Thursday, April 2, 2009

Proposed options for future uses of Peabody HS

From the Pittsburgh Peabody stakeholders group, some exciting suggestions for new uses of Peabody HS. Input is encouraged and may be sent to .

Pittsburgh Peabody Stakeholder Working Group


Please respond back to this e-mail with your school design choice for the Pittsburgh Peabody facility. Our goal is to have one or both of these ideas adopted by the Pittsburgh Public Schools Facilities Consultants and the Facilities Steering Committee permitting it to be presented at the May 2009 regional facility planning meeting.

Let us know if you like one (or both) of these ideas or have another amazing idea………………..


On Wednesday, March 25th, the 4th Pittsburgh Peabody Stakeholders Committee Meeting was convened with representation from the International Baccalaureate and Homewood communities. The dedication of community members was evident by everyone sustained participation.

An exciting plan was presented to committee members concerning two school design concepts for the Pittsburgh Peabody facility.

Each school design concept will offer students of all academic levels in the community with a chance for educational achievement and a bright future as productive citizens in Pittsburgh.

SCHOOL DESIGN CONCEPT (A) – Career/Technical Educational (CTE) & International Baccalaureate (IB) Programming
Curriculum – Shared space between the 9th – 12th CTE Programming & 9th – 12th IB Programming
Full student body integration within general courses (music), athletic teams, school plays, school clubs, and other extracurricular activities.
CTE options - expanded Health Careers Academy, reinstated CISCO within a new Information Technologies program, Robotics, Culinary Arts Academy, Business/Financial, Construction/Industrial and other various program options.
A new model of full community engagement and accountability.
Estimated population 500 CTE students/500 IB students
Preference to local students for the CTE program

SCHOOL DESIGN CONCEPT (B) – “New” Citywide option for Career/Technical Educational (CTE) program
Curriculum - CTE Programming 9th – 12th
A new model of full community engagement and accountability.
CTE options - expanded Health Careers Academy, reinstated CISCO within a new Information Technologies program, Robotics, Culinary Arts Academy, Business/Financial, Construction/Industrial and other various program options
Estimated Population - 1000 CTE students only
Preference to local students for the CTE program


Annette Werner said...

Both of these options are great, but I really like how option A allows students with different types of academic interests to go to school together while still providing for all students' needs. This is an advantage of having magnet programs within schools (when a good magnet is available for all students in the school) and "schools within schools." Most themed schools will have requirements for certain PSSA scores, attendance and suspension records, etc. that tend to concentrate lower achieving students and students with attendance or other issues in the non-themed schools.

The goal of the IB program at this point is 150 students in each grade, which would be 600 in 9-12, but since the capacity of Peabody is over 1100 it could accomodate 600 IB and 500+ CTE students.

Kathy Fine said...

The only problem that I foresee is that one of the main reasons for breaking up Schenley given by the administration and board of ed was that the mainstream students were not getting equal treatment compared to the IB students. I don't understand why that couldn't have been addressed (in fact SHOULD have been addressed) while maintaining the diversity so cherished at Schenley.

Annette Werner said...

Of course, mainstrem students are underachieving and may be underserved at schools like Allderdice and Carrick as well, while students in AP courses etc. at those schools are doing better. So it seems that an initiative to reach the ALL of the mainstream students could have been initiated. For example, a small pilot of a university preparation, Spartan Classics or other model could have been tried and then expanded.

Peabody Option A could however offer something for all of the school's students with well-planned CTE and college preparatory academics.

PPSparent said...

The other part of this plan that is left out is the planned 450 students in 6-8 of IB programming. That's far too few students for Reizenstein (and fewer than have been served at Frick in the past). So they'd need another, centrally located, building.

It seems like the IB/CTE model would be more restrictive than the previous Schenley model, as well. The IB program is being designed to be all IB classes (even though many parents have pointed out that this is likely to serve no one well, not high achievers, not kids who are good at some subjects and struggle at others, and not kids who generally struggle.)

Putting two separate, not intermingling programs together seems like a bad idea. Schenley worked because there was more "mingling" and variety available in class choices. The district might have said it didn't work at all, but they certainly have other schools where there is far less integration among different types of students.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Feedback at first blush:

I think that the plan A should be for 150 IB kids per class, for a total of 600 students, not 500. Furthermore, I think that we can fit in 50 extra seats for a 13th Grade Option as well. So, round that to 650.

Also, that will require that the traditional Frick school (grades 6, 7 and 8) would need to stay at Rise&Shine Middle School. Frick's building is being used as a 6-12 Sci Tech High School.

Idea: Put 600 at IB Jr. High (Reiz), 200 in each grade (6, 7 and 8). Figure at the leap to HS, 20 kids go each to CAPA & Dice and some to other HSs and even CTE.

By all means, the IB Middle School is NECESSARY to making the IB High -- work. Would 600 in that building be okay with the economics?

Furthermore, the CTE students in certain grades would be able to have half-days at school and half-days at other sites / jobs, etc.

Finally for now, I don't like the CISCO option. It is a dead technology. It is too much like that offered at computers at Brashear and the Sci Tech too. All our efforts in networks and tech should be with an open-source approach. Perhaps a computer programming / languages model -- to rely upon the thrust of writing and languages (foreign, PERL, JAVA, etc.) would fit.

Questioner said...

It seems that issues of what type of CTE to offer where is a topic that would benefit from a detailed period of investigation. fact gathering amd public input for at least a couple of months.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused by some of the comments here. If the ideas that parents glean from various meetings are that student achievement are at the top of the laundry list for PPS Administration, then they are not only sadly mistaken but victims of duplicity.
Never forget that this district now embodies a corporate approach to scholastic issues. It's ALL about the money and public relations. This should be obvious in light of what is being bandied about with regards to the Pittsburgh Promise.
Take a look at the grading policy. What does it say to you?
Take a look at force-fed curricula being handed to teachers. What is the rational and who is responsible for it?
Ask yourself why 'new' principals who come out of the district's PELA Cohort program spend the greatest amount of time on the idea of how to get rid of teachers---the strategies and methodologies within. (And you would be amazed at what the district is preaching in this area)

Student achievement? Follow the money lines and the philosophies of those intimately involved within.