Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pittsburgh Schools Reconfiguration Okayed

The Pittsburgh school district Excel reconfiguration plan has the final approval of the school board. Superintendent Mark Roosevelt says implementation of the reforms will enable the district to transform some of the most underperforming high schools into schools that advance student achievement. Most of the changes will begin with the start of the 2011-12 school year. The Board approved the closing of Peabody High School effective June 2011. Students from the International Studies Obama 6-12 School will relocate to the Peabody building starting with the 2012 school year. Two 6-12 single gender academies will open in the Westinghouse building in Homewood next year. Peabody students may choose to attend either the single gender academies at Westinghouse or Milliones University Prep in the Hill District. Oliver high school will be reconfigured as an early college model program. The Homewood Early Childhood Center will move to the Crescent facility. The reconfiguration vote was 8-0 with Mark Brentley abstaining.

The Excel program was first introduced in 2006 as a five-year roadmap for improving the academic performance of all high school students in the Pittsburgh Public schools. But one of the components is a Teacher Academy. Yesterday's school board vote also approved the academy to be based at Brashear High School and King Pre-K-8. Over the past three years many aspects of the plan have been launched. District officials say the implementation of the next phase of the Excell plan will allow city schools to meet requirements of the U.S. Department of Education's requirements for federal and state allocations.

The board also approved an evaluation of Superintendent Roosevelt's performance and gave him a $15,000 raise to $240,000 annually.

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