Wilkinsburg School District
“Every Child Every Day Matters”
District Reconfiguration Plan
Movement of Second Grade to Turner Intermediate School and Change in Start and End Times Frequently Asked Questions
The conversation about moving second grade to Turner and in changing the start times for both Kelly Primary School and Turner Intermediate School began this spring during our ongoing conversations about the district reconfiguration and the construction of Turner Intermediate School. During this time, we discussed the number of classroom sections needed for each grade next year and the capacity of each school to house the student population.
Why was the move of second grade to Turner a secret?
There was no secret. On Tuesday, April 23 2019, the Board of Directors at its regular legislative meeting accepted my recommendation and voted and approved the movement of second grade to Turner Intermediate and the change in start and end times for both schools, effective the 2019-20120 school year. The goal in creating these new grade-level schools and changing the start and end times was to create better environments academically, socially, and emotionally for students to learn and grow.
Will the names of the schools change?
No- the names of the schools will remain Kelly Primary School and Turner Intermediate School. The only change is that Kelly Primary School will consist of grades Pre K-1 and Turner Intermediate School will now consist of grades 2-6.
What is the rationale to move second grade to Turner Intermediate School?
The movement of second grade to Turner is the next logical step to support our district reconfiguration and continued growth in student enrollment in grades kindergarten and grade one. In past years, the district has experienced a significant drop in enrollment of students from grade 2 to 3. Our goal in moving grade two to Turner is to sustain enrollment from grade 2 to grade 3.
By moving second grade to Turner, both schools, will have the classroom space required to offer additional programming to our students. In addition, reconfiguring our schools allows us to improve our school district in many other ways. For example, we will be able to better manage future student enrollment, preserve our successful small-class-size initiative, balance the size of schools, provide wrap-around care service for students, give 4-6 graders the opportunity to take chorus and band and expand our instrumental music program, counseling services for students and implement a Spanish Immersion Program. Additionally, the move maximizes student exposure to the new Turner building.
What will class sizes be?
The relationship between class size and student achievement has long been the subject of debate. Research indicates that students certainly benefit, but that small classes are not the “magic bullet” and need to be augmented by quality teaching. Research suggests that class sizes between 15 and 20 students to have positive effects on learning. Wilkinsburg Collective Bargaining Agreement sets guidelines for K-3 at 25 and 4-6 classrooms up to 30 students. Current class sizes range from 13-16 students.
Will students continue to be bused to school?
Yes- Busing plans will allow for siblings to be transported together with drop off at both schools in sequence.
What will the Primary and Intermediate School day hours?
Planning for the needs of students and families is a primary concern. Current times, 8:00-2:40, are not developmentally appropriate for elementary-age students. Start and end times are inconsistent with area districts. The change in start and end times to 8:40-3:20 will decrease the number of students who are tardy, especially during the winter months, and increase the breakfast opportunity for students. Tardiness impacts the social aspect of breakfast and having breakfast increases student productivity in class.
How will the start times affect the busing to and from Westinghouse?
The change in start times and end times will not affect the busing to and from Westinghouse. Busing plans will allow for siblings to be transported together with pick up and drop off at both schools in sequence. Students will be served breakfast upon arrival. Dismissal will function in reverse with the Intermediate students picked up first, then Primary.
What behavior will be expected of my child on the bus?
Wilkinsburg School District is a Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) district. Next year, we will be in our fourth year of full implementation. It is well known that schools are successful when they help children grow academically, socially, and emotionally. For this to happen, it is imperative that we have a safe environment that is supportive and conducive to growth. PBIS is an effective process that provides on-going support to students in order for schools to (1) increase academic achievement by maximizing time on task, (2) reduce the number of office referrals, (3) increase family and community engagement and (4) develop a positive school culture.
The district has adopted three district-wide discipline expectations that address the entire school, the classroom, and areas outside of the classroom such as the hallways, restrooms, cafeteria, busses and offices. They are Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Safe. School buses are considered an extension of the classroom and students are expected to conduct themselves accordingly. Students who are transported on district contracted school buses shall comply with the Student Code of Conduct. Bus transportation is a privilege not a right.
Behavior that is not permitted includes but is not limited to the following: being disobedient or disrespectful to the driver, standing or moving while the bus is in motion, sticking head or hands out of windows, throwing objects out of the windows, using tobacco of any type, scuffing or fighting, using obscene and/or any equipment on the bus, possessing or being under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, any controlled substance, dangerous drug or look-alike drug.
When will students receive bus information?
Students will receive their information by August 17th whether they are a student walker, a bus student, bus stop, bus arrival and departure time. We are working to get this information to parents even earlier.
Will all students regardless of their proximity to the schools be bused?
No, only students who live further than 1 mile from the school will receive busing. All others will be considered walkers.
A downloadable/printable version of this FAQ is available here.