PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A major announcement was made by the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and you have a chance to weigh in on a newly proposed plan that would reduce and restructure parts of the school system’s footprint.
Pittsburgh Public Schools could be closing several schools within the next two years.READ MORE: Mon Wharf Reopening For Parking On Monday
Parents will have the chance to address their concerns during the public comments section of Tuesday night’s special legislative meeting.
Parent Chelsey Farnan is concerned about her son Glenn, a first grader at Woolslair — a school nestled among the streets of Lawrenceville and Bloomfield.
“I think he will feel really sad. He likes Woolslair,” said Farnan.
She says Woolslair is known as a magnet school: “Why would they close a magnet school?”
Pittsburgh Public Schools announced Monday that Superintendent Anthony Hamlet and his leadership team have shared a plan to close Fulton PreK-5 in Highland Park, Miller PreK-5 in the Hill District and Woolslair PreK-5 in Lawrenceville, as well as Manchester PreK-8, Allegheny 6-8, Arsenal 6-8 and Sterrett 6-8.
The Morrow K-5 building in Brighton Heights and the Manchester, McKelvey, Morrow, Woolslair and Friendship buildings would also close.
The plan also recommends the creation of two new schools — a career middle school at the Oliver building and a birth-2 school at the Northview building.
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- The relocation of the Oliver Citywide Academy
- The reconfiguration of Pittsburgh Colfax from K-8 to PreK-5
- The reconfiguration of Pittsburgh Brookline from PreK-8 to PreK-5
- The reconfiguration of Pittsburgh King and Pittsburgh Morrow from PreK-8 to PreK-5.
- The relocation of Pittsburgh Montessori into the Sterrett building.
“Our first priority remains opening schools for in-person instruction while assuring all our students are getting the educational support they need,” Hamlet said in the release. “Even so, the COVID-19 pandemic has ripped the band aid off of the inequities in every school system, including Pittsburgh Public Schools. To succeed as a district and city – we must break from a legacy of inequity. We cannot and should not go back to the way things were.”
If these changes would happen, a couple of questions come to parents’ minds.
“I was so upset about it. Where’s my son going to go to school? Where will all the kids in the community go to school?” said Farnan.
Some parents also want to know why their child’s school in particular.
The district went on to say it can’t afford to pay for empty seats and there are several factors that come into play like student achievement, enrollment versus building capacity, building conditions and operational costs.
The Woolslair closures would happen in the 2021-22 academic year. The remainder of the closures and openings would be for the 2022-23 school year.
The earliest the school board could vote on the proposed plan is May 26.
The board will be asked to open the public commentary period at a Special Legislative Meeting, beginning at 5:30 PM on Tuesday night.MORE NEWS: Baldwin High School Students Raise Thousands Of Dollars Through Polar Pop Event For Special Olympics Of Pennsylvania
“Should the Board vote to open the public commentary period tomorrow, the District will develop an aggressive schedule with multiple opportunities for input regarding this evening’s recommendations,” the release added.