Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Allegheny Sees Highest Enrollment since 1998, Eyes Improvement Projects

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

North Allegheny Sees Highest Enrollment since 1998, Eyes Improvement Projects

Article excerpt

The North Allegheny School Districtis seeing its highest enrollment since 1998,according to the annual enrollment report presented to the school board Nov. 18.

In the annual facilities and capital improvement plan, also presented to the board Nov. 18, administrators said the district plans $9.3 million in renovation and improvement projects for the next school year, most of which will be funded by a previous bond issue or through the capital funding plan.

Elementary enrollment is up by 146 students from the current year, while middle school enrollment is up by 42 students. High school enrollment is down by 43 students.

"We have seen a spike in enrollment this particular year," said Roger Botti, director of transportation and operations. "You can see we have a positive trend line on elementary enrollment."

Mr. Botti said the district is seeing new elementary students coming from apartment and townhouse developments as well as single-family homes. Previously, he said, the district did not receive many children from townhouse developments.

"We have to carefully monitor Bradford Woods and Marshall Elementary," he said, since most of the new construction is in the areas served by those schools.

Superintendent Robert Scherrer said the district would like to hire Shelby Stewman, a demographer at Carnegie Mellon University, to do a demographic study of the district. Mr. Stewman did a similar study for the North Hills School District last year.

Board president Tara Fisher said the study should determine whether Bradford Woods and Marshall will be able to handle all of the potential new students or whether the district will need to either redistrict students again or add onto a school.

"We need to look at this much sooner than later," said board member Libby Blackburn, who said she felt "rushed" when considering the most recent redistricting. "Redistricting gets more people upset than anything else that we do, even raising taxes."

Parent Katie Rhoten told the board that she would like to see enrollment broken down to specific elementary buildings. "As we approach a possible redistricting, we can see the trend."

Bradford Woods and Marshall elementary schools, as well as Marshall Middle School, were renovated last year and this year, but the renovations were to modernize the schools, not address enrollment trends. …

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