Wilkinsburg School District and School District of Pittsburgh LETTER OF AGREEMENT

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The Wilkinsburg School District, due to low enrollment, cannot provide the academic offerings required to provide students adequate opportunities to receive a quality education and, therefore, is considering closing and discontinuing its middle / high school program (grades seven through twelve). In the event of the Board of School Directors’ decision to close and discontinue the Wilkinsburg School District’s middle / high school program, pursuant to Section 1607 of the Public School Code, 24 P.S. § 16-1607, Wilkinsburg School District will assign the pupils to a high school and provide adequate transportation thereto.

The following terms serve as the parties’ agreement, to be further supplemented as necessary, for the assignment of Wilkinsburg School District students in grades seven through twelve to attend school in the Pittsburgh Public Schools pursuant to Section 1607 of the Public School Code:

  • Assignment of Pupils. Upon the closure by Wilkinsburg School District of its middle / high school, in accordance with Section 1607 of the Public School Code, Wilkinsburg School District students in grades seven through twelve shall be assigned by Wilkinsburg School District to attend high school in the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ George Westinghouse Academy, also known as Westinghouse 6-12 School (hereinafter, “Westinghouse”).
  • Implementation. The terms of this agreement shall be implemented at the commencement of the first school year following and in the event of the closure by Wilkinsburg School District of its middle / high school program (grades seven through twelve), but not sooner than the commencement of the 2016/17 school year. This agreement is cancellable by either party upon notice to the other party, but not sooner than the conclusion of the 2021-22 school year, provided, that the termination or expiration of this agreement shall not impair any rights Wilkinsburg School District students otherwise have to attend Pittsburgh Public Schools as provided by law upon the discontinuance by Wilkinsburg School District of its middle / high school program. 
  • Programs and Services.  Except as qualified in Paragraph 4 below with regard to Magnet School offerings, Wilkinsburg School District students will be fully eligible for all curriculum, instruction, career and technical education programs, alternative education services, and co-curricular and extra-curricular activities (including participation on interscholastic athletics teams) available to resident students of Pittsburgh Public Schools.  
  • Magnet Schools.  Students in grades seven through twelve from the Wilkinsburg School District shall be afforded the opportunity to enroll in the various Magnet School offerings in the same manner and subject to the same requirements as is afforded resident students of the Pittsburgh Public Schools commencing the 2017-18 school year.  During the first year of the agreement in the 2016-17 school year in which Wilkinsburg School District students are assigned to Pittsburgh Public Schools, such students shall be enrolled in Westinghouse and they may apply for admission to a magnet school programs for the following school year as set forth above. Applications for magnet admission for Wilkinsburg students assigned to Pittsburgh Public Schools shall be evaluated in the same manner as the applications of students residing in the School District of Pittsburgh.
  • Tuition.  Subject to the conditions stated below, the Wilkinsburg School District will pay the School District of Pittsburgh the tuition rate of $8,000 in the first year.  The tuition rate will increase to $9,600 in the second year. In subsequent years, the tuition rate will be adjusted by the Act 1 index as annually determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education or as otherwise agreed by the parties. 

The aforementioned rates are dependent on securing funding for transition costs from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In the event that transition funding is not secured, the Wilkinsburg School District will pay the School District of Pittsburgh the tuition rate of $12,954 in the first year. The tuition rate will increase to $13,056 in the second year. In subsequent years, the tuition rate will be adjusted by the Act 1 index as annually determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education or as otherwise agreed by the parties. 

The tuition rates set forth herein are subject to approving opinion of the Pennsylvania Department of Education as to the appropriateness of the calculation under the provisions of the Public School Code of 1949, as amended.

  • Special Education Students.  The foregoing tuition rates apply to all regular education students and those students with Individualized Education Plans or Section 504 agreements presently being served within Wilkinsburg High School.  

To the extent the cost of implementing an IEP or service agreement requires additional resources beyond those otherwise deployed for placements within Pittsburgh Public Schools, tuition rates will be negotiated for individual students:

(a) who, prior to assignment to Pittsburgh Public Schools, have IEP’s or Section 504 agreements providing placements outside of Wilkinsburg High School that are rewritten to provide placements within Pittsburgh Public Schools, or 

(b) who are first identified to require an IEP or Section 504 agreement subsequent to their assignment to Pittsburgh Public Schools, 

For educational placements outside of Pittsburgh Public Schools, Wilkinsburg School District shall directly pay the approved private school or other educational entity at which Wilkinsburg School District resident students are placed. 

  • Tuition PaymentsWilkinsburg School District will pay to Pittsburgh Public Schools a prorated monthly tuition amount on or before the last day of each calendar month of each school year based upon the average daily membership of Wilkinsburg School District students in attendance and the number of instructional days in each month in proportion to the total number of instructional days in the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ school year. On or before June 30th of each year, enrollments and tuition fees will be reconciled subject to audit.  
  • Standardized Testing.  Wilkinsburg School District students attending Pittsburgh Public Schools will receive preparation for and be administered all mandated and optional standardized tests. Subject to the approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Education and applicable laws and regulations, scores of Wilkinsburg School District resident students on PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) assessments, Keystone Exams and any other standardized assessment mandated by state or federal authorities will be attributed to the School District of Pittsburgh. Scores of Wilkinsburg School District resident students on mandated and optional standardized tests will be provided to Wilkinsburg School District. The parties recognize that this provision is subject to review and approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  • Grants.  Pittsburgh Public Schools will be entitled to utilize Wilkinsburg School District students assigned to attend Pittsburgh Public Schools for purposes of state or federal monetary assistance for particular services to such students (such as free and reduced price meals, extraordinary special education subsidies, etc.) and applications for grants from public and/or private sources.
  • Calendar.  Wilkinsburg School District students enrolled in the Pittsburgh Public Schools will attend school in accordance with the Pittsburgh Public Schools calendar.
  • Transportation.  Wilkinsburg School District shall be responsible for providing transportation and shall provide transportation for all Wilkinsburg School District students enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools to any school attended by Wilkinsburg School District students under this agreement. 
  • Liaison and Coordination.  The parties will designate individual administrators and staff members as liaisons to coordinate matters related to student enrollment, transition, special education, transportation and other specific matters as may be determined necessary for the successful implementation of the parties’ agreement.
  • Transfer Between Entities.  The assignment of Wilkinsburg School District secondary students to Pittsburgh Public Schools will arise from the closure and discontinuance of the Wilkinsburg School District’s high school program and is not a transfer of any program between those school districts. Accordingly, although Pittsburgh Public Schools may consider Wilkinsburg School District professional staff members for employment through the regular employment application process, Pittsburgh Public Schools will not be required to accept Wilkinsburg School District professional staff members for inclusion on employment eligibility or recall lists.    
  • Disenrollment. Pittsburgh Public Schools will disenroll Wilkinsburg School District resident students upon a change in residency or the student’s withdrawal upon enrollment in a charter school or nonpublic school. Wilkinsburg School District will remain responsible for tuition costs for Wilkinsburg School District resident students who enroll in a charter school.
  • Student DisciplineWilkinsburg School District resident students attending Pittsburgh Public Schools shall be subject to the student disciplinary policies and codes of conduct promulgated by Pittsburgh Public Schools. Pittsburgh Public Schools shall have the authority to discipline such students, including the suspension of expulsion of students, in accordance with the policies of Pittsburgh Public Schools and applicable law. Whenever it is necessary or in the best interests of an expelled Wilkinsburg School District resident student that such student be assigned to an alternative educational program outside of Pittsburgh Public Schools, Wilkinsburg School District and Pittsburgh Public Schools shall confer to determine a suitable alternative educational placement for the student. For alternative educational placements outside of Pittsburgh Public Schools, Wilkinsburg School District shall directly pay the approved private school or other educational entity at which Wilkinsburg School District resident students are assigned. 
  • Compulsory Attendance. Pittsburgh Public Schools shall be responsible for the enforcement of compulsory attendance requirements of Wilkinsburg School District resident students attending Pittsburgh Public Schools. 
  • ModificationIf necessary to the successful implementation of this Agreement, the parties shall endeavor in good faith to negotiate further terms, conditions and contingencies of the arrangements contemplated hereby and that are acceptable to both parties, provided that this agreement may be modified only by a written instrument signed by both parties and approved by the parties’ respective Boards of School Directors at a duly constituted public meeting. 
  • Binding Effect.  

A. This Letter of Agreement is approved and the officers and Solicitors of the parties hereto are authorized and directed to execute this agreement and to execute all other agreements under Section 17 herein.  

B. This Agreement is subject to the review and approval by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

C. This Agreement is contingent upon the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania issuing a written commitment to the satisfaction of the parties to provide funding for the transition costs and other additional costs incurred by both Districts in the course of implementing this Agreement.

D. This Agreement is contingent upon the receipt of an approving opinion of the Pittsburgh Public Schools Solicitor that there is no litigation pending or other matters which challenges the validity or legality of this Agreement, that the Agreement is in conformity with the Pennsylvania Public School Code and other applicable laws and both parties possess the legal power to enter into the transaction and all necessary actions have been taken by the parties as required by law in connection with the approval.

WHEREFORE, the parties, by their duly authorized representatives, and intending to be legally bound hereby, have executed this Agreement.

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