Push continues to keep North Allegheny's Peebles school open

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Residents of North Allegheny School District's largest municipality continued to plead with the school board April 17 to keep all elementary schools open and to reduce class sizes.

The board is scheduled to vote in May on a proposal to close Peebles Elementary School in McCandless because of excess capacity in the elementary buildings. If the closing is approved, district administrators have said they are willing to delay the move until 2014-15.

But McCandless parents say excess capacity exists only because class sizes have increased this year after some retiring teachers were not replaced.

"Please stop trying to rationalize this. It does not make sense," said Dana Gibson, whose two children will attend McKnight Elementary next year.

One of the administration's proposals is to finish an unfinished wing at McKnight, already the district's largest elementary, to add five classrooms if needed.

"Building onto McKnight will not solve this problem. It will just add newer problems to an already overcrowded elementary school," Mrs. Gibson said.

Administrators have said that they would need to add 10 to 14 teachers to bring all elementary classes into compliance with district guidelines of 25 students in kindergarten through second-grade classes and 29 in third- through fifth-grade classes.

"I'd rather have 10 more teachers and less wireless services," said parent Kevin Mahler, referring to the district's proposal to upgrade wiring in all schools to allow for wireless technology.

education - neigh_north

Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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