Share This Page

Kiski Area puts stop to transfer requests

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

The Kiski Area School District will not entertain new requests to send children to an elementary school other than the one to which they are assigned next school year, Superintendent John Meighan said.

That may be an issue for parents whose children now attend Bell-Avon Elementary and thought they would be going to Mamont Elementary after Bell-Avon closes at the end of the current school year. Some students will instead be attending Vandergrift Elementary.

The school board held a state-mandated hearing on closing Bell-Avon on Tuesday night.

Five residents attended.

A presentation covered the district's reasons for closing Bell-Avon, including declining enrollment, the condition of the building, financial concerns and improving programs.

A hearing on closing Washington Elementary was held Thursday.

Both schools would be closed at the end of this school year as part of the district's $30 million elementary schools project.

For the 2013-14 school year, all of the district's fifth-and sixth-grade students will attend the new upper elementary school, now being built at the former North Washington Elementary School.

Most of Bell-Avon's kindergarten through fourth-grade students will be sent to Mamont, which is being renamed Kiski Area South Primary School. An addition at Mamont is almost complete.

Chris Hartman, president of the Bell-Avon parent-teacher group, said many parents are excited about the move to Mamont, and students are being prepared for the change.

However, students living along Route 819 north from its intersection with Route 981 will be sent to Vandergrift Elementary, which is being renamed Kiski Area East Primary School.

Hartman said there are parents who are disappointed with that.

Meighan said the reason for the split is to balance class sizes and shorten travel times for those living closer to Vandergrift than Mamont.

In response to a question from Hartman, Meighan said administrators will not allow parents to take children who will be assigned to Vandergrift to Mamont instead, at least for the first school year.

The district has a practice of allowing children to attend a different elementary school provided class size allows and parents transport their children.

Meighan said administrators want the populations at the schools to even out after the change.

Meighan said administrators are considering allowing Bell-Avon students now attending Mamont who would be assigned to Vandergrift to remain at Mamont.

He also said the district would do its best not to split up families.

Comments on closing Bell-Avon will be accepted by the district until Feb. 25.

The school board cannot vote on closing Bell-Avon or Washington schools for at least 90 days after the hearings.

The board will hold special meetings to vote on closing each school.

Meighan said those meetings are tentatively scheduled for April 29 for Washington, and April 30 for Bell-Avon.

The district has not decided what it will do with the buildings after they are closed.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.