The South Fayette School District is already beyond the likely scenario of its projected enrollment.
As a result, the district will bring in architectural firms to perform a feasibility study to determine what can be done to configure classrooms with the rising student population.
Superintendent Kenneth Lockette said at the Sept. 18 committee meeting that though urgency isn’t necessary at this time, the district will run out of space in three of the four buildings if growth continues at their current rate.
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.
Board members emphasized that any reconfigured grade levels must be accompanied by an education plan, with building principals intimately involved in the process.
“These kids will be at the door before we know it,” board member Leonard Fornella said, adding it’s something he’s been paranoid about.
“The numbers are staring at us in the face,” Lockette said. “We’ll get started with this tomorrow... or yesterday.”
Lockette outlined potential moves in the current buildings.
At the elementary, current enrichment rooms may need to be transitioned back to classrooms, as well as placing the art teacher on a cart. More homerooms will be necessary in three years at the intermediate building, which opened in 2013. The cafe is workable but crowded.
In the middle school, all of the classrooms are occupied and room sizes are high, sitting at around 30 students in some cases. Lockette estimated that two more classrooms might be necessary. The auditorium can only hold one grade level at a time. Gym and swim classes are large.
The high school’s renovations were completed just last year. There is space, but eventually, teachers might need to share rooms.
In other motions approved at the Sept. 18 meeting, the board approved the purchase of new software for the district’s nurses. Director of Finance Brian Tony, accompanied by elementary school nurse Kara Miles, outlined the challenges with the district’s former software.
The district began using Healthy Tools in 2011, which has been rendered unstable and unusable with a recent update. The new software, SNAP Health Center by Professional Software for Nurses, will cost $3,520 for the first year and $3,120 in subsequent years. The district will use money budgeted for EpiPen purchases to cover the difference in cost compared to the old software.
Currently, nurses are tracking their notes with Google Docs in hopes to enter it in the new software later. The district must submit annual reports to the state, and the school receives funds once those reports are complete. Improper or incomplete reports could mean a loss of revenue.
“We do have the budget to cover it (the software), but also on the revenue side, we would lose $50,000 to $60,000 and as we grow, that revenue would grow,” Tony said.
The district is looking at adding a hall of fame for alumni with athletic and academic achievements. Lockette said though discussions are early, he hoped to have a model to share with the board by the end of the school year.
The board approved the addition of a freshman boys’ basketball team and a girls’ middle school softball team with the district to cover travel costs, balls and softball helmets with the respective booster organizations to maintain any additional expenses.