McKeesport Area School District officials to reveal Cornell school's new name
McKeesport Area School District officials hope by next week to have chosen a name for the new primary/intermediate school that is taking shape on the former Cornell site.
During Wednesday's open agenda meeting, the new school was a highlight in plans for the realignment of grade levels and redistribution of populations in time for the 2013-14 academic year.
“You will have the entire restructuring opening up next school year,” Superintendent Timothy Gabauer said. “There will be some physical movement happening at certain points, including the middle of the school year ... It's been a long time coming. For our children to get into these buildings and to get into this scenario we've been awaiting for for so long is very exciting for all of us.”
By August, White Oak's Francis McClure Primary/Intermediate School will be fully functioning in its capacity that will continue potentially for decades. Its primary school will cover kindergarten through second grade, and its intermediate school will cover third through fifth grades.
This building will include students from McKeesport's Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Twelfth wards, and White Oak and South Versailles Township.
“There are some traditional boundary lines that have been in existence for many years, so a lot of that was taken into consideration to determine where the students in McKeesport Area School District will go,” Gabauer said. “There's always been some discussion or questions about how sometimes you have a ward which is somewhere within eyesight of a building and they might not have students who go there. That is part of the equity plan to try to provide ample resources to buildings.”
Without equity, Gabauer explained, one building might receive federal and state funding that another building would not, and resources should be distributed proportionately throughout a district.
With that breakdown in mind, the new and currently unnamed school will be divided similarly.
The new building — with the temporary Centennial and George Washington placements from August to December — will include students from McKeesport's Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh wards, Dravosburg and Versailles.
“Students from Versailles had traditionally gone through Centennial but then moved up to Francis McClure,” Gabauer said. “They will remain in the McKeesport building.”
Students in kindergarten through second grade will begin the school year in the Centennial Elementary building, and those in third through fifth grade will begin the year at George Washington.
When students return from winter break in January, they will keep the same teachers and classmates as they move to a completed primary/intermediate building along Cornell Street.
That building hopefully will be given a name at next week's voting meeting, district officials said. The district plans to choose one from suggestions it solicited from the public.
Additional hearings for the closure of White Oak, Centennial and George Washington elementary schools are planned, pending legal advertisement, for Wednesday at 7 p.m.
At the intermediate level, the district's Magnet programs will offer an Academy in Math and Science at the new school and an Academy of World Language at Francis McClure.
“We've operated the Academy in Math and Science, and we are expanding that,” Gabauer said. “We are going to use that for choice within the district as time moves on. It was part of our planning years ago when three buildings were going to be built that there was going to be a World Languages Academy, a Math and Science Academy and a Performing Arts Academy.”
With the reduction to two locations for primary- and intermediate-level students, performing arts has been eliminated from a full academy focus.
At the middle school level, Founders Hall will include all McKeesport Area students in sixth through eighth grades.
During the 2013-14 school year, however, sixth-graders will be housed in the White Oak Elementary building as an annex until construction of the Sixth Grade Academy is complete. Seventh- and eighth-graders will remain at Founders during construction.
While not addressed in the February agenda, district officials plan to cover starting and ending times for the 2013-14 year during March sessions.
“With the entire restructuring that we have going on, there's quite a bit of discussion to figure out the best way to ... maximize the instructional day,” Gabauer said. “There is a proposal that has the older students starting earlier and the younger students starting a little bit later.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Mon Valley called ‘ground zero’ for blight
- Steel Valley area youth attend water camp
- Driver escapes serious injury in McKeesport heavy-equipment accident
- UPMC McKeesport president reiterates hospital will remain open
- Elizabeth prepares for annual Riverfest
- ‘Last of the downtown mansions’ demolished in McKeesport
- W.D. Mansfield Memorial Bridge rehab project remains on schedule
- While waiting for land bank, Clairton moves forward on property remediation
- Oily sheen on Monongahela River remains under investigation
- Farmstand returns to Clairton
- North Versailles residents upset over feral cats, damaged property