Gateway school superintendent Zetty sees value in BCMC program

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Gateway School Board members twice over the past two years threatened to eliminate Boyce Campus Middle College as an alternative for Gateway High School students.

On Monday, Superintendent Nina Zetty announced that while she agrees the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores at the middle college are falling short of the state standard, she is not yet willing to give up on the program.

Superintendents of Gateway, Plum and Penn Hills are discussing the implementation of new curriculum at the middle college in 2015, with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Zetty said.

She said they're hoping to forge an agreement in which middle college students can take classes at Forbes Road Career and Technology Center in Monroeville. She said they also are placing more of an emphasis on students enrolling in college-level courses at the Community College of Allegheny County's Boyce Campus, where the program is located.

“Not enough of our (middle college) students are taking community-college courses while in the program,” Zetty said.

The middle college is projected to cost Gateway about $70,000 for the next school year to rent the building, in addition to about $310,000 for the salaries and benefits of three Gateway teachers. Zetty said a plan to incorporate college-level courses and Forbes Road training will help obtain grant funding.

“When you bring those three entities together, there are foundations that will fund that,” Zetty said.

Plum School Board members in November criticized a partnership with Penn Hills and Gateway, when the plan was to convert the middle college into a charter school.

“Our school district is unique in the east,” Plum school director Sal Colella said at an education committee meeting in that district in November. “We provide an excellent education, and we have invaluable resources in our teachers. Maybe there are (benefits) for the other school districts.”

Plum School Board Vice President Tom McGough said Tuesday that he was unaware of the new plan but that it could be a topic of discussion at the Plum School Board meeting Tuesday night.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or

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