Share This Page

West Jefferson Hills district schools all within capacity

| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

West Jefferson Hills School District officials should evaluate building capacity needs and look at redistricting options every five years, the district architect recommended.

All five district schools currently are operating within capacity, district architect Ryan Pierce said. A redistricting that brought nearly 60 students from Gill Hall to McClellan Elementary School this year balanced enrollment for now, Pierce said.

“It's been asked in many of the forums that we've participated in, ‘What's the plan going forward?' They're still building houses in this community. What happens if there's a lot of growth? How would we address it?” Pierce said.

District officials are staying mindful of the continued growth and additional housing being constructed in the Jefferson Hills area, Pierce said. With the current enrollment of 1,229 total students, the elementary schools could handle an additional 118 students split between them, Pierce said. Pleasant Hills Middle School, with an enrollment of 668, could handle an additional 88 students in the building, while Thomas Jefferson High School, with 901 students, could hold 107 more students.

If there was a 10 percent growth in the district at the elementary level, then additional space would be needed, Pierce said. However, this would exceed current growth at nearly all Allegheny County school district, he said.

This is a “worst-case scenario,” Pierce said.

Options to address potential growth include additions at Gill Hall and Jefferson elementary schools and a redistricting of the feeder patterns; a large addition at Jefferson Elementary and redistricting of all elementary students; realigning grade structures to move fifth-graders to the middle school; or an overall realignment of grading in the district where the elementary schools would hold kindergarten through fourth grade, the middle school would have students from fifth to seventh grade and the high school would be from eighth to 12th grades.

There are pros and cons to each option, Pierce said. Yet, any project is likely years away, he said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@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.