Dear Wilkinsburg Families:
We are nearing the end of the 2018-2019 School Year, and what a great year it has been! Please visit our website in June for my wrap-up assessment of the current school year, in which I will highlight the many accomplishments and achievements the Wilkinsburg School District has made this academic year.
Looking ahead, we are very excited about the forthcoming completion of the yearlong renovations at Turner Intermediate School. As you already are aware, the renovations included upgrading the HVAC and plumbing systems, replacing exterior windows and doors and repairing masonry, and improving safety and security. Updates on the project can be found on the District website under Turner Transition and also on the SchoolDocs portal as part of the School Board meeting agendas.
The first day of school for the 2019-2020 School Year is September 6. We look forward to welcoming our students back at both Kelly Primary and the new Turner Intermediate. As part of the District’s ongoing reconfiguration plan, I am pleased to announce that second grade students will now be attending Turner Intermediate with their peers in grades 3-6.
The decision to move second graders to Turner is due in part to the tremendous growth in enrollment the District is experiencing at Kelly Primary. Kelly currently has 23 sections, with the projected need for the addition of a 24th section for 2019-2020. In order to accommodate this growth, while still maintaining small class sizes of 11-15 students, second grade will be relocated to Turner. The newly-renovated Turner Intermediate offers 25 available classroom sections:
- Grade 2 – six sections
- Grade 3 – four sections
- Grade 4 – four sections
- Grade 5 – three sections
- Grade 6 – three sections
There also is room at Turner for a dedicated STEAM classroom, which will aid in the District’s continued support of transformative learning opportunities for our students. Four classrooms will remain available at Turner, which will be dedicated to future expansion as the District continues to grow and thrive.
Another way in which the District is continuing to support the success of our students is by adjusting our school start and end times to more closely reflect times which are developmentally appropriate for elementary-aged students. Starting with the 2019-2020 School Year, students at both Kelly Primary and Turner Intermediate will begin the school day at 8:40 a.m. and conclude the day at 3:20 p.m. Bus pick up will be between 7:45 and 8:05 a.m.
The 40-minute shift in start and end times for students will increase student productivity in class when students are well rested, allow more students to take advantage of the breakfast program, improve student attendance and decrease the number of students tardy each day. The District also will save approximately $150,000 in transportation costs by eliminating the overlap of buses and by reducing the total number of buses in service from 10 to seven. The change also will allow more time for parent meetings with teachers.
The change in start and end times will not impact our students in grades 7-12 who attend Westinghouse.
In order to provide our families with the opportunity to ask questions about these changes, two public meetings will be held, one on May 16 and one on May 23. Both meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at Kelly Primary. I will discuss these exciting changes in more depth, and then provide an opportunity for our families to ask questions. I hope you are able to join us at one or both meetings.
Additional dates for the grand opening of the new Turner Intermediate will be announced at a later time. We look forward to celebrating the opening of this incredible building with our community, and to continuing to work together to ensure that every child, every day matters.
Dr. Linda Iverson,
Superintendent of Schools