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Report addresses realignment in Waynesboro schools

April 21, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Any plans to realign the grade configuration in the Waynesboro Area School District should wait until enrollment warrants such changes, according to a report to the Waynesboro Area School Board Tuesday by schools Superintendent Barry Dallara.

If realignment is needed, the new configuration should enhance the transition to a system of grades K-5, 6-7, 8-9 and 10-12, Dallara said in the report.

"There is no right or wrong way to align grades," he said in the report. "What is more important is how education is organized and delivered within a given system."

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The study, which was done by the school district's administrators, is based on assumptions of future enrollment.

There were 289 babies born in the district in 1994, compared to 378 in 2002. A big unknown is the number of families moving into the district with pre-school children.

Most immigration of students occurs in grades two, three, five, six, seven, eight and 10, the report said. The seventh grade has the largest immigration increase because many private schools run classes in kindergarten through sixth grade.

In addition, 170 students in the district are home-schooled and could come into the system at any time, Dallara's report said.

A projection by the Pennsylvania Department of Education indicates a 7.6 percent increase in enrollment in the district in the next decade. An independent study in 2003 shows an increase of 14.3 percent in the next 10 years.

The report also showed improvements needed in the district's school buildings. It said all of the buildings need improved security, more space for students and storage, upgraded mechanical equipment plus access points for wireless technology.

Summitview Elementary needs a larger cafeteria, and a cooling tower and underground storage tank at the middle school need to be replaced, the report said.

In the high school, 65 percent of the classrooms and none of the hallways, athletic areas, cafeteria or auditorium are air conditioned. The science labs and cafeteria need to be expanded, and the school will need an additional six to 10 rooms if grades 9-12 remain in the building, the report said.

The building also needs a plan for energy efficiency and some asbestos removal, the report said.

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