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Fox Chapel

Opposition growing over possible Dorseyville Middle School schedule changes

Tawnya Panizzi
| Monday, March 5, 2018, 4:06 p.m.
Dorseyville Middle School curriculum will be discussed at a Fox Chapel Area School Board agenda meeting on March 5.
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Dorseyville Middle School curriculum will be discussed at a Fox Chapel Area School Board agenda meeting on March 5.

Fox Chapel Area school board is expected to discuss schedule changes for Dorseyville Middle School during committee and agenda meetings that begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, all while an online petition to delay the changes has reached 642 signatures.

Aspinwall parent Beth Ruff said in a letter to The Herald that proposed curriculum changes “may deny our children of a well-rounded education and are founded on a questionable assertion that our children are struggling in math and science.”

New schedules would reduce the opportunities for students to study music, art, foreign languages, family and consumer sciences and industrial arts, Ruff said.

“These changes reflect an emphasis on the subjects assessed by standardized testing, at the expense of a well-rounded curriculum,” Ruff said.

The meetings tonight are open to the public and will be at Fairview Elementary School, 738 Dorseyville Road.

A letter sent to district parents addressed confusion that might be spreading through social media, said Bonnie Berzonski, district coordinator of communications.

She noted several issues in an attempt to clear any misinterpretation, including:

• DMS students will still have a home base period where they connect with teachers.

• The schedule calls for 60 minutes of math with an added 20 minutes of intervention and enrichment in math, replacing the current system where the supplemental instruction takes place in home base.

• Social studies will continue to be a core course.

• Sixth-grade students will continue to have exposure to music, gym, art, languages, tech ed and computers.

• Seventh- and eighth-grade students will have the choice of two scheduling options called the Exposure and the Individualized pathways.

The district has posted a video that details proposed changes. View it at bit.ly/2H6afge.

The petition, at bit.ly/2FscwVW, asks the board for data to support curriculum deficiencies and solutions that involve all district stakeholders.

The petition calls for the board to delay implementing schedule changes until the 2019-20 school year.

The board meets next at 7 p.m. March 12 at the high school.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or @tawnyatrib.

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