What you need to know about start of school year in the Alle-Kiski Valley | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

What you need to know about start of school year in the Alle-Kiski Valley

Emily Balser
One of 24 new classrooms with window views at the new Kerr Elementary School in the Fox Chapel Area School District.
Palumbo Construction does the finishing landscaping including accenting the main entrance island with Chesapeake Shorestone for the opening day at Kerr Elementary School in the Fox Chapel Area School District.

While several school districts in the Alle-Kiski Valley have already started classes, this marks the first full week of school for many of the districts. Here’s what you need to know about the year ahead.

Allegheny Valley

First day: Monday for first-12th grade; Tuesday for kindergarten

Last day: Friday, June 5

Projected enrollment: 955

What’s new: The district will begin its pre-K program with two half-day sessions. A new emotional support program will begin in both schools, helping students in need of social, emotional or behavioral supports.


First day: Already in session

Last day: Friday, June 5

Projected enrollment: 1,179

What’s new: The middle school and high school have implemented a new seven-period schedule, which includes a group time for enrichment, meetings and study. It allows for more flexibility and continued development of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and arts program.


First day: Tuesday, Sept. 3

Last day: Thursday, June 11

Projected enrollment: 1,806

What’s new: Burrell will begin its first full year of Social Emotional Learning with a curriculum that aims for a cultural shift in the awareness and management of emotions for students in pre-K through the 12th grade. The curriculum features the development of skills and attitudes and use of tools for students to manage their emotions, to be confident and resilient in the face of adversity, to make positive and pro-social choices and to have healthy relationships with deep, meaningful connections.

Deer Lakes

First day: Thursday

Last day: Thursday, June 4

Projected enrollment: 1,850

What’s new: The library at East Union Intermediate Center has been transformed into a modern learning space that features a television monitor, a makerspace and a complete redesign of the library. Similarly, a new CoLABoratory has opened at Curtisville Primary Center. It’s a technology focused space where students use the design process to solve problems and demonstrate their understanding of assignments.

Fox Chapel Area

First day: Already in session

Last day: Friday, June 5

Projected enrollment: 3,985

What’s new: Kerr Elementary students will start the year in a new $21 million building. District officials touted innovative learning spaces in the new building that will encourage collaboration and creativity.

Freeport Area

First day: Already in session

Last day: Wednesday, June 3

Projected enrollment: 1,910

What’s new: A new a pre-apprenticeship program at Oberg Industries is starting this school year. The Buffalo Township-based tool-and-die maker is known for manufacturing precision components for a range of industries. The program is similar to a program the school district already has with Penn United of Jefferson Township.


First day: Thursday

Last day: Friday, June 5

Project enrollment: 2,550

What’s new: The district will improve its system for kindergarten through eighth grade students who need remediation or enrichment in English, language arts and math; the same system will be used to support students with emotional or behavioral difficulties. The district has a new assistant superintendent, Cathleen Cubelic.

Kiski Area

First day: Already in session

Last day: Thursday, June 4

Projected enrollment: 3,638

What’s new: The district will expand its force of in-school police officers by adding a second one, Ken Hollis of the Washington Township Police Department. He will complement the work of existing Officer Charity Butz of the Allegheny Township Police Department. The additional support will promote school safety and build positive relationships with students.

Leechburg Area

First day: Wednesday

Last day: Thursday, June 4

Projected enrollment: 850

What’s new: A newly written curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade. There’s also the new Raptor system, where visitors must scan their driver’s license to enter the buildings.

New Kensington-Arnold

First Day: Wednesday

Last Day: Friday, June 5

Enrollment: 2,000

What’s new: The district is hiring new teachers to fill vacancies created by retirements in the art, music, elementary, special education and nursing departments. Capital improvements made throughout the four classroom buildings include new flooring in several areas, painting hallways and common areas, and new LED lighting resulting in brighter classrooms and energy cost savings. The district will receive new student transportation vans.


First day: Already in session

Last day: Friday, May 29

Enrollment: 3,598

What’s new: The district revamped its website and rolled out a digital backpack complete with 2019-20 school year welcome letters and related information from administrators of each school.


First day: Tuesday

Last day: Tuesday, June 9

Projected enrollment: 990

What’s new: There were several upgrades done at the 10th Street and Verner elementary school buildings, including installing new carpet, updating the fire and public announcement systems, painting classrooms and replacing network wiring, among other upgrades. Central administration has returned to its original office on 10th Street in Oakmont.

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