By Elizabeth Behrman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The students in Stacy Mazak’s kindergarten class couldn’t stand still as they waited their turn at the dunk tank.
They had already spent 15 minutes hula-hooping and decorating the street in front of their school with chalk and 15 minutes in the inflatable bounce houses the Wilkinsburg School District gets for the annual field day events. Now, they were anxious to knock one of Turner Elementary School’s other teachers into the water.
One student, 6-year-old Breonna Pollard, said she didn’t feel the same excitement about moving on to first grade next year.
“I want to stay with Ms. Mazak,” she said, scooting out of the way of the splash when one of her classmates hit the dunk target with a softball.
But under the district’s reorganization plan for next school year, Ms. Mazak and Breonna will be moving to a new school together.
With the district’s middle- and high-school students now attending Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy in Homewood, Wilkinsburg administrators are re-focusing their efforts on the district’s younger students. After years of program cuts and an exodus of families who opted to enroll their children in private or charter schools, district leaders are embarking on an ambitious plan to boost enrollment and re-vamp Wilkinsburg’s two elementary schools.
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