Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tinker talk with the plan before Pgh Public Schools

I presented my points to a public hearing held at the Pgh Public Schools today. The plan was mentioned on this blog last week.
Mark Rauterkus statement about PPS Plan: "Statement about Schools -- from Mark Rauterkus --"

I released my comments on the plan at Rev. Johnny Monroe's church. I've got lots of good feedback from these ideas, in public, and online.

BTW, his church, Grace Memorial, does not have Tinker Bell on its steeple.

Good to see pending board member Thomas Sumpter at the board table to listen to all the testimony. He gets sworn into office in January and will need to make a vote the next month.

One decent tinker idea: Move the CAPA Middle School to the closing Roosevelt Middle School. That makes the location more central to the city and closer to the cultural district and the CAPA High.

I talked as I was departing with a guy, Bob S., who was just arriving. He had two identical concerns of mine. First, he wants to see all the calls to the help desk made public and visible. That's what I've been calling the 'Robust job ticketing system.'

Furthermore, he was upset at the email from A+ Schools about how everyone was to walk lockstep with the plan. I mentioned that the A+ Schools Director spoke before I did, by two slots. I was sorry I didn't wear my boots as it was getting rather deep in there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Park Place is assigned to Faison Elementary in Homewood, Milliones Middle School in the Hill District and Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill. Faison and Milliones will be “accelerated learning academies” with longer school days.

Park Place used to be assigned to Regent Square Elementary but it was closed in the summer of 2004. Students from its feeder pattern – including Park Place, Regent Square, and Swisshelm Park – were assigned to the new Faison Elementary on Tioga Street. It appears few, if any, have chosen to cross Penn Avenue and the PAT busway to go to the school. When Regent Square was closed, the assigned middle school was Reizenstein. Under the new plan, Reizenstein will be closed as a middle school.

Last year was the second time Regent Square Elementary was closed. The first time, students were assigned to Colfax Elementary in Squirrel Hill.

Colfax is becoming a school serving kindergarten through grade 8. The new plan calls for an addition to be built onto the school. This school is located about a mile and a half from Park Place, but Park Place students will be bused a greater distance to Milliones, costing the district more in transportation. Children will be spending a long day at Milliones and have to face long bus rides.

In the past, some Park Place parents who didn’t want their children to go to Reizenstein chose to enter the lottery for Sterrett Classical Academy for middle school. Park Place as well as some other East End areas had a “neighborhood preference” to this school. This option is more limited in the new plan because all students from Minadeo Elementary in Squirrel Hill will have a right to go to Sterrett as their assigned school. There likely will be few places left for those who enter by lottery. Minadeo is located nearly three miles from Sterrett, and some of its students live farther than that. Minadeo students – some of whom live several miles from the school – will have more preference than Park Place students who are in walking distance. This also will increase the district’s transportation costs.

All Park Place residents should be concerned about this situation whether or not you have children in school, since property values depend on the perceived quality of the education choices available to the neighborhood.

The full plan is available at www.pps.k12.pa.us. Also includes a page where you can put in your address and find your assigned schools.

To give input, you can email by 5 P.M. Nov. 29 to publichearing@pghboe.net or fax to 412-622-3264. The district is also receiving input via letters to the Division of Communications, Pittsburgh Public Schools, 341 S. Bellefield Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 or e-mailing from the district’s Web site, www.pps.k12.pa.us.