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Brentwood schools reject Duquesne students

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Brentwood Borough School District officials have joined their neighbors in declining a request to enroll elementary students from the Duquesne City School District.

Board members in a unanimous vote Monday approved the ratification of a letter sent by Superintendent Ronald Dufalla alerting Duquesne school officials that Brentwood did not have the capacity to accept additional students.

The main reason for the denial was how additional students would negatively affect class sizes in Brentwood and the “lack of physical space” for more students, Dufalla said.

“We couldn't accommodate them, even if we wanted to, because of the physical space in our buildings,” Dufalla said.

The state Department of Education recommended putting the financially distressed Duquesne district into receivership and closing it.

Officials of nearly all neighboring districts, however, declined to take the students. Most cited reasons similar to those Brentwood officials voiced.

Band camp

The “financial burden” that traveling to a local university for six days of band camp each fall puts on Brentwood families could bring the event back to its home field next year, district officials said.

“It's becoming more and more of a financial challenge,” Dufalla said.

School board members on Monday in a unanimous vote approved a request from band director Steven Leopold for the high school marching band to attend band camp at the University of Pittsburgh's Greensburg campus from Aug. 4 to 9.

Room and board is $225 for the week. Yet, students likely will pay between $175 and $200, Dufalla said. The rest will be offset by the Brentwood Band Parents Association.

District officials work to make accommodations for those who cannot afford the trip, Dufalla said.

Parent Celeste Shoup approached board members again this year asking for the camp to remain at home. Dufalla said the decision comes from the band director. This year, there were worries about whether there would be a place to practice in Brentwood Park if the camp were held at home, Dufalla said.

Phases one and two of the $8 million Brentwood Park refurbishment that is under way are set to begin in May, with completion in August, weather permitting.

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

School days

Students will be headed back to the classroom on Aug. 26 to start the 2013-14 school year in the Brentwood Borough School District.

Board members in a unanimous vote on Monday approved the calendar for next school year.

The calendar includes 184 student day and 192 teacher days.

Teachers will head back to the classroom on Aug. 21.

Police pact

School board members in a unanimous vote on Monday agreed to a two-year memorandum of understanding with the Brentwood Borough Police Department that runs from March 1 to Feb. 28, 2015.

The agreement is required by the state, Dufalla said, and is similar to ones in years past.

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