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Quaker Valley Residents Bring Leetsdale Property Concerns to School Board

A crowd of about 150 people attended the Quaker Valley School Board work session meeting, prompting a move to the gym to accomodate the group.

Tom Weber challenged the Quaker Valley School Board, route: {:controller=>"listings", :action=>"show", :id=>"quaker-valley-school-district"} --> Tuesday night to take up a vote reversing its intention to 

writingmom15143 September 21, 2012 at 02:24 AM
walter...the decision not to build on the bell acres site was discussed on numerous occasions at school board meetings where the public coulf comment. this land that was donated to the district could not support the weight of the buildings so that was the reason it was sold. this is not something that would be voted on by the public. second, your comment about the renovation schedule being planned so school board members' children would not be displaced especially in light of the fact that my daughter and the son of a school board member were classmates together at anthony wayne during the osborne renovation. finally, substitute teachers are certified teachers and would have to teach lessons in front of others in order to graduate. I hope these comments answer your concerns so we can get our focus back on the real issue..working together for safety.
walter September 21, 2012 at 10:16 AM
writingmom, your comments are are just that - they don't answer any of my concerns. They are just your perpective and I can appreciate that. Which Board members child went to Ambridge? Please let me know. The temp teachers never taught a lesson to the administrators as the permanent teachers were required to do so and pass. It was warm body syndrome for the avergae kids. That is fact. Ask the Osborne Admin if it happened. Also, you chose not to address why the schools were just remondeled 15 years ago and need to do so again - good fiscal decisions - come on. We could argue about the property up the hill all day long, but I have watched that battle since 1980 when I moved here. You also can't answer why they chose to sell the property to a individual for a discount price, when it could have been subdivided. I worked many years in development and the property could have been developed.Now look at the middle school, Read the Herald today, the district will now pressure Sewickley in order to get kids into a school in January even though the District will not have the required permits and such in place. The school won't be ready but it is now all about the kids. If they had waited, it would have been less expensive and the kids would have been displaced for one year only. Finally, this isn't about safety - it is about renovation the school. Just be honest and say what it is.
walter September 21, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Writingmom - just one last thing on the "best educational decisions possible". Whomever thought the best candidate for assistant principal for a new million $$$ middle school was an elementary teacher without any experience as a principal but has a brother on the school board really needs a to be examined. Did they even attempt a search? Best possible educational decision? Really?
writingmom15143 September 21, 2012 at 07:32 PM
...here's my one last thing..qvsd could have done a worldwide search and would not have found a more perfect assistant principal for the middle school than the one they chose...the students at qvms are incredibly fortunate to have the principal and assistant principal they have...and that is my opinion from personal experience.
SWYKLocal September 21, 2012 at 08:57 PM
There seems to be a fair amount of nepotism in the QVSD, we need to get a school board that will put an end to it. As for the district as a whole, we have higher per pupil costs than all the other districts to whom we are commonly compared and lower test scores. If this doesn’t concern the residents of this community, I am not sure what will.
walter September 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM
writingmom, with all due respect how can you state "from experience" if this is the assistant' first experience in this poition? I appreciate that you want to support but did that brother school board approve the decision or recuse himself?
John Kroeck September 24, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I have always been amused by the number of people who really believe that the Bell Acres Site would not support the weight of a school building. The same people that fed us that lie are the ones stating that it is necessary to build a 2 or 3 million dollar road over a cliff and destroy a neighborhood adjacent to QVHS -- Their justification is a safety issue, which if it really exists, can be solved very cheaply with a short drop-off sidewalk along the bottom of Valley Lane and a crossing guard at Valley Lane and Beaver or with a pull-off drive in front of the school. Both of the above solutions are cheap and neither destroys a neighborhood. There are other cheap solutions. I hope the voters wake up soon and elect School Board members with more ability and less arrogance than these.
walter September 25, 2012 at 01:41 PM
John, regarding that property. Not suitable for building but the lone house(note - not a neighborhood) built is just as large as any of our elementary schools. Property sold by the School Board to the School Boards best friend for 1 giant home. Come on. Really? Can't be built on? Drive up and take a look at that house yourself.
Eric Cigan October 02, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Mr. Kroeck makes a great argument for a cost-effective approach that is fair to he community. Leetsdale doesn't benefit from the reduction in its very limited housing area, and the boro council should show some backbone and fight this now.
John Linko October 02, 2012 at 12:20 PM
It appears that the school board continues to try to frame and control the debate, based on a release on the district's website from last week. The complete release is available at http://www.qvsd.org/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=501. It includes the following: "As you know, the district has commissioned an independent traffic study – the results of which we should learn next month. A decision regarding a permanent solution – including the potential use of the properties adjacent to the school – cannot begin to be debated until after we receive guidance from our traffic experts based on data, research and best practices. Careful and thoughtful consideration is critical as we consider the long-term impact of a future high school renovation project that will likely occur at the end of the decade. Therefore, please know that a decision regarding a long-term solution will not be made in haste." So through this statement, the district freely admits their intent to renovate the high school. There's a potential focus area for down the road, but I don't think that all of the "discussion" about the property in Bell Acres and why it wasn't used contributes to what needs to be focused on now. In the short term, those who remain "concerned taxpayers" need to focus their ongoing resolve on the pending traffic study, with continued attendance at the board work meetings, evaluation of the report when it is released, and a right-to-know request at the ready in case it isn't.
walter October 02, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Writingmom - I am still waiting to hear from you on which Board Member had to send their child to Ambridge with your daughter. Can you tell me which one it was? I have researched this and can't find one school board member that sent their child to Ambridge. Please inform me. Btw, the Assistant Principle for the middle school was hired in the early 1990's when her cousin was elected to the school board. Crazy that now the assistant principle's brother is on the school board and she get promoted. We are better than this.
walter October 02, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Thanks for your comments. I agree that we(I include myself in this), need to get past the senseless decision to sell the Bell Acres Property to an individual homeowner that is connected to the school board. This does not even address the field nightmare also on the property that includes no water to concession stand, permanent restroom, or maintenance plan. I believe the state DCNR has frozen their grant money due to unaccountable spending. Having said that, in link you provided it truly shows the intent to renovate the High School. They need to now be honest and discuss it openly that safety isn't driving the bus but a total renovation is in fact driving the bus. I just hope that the school board members that now have kids in the system are forced to go and spend 1, 2 or 3 years in ambridge as many of our kids have done due to pathetic planning and reasoning. Nothing against Ambridge but I pay QV taxes and this crazy. Every other district that renovates either adds trailers or renovates a section at a time. Not QV, we destroy the middle school experience that we pay for by sending them down the river. Anyone with any vision at all could have seen that the High School, should have been done 1st, Middle School 2nd and then the elementary school do keep from punishing the same kids. Board just wanted to make sure their kids had a new elementary school, middle school and now it appears a high school for their babies without spending any time out of district.
Shannon October 07, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I am a current grad student writing a feature article about QVSD wanting to purchase neighborhood homes. If anyone would be willing to be interviewed via email please let me know. Thank you!
qvmom October 11, 2012 at 01:53 PM
@Walter... after reading your comments criticizing hiring practices by the school board, I would say to you, you really need to check your facts before bashing people. The original CTQV was the CCFL. Google them and their members. You will find one who not only voted to hire her son, but also voted a raise for him. She did not recuse herself. You will find another member who voted to hire her son, and didn't recuse herself from the vote. This person also handled the sale of the pink house for the borough (and claims she received no profit) while a member of council. These are the type of people you have chosen to align yourself with and defend. They have done the exact things you accuse the school board of. Quite comical. It is sad that the issues are being convoluted and people are so busy slinging mud, that they fail to see the real issue. Which is student safety. It seems to me that it would take a child being seriously injured or killed before you people will admit there is a problem. And if that happens, I feel bad for all of you who will have to live with that on your conscience. Let me also state, I have seen how your protesters behave and it is abominable! Let one of you approach my child and I promise it will get ugly. We all have the right to protest. You cross lines when you accost children, block traffic and beat on cars. These are the people you side with. I think it's disgusting that grown people behave that way!!
walter October 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM
QVmom - Really???? I mean, what the heck are you talking about? What is quite comical is that what I have stated is true. Check the record - everything from the original land process, to the promotion of a board members sister as the assistant principal, to the current land owner. All I am saying is state the facts. The High School plan is not being driven by safety. Safety is the way in to do a complete renovation(which I have never said I am against). I just think honesty conveying what they are trying to do would have solved all of this. Be considerate of the students that have already spent three of their QV years in Ambridge. Connect the dots, think on your own. By the way, was it your children that stole the signs?
qvmom October 16, 2012 at 10:47 PM
And there is a zoning difference between a house and a school. Even if the house is as big as a school, it holds one family... not hundreds of students, teachers, vehicles, etc. Instead of thinking of names to call people, use your brain for something productive. They don't want everyone's house. The borough of Leetsdale won't lose that much in taxes. They were presented an opportunity to buy property, they took it. They will need to renovate the high school, as attendance keeps growing. Just as they did all the other schools.
qvmom October 20, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I just want to say that there was a comment written that is still "pending approval". I find it funny that people can call people names and throw accusations around and question people's morals, and those comments are allowed. But when i respond, as is my first amendment right, my comment sits there. This is funny... Guess the press gets to control what speech is allowed.
Nancyf October 20, 2012 at 07:37 PM
HEY QV MOM, YOU SOUND LIKE A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL BOARD, ARE YOU ONE OF THE MEMBERS THAT GOT LIED TO ALSO? YOU PRINTED THEY WERE PRESENTED AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUY PROPERTY ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY SURE ABOUT THAT? THAT IS TOTALLY WRONG. YOU SHOULD TALK WITH THE PEOPLE WHO SOLD HOMES. NO HOMES WERE ON THE MARKET WHEN THE SCHOOL APPROACHED THEM. THEY ONLY BECAME WILLING TO SELL AFTER THEY WERE THREATENED WITH A LOW OFFER/AND EMINENT DOMAIN BY THE SCHOOL BOARD'S REPRESENTATIVE AND THIS FACT WAS REINFORCED BY THE SCHOOL BOARD'S PRESIDENT AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD MEETING. IS THIS WHAT YOU CALL AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUY PROPERTY. AND NO, THEY DON'T WANT EVERYONE'S PROPERTY RIGHT NOW, HOWEVER, THE PROPERTY THAT REMAINS WILL NOT BE WORTH MUCH. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU? THINK BEFORE YOU RESPOND AND PUT YOURSELF IN THESE FAMILIES POSITION, UNLESS YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL BOARD, THEN YOU REALLY DON'T CARE.
Nancyf October 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM
ONE MORE THING QV MOM, THEY DID RENOVATE AND ADD ON TO ALL THE OTHER SCHOOLS. HOWEVER, THEY DID NOT TAKE ANYONE'S HOMES OR DESTROY A NEIGHBORHOOD, AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL THEY SPENT 26.5 MILLION TAX DOLLARS, BUT DID NOT BUILD ANN OFF STREET STUDENT DROP OFF. THEY CREATED THE SAME SCENARIO FOR STUDENT DROP OFF AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL THAT THEY ARE CLAIMING IS A SAFETY ISSUE AT THE HIGH SCHOOL. IF THESE YOUNGER CHILDREN AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CAN BE DROPPED OFF ON THE STREET, WHY NOT HIGH SCHOOL. THEY DIDN'T TAKE HOMES IN SEWICKLEY??WHY NOT??
qvmom October 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
@Nancyf... First of all, the dynamics between the two schools are completely different. Traffic is not as congested around middle school and it's not situated on a busy street. There are also sidewalks on both sides of the street and numerous crosswalks that are well marked. Second, if I lived next door to you I would want to sell also. And maybe you weren't told the whole story so they wouldn't have to deal with your wrath. And third, there go the accusations again. No, I am not a school board member. Just a parent with a brain. I have watched what you and your organization have done to numerous people with your propaganda and accusations. All you care about are flowers and trees. Not kids.
walter October 20, 2012 at 08:50 PM
QVmom, wow - take a breath. Each post gets a a little nuttier. I am not a member of these groups, but I know dishonest government when I see it. I simply have a grandchild spend three years in ambridge and have seen the school board fumble this process from the get go, happen too know the connection to the board and the folks that bought it, and was around when the former Athletic Director had the Army Corp of Engineers ready to move the dirt up on the property for free and the land was suitable for being built on at that time. I have seen this board promote a lame teacher to assistant principle because her brother is o the board and there is no place for her to go.Your spouse must be a school board member. Besides, Route 65 is about the busiest street in the state and connects to the back yard of the middle school. You need to please try and get a group because you are not helping this silly attempt to fool the public.
Nancyf October 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Thank you Walt QV mom/or is it dad is obviously a board member or closely related to one, they are the only ones who agrees with this board to waste more tax dollars for their egos. You defend with the exact words they used, and you can't see the truth either. Peebles & Harbaugh Street is just as busy as Beaver Street at drop off times, however, they took no homes because it was Sewickley. You are right you would not be my neighbor because you would not live in a town like Leetsdale! You can't even comment without criticizing people,live in our shoes, then criticize.
qvmom October 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM
The middle school traffic at drop off times is mostly parents, unlike Beaver Street. I criticize? Walter has called people names in a futile attempt to draw attention away from valid points. And all you do is talk about their morals and how corrupt they are. You have degraded and defamed the school board and said slanderous things about an assistant principal. I have made statements regarding the origin of your group and what they have done. That has been proven. You shouldn't bash and accuse people without proof. But I am clueless, getting nuttier and criticize... That's funny. And now I am mom or is it dad... thanks for giving me a laugh
walter October 21, 2012 at 02:13 AM
thanks for the comment. not sure slander is a term I would use, even so I believe that public officials are exempt from public slander as the statements have truth tied to it. ask a board member in your house. I think the problem is that this maybe the 1st time the school board has ever been challenged. heck, even your questions at mtgs need to be approved before a mtg so whom is truly in violation of the 1st amendment mommy?
walter October 21, 2012 at 02:23 AM
look mommy, I apologize if I have upset you or your relation to the board. I do not wish anyone harm. I just want honesty. please help me understand what I have said that is not true. have a nice night to both mommy and daddy.
qvmom October 21, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Public officials are exempt from it, but an assistant principal is a hired employee, not a public official. You have not upset me, I find it comical when faced with adversity and differing opinions you lash out and put people down. That speaks of your true character. For the record, the first property they bought had been on the market. For quite awhile actually. Just because you say negative things with conviction, doesn't make them true. And bashing people when they make valid points proves that you don't have an argument. That's what your group is known for.
walter October 21, 2012 at 04:09 PM
You are incorrect about public employees especially those in management positions. Ask your wife. Also, ask any teacher in the district what they think about the move. then you might understand more of the truth, even though it hurts. Finally, I am not a member of any group. I want honest government. Check to see who made a boat load of money on cyber school education that is connected to our superintendent. you wont believe what you find.
qvmom October 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
See there you go again. Making accusations. I am done arguing with people who have nothing better to do with their time than throw accusations around and call people names. The truth will come out. It always does. And I, for one, can't wait for that day. Most people don't say things unless they have proof. Only those that are desperate to make a name for themselves feel it necessary to defame and malign people.
Nancyf October 22, 2012 at 03:20 AM
WALTER,don't waste your time on QV mom, who is obviously the school board. I must comment on one false statement that the board/qv mom keeps saying (its part of their propaganda) that the first home they purchased was on the market. It was on the market for 1 year, however, the owners took it off the market around October/November of 2011. Several months later, the school approached them to buy it. QV mom/dad/school since you don't have a life, call Howard Hanna and see when it was taken off the market. Walter-I am curious, what about the cyber school and our super where can we find that info??
Larissa Dudkiewicz October 22, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Hi -- I know everyone feels passionate about their opinions, but this is a reminder to please refrain from personal attacks. Thanks!

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