Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Schenley High School meeting - schedule

Lots coming up! Dates first, then see below for more information. Please do whatever you can fit in --

City Council:

1) Regular Meeting of Council Schedule

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 - 10:00 A.M. (Today!)

If members of the public wish to address City Council on any subject matter relating to City business, please attend any Regular or Standing Committees Meeting of Council to participate under the “Public Comment” portion of the meeting.

2) Date and Time TBA -- soon

See below -- we have petitioned for a public hearing before City Council. Hope to have it scheduled in the next two weeks. We will try to come up with an overall plan and then divide among the speakers so that the presentation hits all the high points without lots of repetition.

Hill House Meeting:

Thursday, June 5th - 6:00 P.M.
1835 Centre Avenue
(see description below)


Friday, June 6th - 3:00-4:00 P.M.
Mark Brentley is hosting an open forum on Schenley High School & High School Reform on the Pittsburgh Cable Access Channel at 1300 Western Avenue on North Side. It is supposed to be broadcast live. There will be four speakers -- each will make short statements and then it will be open to questions from the audience.

Like to get as many people as we can in the audience -- please try to make it if you can!

School Board Public Hearing:

Monday, June 16 - 7:00 P.M.
(see below)


B-PEP, the Black Political Empowerment Project, scheduled the meeting (6/5, 6 pm) at the Hill House Center to get further input, reaction and ideas from all affected communities and parents regarding Schenley and HS reform. Come hear and be heard! (I (Jen) will be there -- please introduce yourself, umm, I'll have on either my Obama button or shirt, how's that for identification? I've had lots of fun meeting the people on this list!)


The public hearing regarding the recommendation of the Superintendent on the possible closure of Schenley High School takes place on Monday, June 16 at 7:00pm. Registration begins on Monday, June 9th (I'll send all the info again then).

Please consider testifying. New and different voices are always needed, especially those with different viewpoints and expertise. Of course, if you have already testified, please do so again. Even if you are not sure that you can testify, please register, because, although you can be skipped at the hearing if you are not there, you cannot choose to testify if you have not registered.

We are asking the board to table the vote, unless we are sure that we would have a majority voting against the recommendation. A motion to table the vote means that the board does not have to vote against the Superintendent, which might make it easier for some board members. If you have any influence with any of the board members, now is the time to use it!

Key points:
  • The fact that there is no plan for where the IB students are to be permanently housed at this point (we have convinced the district to abandon Reizenstein by revealing the real costs of renovating that building) is a strong argument for postponing the vote.
  • A demand for real numbers for the districts projects- planned or unplanned- must be made, since the district's expenditures may end up being higher than the cost to renovate Schenley, without the benefit of the quality that this building offers.
  • The lack of a comprehensive plan for all the high schools in the district and specifically the failing schools in the district make it impossible for the board to compare and evaluate costs, locations and buildings to plan for the future and preserve the best of the district.
  • The case that the cost of losing Schenley would be so much greater to the city and the community than the number that has been presented to the public is also a crucial one.
(Thanks to Jill Weiss for most of the above!)

It was suggested that we petition city council for a public hearing, which has been done. The date and time is not known yet. Please consider testifying or attending in support of saving the Schenley building and about our difficulty in having any real input into any aspect of this reform (see above points).


Write letters to the editor, and contact board members, city council members, legislators, foundation board members, and anyone else of influence.

Boy, is it ever hard to finish one of these while trying to watch that teeny tiny little puck at the same time! (Definitely a bandwagon fan, not skilled at watching games.)

Jen Lakin

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