity to provide feedback on important District matters.
 
As you can see, many positive changes have occurred under new board leadership.  We believe it’s important to keep that momentum going.  
 
Vote FILIAGGI, FINLEY, MAHLER, MEYER, DISQUE, & BLACKBURN on May 19th to Move NA Forward!

The 6 candidates endorsed by Save NA Schools – Filiaggi – Finley – Mahler – Meyer – Disque – Blackburn – have purchased yard signs for their campaign.

If you are interested in a group sign for your yard, please contact us at savenaschools@gmail.com.
Yard sign

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Leaders of the Save NA Schools citizens group said the decision by North Allegheny school board officers not to schedule a vote on closing Peebles Elementary School in McCandless was the right one.

To read more, click here.

SaveNASchools encourages residents to attend the school board meeting this Wednesday, May 15th at 7pm. The meeting will be held in the Central Administrative Office Board Room.

This is the last board meeting before the May 22nd proposed vote to close Peebles. It is also the last board meeting before the May 21st primary election.

Residents interested in registering to speak can do so by contacting School Board Secretary Rose Mary Ryan at rryan@northallegheny.org or 412-369-5437.

Over the last 12 years, the district has adhered to an education model that kept elementary class sizes below the district’s guidelines (with only a few exceptions). This year, the district abandoned its successful education model by hiring fewer teachers and allowing class sizes to increase. As a result, there are currently 13 elementary sections operating above the district’s class size guidelines.

To correct class size, the administration said it would need to add 10-14 elementary sections.  However, the administration only expects to have 14 spare classrooms after closing Peebles and expanding McKnight.   If a building is closed, the district will not have enough classrooms to keep elementary class sizes below the district’s guidelines.   The only way the district has enough capacity to close a building is if it accepts higher class sizes for our current elementary school students than what has been provided to the district’s elementary school students over the last 12 years.

Thus, if a building is closed, the model in place for the past 12 years, which kept elementary class sizes below the district’s guidelines, will no longer be adhered to with respect to our current elementary school students.

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