Facilities Committee to Consider Redistricting Proposal

Reacting to concerns expressed by parents at the February 6 Facilities Committee meeting, the Pennridge School Board has asked Superintendent Dr. Robert Kish to investigate adding trailers that would serve as temporary classrooms to ease projected overcrowding at Deibler Elementary School and Pennridge North Middle School.

The administration has proposed a three-year plan that would move approximately 90 students from North to Pennridge South Middle School, and approximately 60 students from Deibler to Guth Elementary School.

The board also asked parents to consider whether they would prefer having some programs such as art and music modified at Deibler and North to allow more space to be used for classroom instruction.

One board member also suggested it would be more fair to ask new residents who move into already crowded attendance areas to send their children to Guth and South, where there is room to accommodate more students.

The recommendation for redistricting has become necessary because of anticipated enrollment growth within those buildings, as per the recently received demographer's report, and the flow of population increase from the eastern portion of the district to the west.

Over the course of three years, the recommended redistricting will result in a reduction of Deibler's enrollment by approximately 89 students, and a reduction of North's enrollment by approximately 56 students. The alternative to redistricting is an increase in class size, a reduction in the quality of music, art, and technology instruction, and a general overcrowding that is not conducive to a quality education.

"We understand that redistricting can cause apprehension among some students and parents," said Superintendent Dr. Robert Kish. "However, our experience has been that students are warmly welcomed into their new schools, and adjust rather quickly to their new surroundings."

With that in mind, the administration has taken the following measures to minimize the impact on students and their families:
  • Current third and fourth graders will be permitted to finish their elementary schooling at Deibler.

  • No current North Middle School students will be transferred to South.

  • In those situations where families may be split at the elementary level, parents will have the option of either transferring the older sibling with the younger student, or maintaining the younger sibling at the older student's school for as long as the older student attends that building.
The general guidelines for redistricting are as follows:
  • No students living on or north of Ridge Road will be transferred.
  • All elementary students living on or west of Blooming Glen Road will attend Guth.
  • All middle school students living on or west of Callowhill Road will attend South.
In consideration of the district's growth from Route 611 toward Route 309, the English as a Second Language program, currently held at Bedminster Elementary for all district students, will be transferred to Guth, freeing two classrooms for anticipated enrollment growth in the Bedminster area.

"We've reviewed redistricting options keeping the best interests of our students in mind," said Dr. Kish. "It is important that a decision be made as soon as possible so we can make the necessary budget, staffing, and transportation adjustments."

Map of Proposed Reassignment to South Middle School from North Middle School

Map of Proposed Reassignment from Deibler Elementary School to Guth Elementary School (C)

Map of Proposed Reassignment from Deibler Elementary School to Guth Elementary School (D)