Students who attend Francis McClure and Twin Rivers schools, and their parents, will notice a minor change in the 2017-18 academic year.
At last week's board meeting, McKeesport Area School Board voted to change the names of Francis McClure Primary and Francis McClure Intermediate to Francis McClure Elementary, and the names of Twin Rivers Primary and Twin Rivers Intermediate to Twin Rivers Elementary.
School Superintendent Rula Skezas said only the names are being changed, slightly; the entrances and classroom schedules are not being changed.
Also at the board meeting, resident Keith Murphy told the board he was concerned about the longterm effects of violence on children living in the school district.
McKeesport students "are becoming desensitized," he said. "When I hear about people getting murdered in North View Heights, these kids will smile and laugh explaining how 47 bullets went into some person ... That's PTSD."
He also discussed the tragic shooting death on April 25 of William Chaffin, 14, at a home on Ridge Street.
Serious counseling is needed for many McKeesport Area kids, Murphy said. "We can't have desensitized children in McKeesport. We can't afford it."
In other business, School Director Scott Smith discussed the work of the board's Finance-Grants-Outside Funding Committee positively. "The budgeted salaries for this upcoming year decreased by $133,000, including the new administrative realignment," Smith said.
Skezas reported on the Safe Schools Committee and said the district's maintenance department has worked hard on replacing doors and locks.
The district is scheduled to improve outdoor lighting for the upcoming school year in addition to checking the security systems and walkie-talkies to make sure they are ready for next school year, she said.
Originally published May 06, 2017.