September 2016 Update
On September 15, 2016, RLPS presented an update to the Board (available as a related file below). Information currently available about the status of our facilities and progress of the study include:
Facilities review found:
- seven schools currently without air conditioning: Allen and New Cumberland Middle Schools; Fairview, Fishing Creek, Lower Allen, Newberry, and Rossmoyne Elementary Schools
- six schools with heating plants or systems more than 30 years old: Cedar Cliff High School; Allen Middle School; Fairview, Fishing Creek, Lower Allen, and Newberry Elementary Schools
- major systems at Red Mill and Crossroads are at the end of their first life cycle (25 years)
Demographic study will:
- review enrollment and potential boundary changes
- consider impact of future housing and business development
Feasibility study will consider:
- 21st century learning environments focused on communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking
- consolidation of buildings (currently maintain fourteen schools)
- what to do with older buildings (renovate or build new)
Moving forward, the focus of the Feasibility Study will be on the “big picture.” Results of the study’s objective analysis will help the Feasibility & Facilities Committee create a prioritized list of needs which will then be used to develop an actionable plan to address those needs while upholding the District’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
At the core of our instructional needs is an unrelenting resolve to ensure every single student in the West Shore School District has the benefit of learning in a climate-controlled environment by the time this plan has been fully executed.
Due to some upcoming relief in debt service, the goal is to be “shovel ready” for a project in 2018. In addition to projects that may result from the Feasibility Study, the District plans to continue its ongoing capital improvement projects. For example, replacement of the boiler system at Cedar Cliff will likely occur in the summer of 2017. Similar to the Red Land project completed last summer, these 50 year-old boilers would be replaced with a modern, efficient, heating system.
In the coming months, the Feasibility & Facilities Committee will be seeking input and feedback from students, staff, parents, and community members. Additional information on ways to get involved and status updates on the study will be shared with the school community through public meetings, posts to District social media sites, emails to parents and staff, as well as through the posting of information on this page.
January 2017 Update
On Thursday January 12, 2017 the Feasibility Committee, in conjunction with RLPS Architects, presented an update on the Feasibility Study during the Board Study Session. Included in the update were five preliminary options for the Board to consider. After some excellent discussion, the Board honored the committee’s request to eliminate two of the options from consideration.
As presented, options three, four, and five will continue to be evaluated and refined. Over the course of the next two months, the Feasibility Committee will engage students, staff and community members to evaluate and refine the remaining options. The Feasibility Committee will then return to the Board on March 16, 2017 with a more detailed review of the two best options.
Referenced in the presentation, Future Ready Schools® helps K-12 public, private, and charter school leaders plan and implement personalized, research-based digital learning strategies so all students can achieve their full potential. West Shore is looking to utilize the Future Ready Schools framework. See the related files below to view the January presentation to the Board as well as additional information about the Future Ready Schools framework.
February 2017 Update
During a Public Meeting on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, the Feasibility & Facilities Committee, in conjunction with RLPS Architects, presented three preliminary options for consideration and provided the community with time to comment and ask questions.
The PowerPoint slides presented during the Public Meeting have been posted as a related file below (due to the size of the file, please allow extra time to download).
In addition, the meeting was recorded and can be viewed online by clicking here
After reviewing survey responses and meeting with some additional focus groups, the Committee will present the Board of School Directors with a more detailed review of the two best options on March 16, 2017.
March 2017 Update
On March 16, 2017 the Feasibility Committee, in conjunction with RLPS architects, presented the finalized two options from the Feasibility Study. Included in the presentation were preliminary site plans, project phasing, cost estimates, attendance boundary changes, and impact on school taxes. The District also announced that it will be holding a town hall meeting on April 24, 2017 to discuss the options, with the board taking action to adopt one of the options at the School Board meeting on May 11, 2017.
For those who could not attend, the meeting was streamed online. The evening's PowerPoint presentation is also available and can be downloaded as a related file below. Questions or comments about the Feasibility Study can be submitted via email to: [email protected]
THANK YOU to all who joined us at the Public Meeting and to each of you who continue to contribute to the discussion.
April 2017 Update I
Additional information regarding the District’s Feasibility Study can be found in the April 2017 Special Edition of the District News.
The community is invited to share comments and provide feedback on the two options under consideration during a public town hall style meeting on...
Monday, April 24, 2017
Crossroads Middle School (please use rear entrance to the school)
Starting promptly at 6 p.m.
Please Note: The Board will likely take action to adopt one of the two options being discussed at the School Board meeting on May 11, 2017.
April 2017 Update II
THANK YOU to all who attended the Public Meeting on Monday, April 24, and shared thoughtful comments and concerns regarding the two options being considered.
For those who could not attend, the meeting was streamed online and the presentation made at the meeting is available as a related file below with notes explaining the slides.
So what is next? The Feasibility & Facilities Committee will meet on Wednesday, April 26 to review community feedback and narrow the two options to one. The committee's recommendation will then be announced on Friday, April 28 and shared on the District website, twitter, and facebook pages. The Board is scheduled to take action to adopt or reject the Committee's recommendation during the School Board meeting on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Administration Center.
If you were unable to attend the Public Meeting we would still like to hear from you. Please email comments and feedback for consideration to the Committee prior to Wednesday afternoon at [email protected]. All emails will be shared with the Board.
Thank you to all who continue to contribute to the discussion and help plan the future of the District.
April 2017 Update III
On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, the West Shore School District’s Feasibility & Facilities Committee unanimously agreed to recommend Option 1 for approval by the School Board on Thursday, May 11, 2017.
The option recommended by the committee has come to be known as the Feeder School Concept and includes funds for modern climate control, security, accessibility, and technology. Additionally, the option will add spaces that address enrollment needs, ensure that subjects like music and art are provided with appropriate spaces, and create flexible spaces that support 21st Century teaching and learning.
Under this concept the school structure will be changed to four levels: seven elementary schools (kindergarten to grade 4), two intermediate schools (grades 5-6), two middle schools (grades 7-8), and two high schools (grades 9-12). This configuration will be phased in over a period of several years beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. The estimated cost of the projects is $218.3-$246.7 million dollars.
In the months leading up to this formal recommendation, the Feasibility & Facilities Committee assessed the conditions of District facilities and researched the needs of students. In addition the committee reviewed district-wide survey results and carefully considered the input and feedback of students, staff, parents, and community members. The District is grateful for the level of engagement, dialogue, respect, and inquiry which has taken place and looks forward to continued involvement from all stakeholders as it works to support excellence in education, control increasing costs, consider the impact on taxpayers, and otherwise protect the District’s long-term financial stability.
According to Dr. Todd Stoltz, Superintendent:
“It is clear many families have deep personal connections to our schools and have chosen to live and raise their children in the West Shore School District community because of the experiences our District offers students. We are confident the feeder school option and the increased opportunities for personalized learning will strengthen that source of pride.”
As the District develops the option into building plans, changes grade configurations, and discusses the alignment of attendance boundaries for new schools, it hopes the community will continue to remain engaged and informed. The West Shore community is encouraged to attend board meetings, check the District website, and follow District social media accounts (Twitter | Facebook) for additional updates as projects move forward and the West Shore School District prepares to serve the class of 2029 and beyond.
May 2017 Update
On May 11, 2017, the Board unanimously approved Option 1 - the Feeder School Concept. During the meeting Board President Ronald Candioto was joined by other Board members in thanking the community for its involvement at the public meetings and input through emails. On behalf of the District...thank you as well for your support, interest, and discussion. We look forward to your continued involvement as we begin the process of phasing in this new configuration over a period of several years beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.