Above: Oliver and Perry students created a unity chain. (Photo by Kelsey Shea).
By 3 p.m. on June 13, Oliver High School will officially be closed, sending its 300 students to Perry Traditional Academy.
At a meeting on May 30, Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators, faculty members and students from both schools attended a community meeting to discuss what has been done to ease the transition and what administrators still need to do.
“We believe that when groups like these come together, we get really great results,” said PPS Superintendent Linda Lane.
About 60 people attended the meeting, seven of which were parents. The meeting was moderated by professionals from New York University who Perry hired to help with the transition.
The Perry and Oliver student transition team gave a presentation on their work throughout the past few months which included helping organize over 30 visits to Perry for Oliver students, a unity chain, a mural and joint extracurricular activities.
After the student presentation, NYU moderators led a brief conversation with community members in attendance, during which the community expressed concern about the school board, parent communication, Oliver faculty and how Oliver students would be incorporated into the school.
Parent communication was identified as an area where improvement was needed, which was further discussed in smaller groups after the presentation.
“I can’t say whether the transition is going well or not. It’s too soon to tell,” said Maryann Dean, a Perry parent who questioned the lack of parental communication during the meeting. “We don’t know anything as parents.”
Perry Principle Nina Sacco explained that Oliver teachers who applied for vacant positions at Perry would be given preference and that there will be vacancies for the 2012-2012 school year.
Finally, moderators noted that as of June 14, there would be no Oliver and that they would all be a part of the Perry family.