South Fayette High School

South Fayette High School

Enrollment continues

to rise at South Fayette

{child_byline}By Trista Thurston

Staff writer


On the eve of students returning to their classrooms, Superintendent Kenneth Lockette told members of the South Fayette School Board that the district would soon need to consider some reconfigurations with enrollment continuing to grow.

Lockette said at the board’s Aug. 21 committee meeting, a day before the start of school, that the district closed in June with enrollment numbers just over 3,200. That number increased to 3,375 students for this school year.

Lockette said that many students were coming from outside the state, listing off Florida, Kansas and Illinois as some examples. A majority of the influx was concentrated in the high school.

Lockette said he planned to wait until after the first week of school to discuss possible reconfiguration options with school principals before bringing ideas before the board. He said administrators are open about looking at their options.

“We have two years after this year, but if we continue to grow at this rate, it may come sooner,” Lockette said, adding that he and building principals will be looking at rooms and staffing.

“I don’t think we can wait,” Lockette said. “I think the time is now.”

In addition to growth conversations, members of an award-winning STEM team were recognized at the Aug. 21 meeting. Suraj Bokil, Pranav Dantu, Prateek Jukalkar, Swathi Senthil and Parv Shrivastava, led by adviser James Hausman, beat 170 other schools in the Pennsylvania Governor’s STEM challenge earlier this year for their device and accompanying application to help curb texting and driving.

Each student was awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the state Department of Education for the honor. Members of the team were thankful for the experience, along with their trip to the Bay Area Maker Faire in May. The team continues to flesh out the cradle to prevent phone use white driving and hopes to bring it to market.

Athletic director Mark Keener, along with head boys’ basketball coach Dave Mislan and softball coach Olesia Stasko, were on hand to consider the possibility of adding a freshman boys’ basketball team and a girls’ middle school softball team.

The three answered board questions about potential costs and the swelling interest for more feeder programs. Keener estimated that the two programs would only need funding for transportation to away games, with other expenses handled by the respective booster organizations.

The board passed a resolution tabled from last month to amend a previous resolution to alter the wording of the high school construction project to put leftover funds to a recent land purchase. Anthony Ditka from Dinsmore & Shohl said the deal for the bond to purchase the farmland closed Aug. 21, and the motion to amend the resolution passed unanimously.

Also passed were personnel-related matters discussed in executive session prior to the meeting, including approving substitute teachers, resignations of several paraprofessional staff members, hiring paraeducators, and the resignation and hiring of coaches. The board closed with an additional executive session.

Digital Operations Director

Trista Thurston oversees digital content and assists in revenue generation for Observer-Reporter and The Almanac.

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