Allegheny Co. School Changing Learning Model Due To Staffing Issues

SPRINGDALE, Pa. (KDKA) – Parents in one Allegheny County community are planning to speak out at a school board meeting over a change in the learning model.

It started with a letter that popped into the inbox of parents of Springdale Junior/Senior High School students. Those students have attended class twice a week in two separate groups for about the last month.

“I’m not getting a straight answer. The only answer I’m getting is there are staffing issues,” said Kim Sanders, who’s son is in the ninth grade.

According to the letter, the high school has had daily staffing issues, from teachers on extended leave to not enough substitutes. Now the district is making changes to the hybrid model starting this Thursday.

“He would still have his core classes like math, English, science and social studies, face to face with a teacher. But while he’s sitting in school, he would take his elective, like German, on a headset via Google Meets,” Sanders said

Sanders told KDKA she felt her son would not get the best education and she has concerns with the changes.

“The students are going to be sitting in a classroom all day with headphones on doing Google Meets themselves. They can do that from home, so it does feel like in-school suspension all day, every day,” Sanders said.

The district did confirm to KDKA that staffing at the high school is an issue and will be a point of discussion at Tuesday night’s board meeting. A meeting that parents like Sanders plan to attend.

“I want him to have a teacher five days a week. There are other schools that have been back since the beginning and they don’t have staffing problems or anyone getting sick,” Sanders said.

The student body echoed the parental concerns as a petition that started less than 24 hours ago is nearing 500 signatures. Those student concerns boil down to the lack of creativity if everyone is partaking in online schooling from an assigned classroom.

KDKA tried speaking with the district on camera prior to the meeting, but the superintendent was unavailable.