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Quaker Valley to Withdraw from Alternative School

The alternative school on the Parkway West Career and Technology Center campus is at risk to close due to high costs and low student enrollment.

The Quaker Valley School Board voted Tuesday to submit a letter notifying the Parkway West Career and Technical Center of the district’s intent to withdraw from the Alternative Center for Education. 

The withdrawal from the educational program will be effective beginning with the 2013-14 school year.

Superintendent Joseph Clapper reiterated Tuesday night that the issue isn’t about the quality of the program.

“It’s the cost of the program,” said Clapper, who also serves as the superintendent of record. 

Enrollment at ACE has declined to 44 students from about 80, resulting in a higher tuition costs of more than $17,000 per student for the half-day program, school officials said.

Of the five students that Quaker Valley sends, three will complete the program this year. Quaker Valley plans to seek other alternatives for remaining students.

Quaker Valley makes it a half dozen districts that have voted to withdraw from the program, according to school officials. Chartiers Valley, Cornell, Keystone Oaks, Moon and South Fayette have also indicated they will discontinue their use of the ACE program.

Despite a Sewickley woman’s last-ditch effort to save the ACE, the Parkway board's vice president also said she believes the school will close.

"Barring something unforeseen, I'm expecting it will be coming to an end," Angela Petersen, who also serves on the Upper St. Clair School Board, told Patch. 

Parkway West serves 12 area school districts including Carlynton, Chartiers Valley, Cornell, Keystone Oaks, Montour, Moon, Mt. Lebanon, Quaker Valley, South Fayette, Sto-Rox, Upper St. Clair and West Allegheny.

The matter to close ACE was tabled in November after about 50 supporters turned up at the meeting. A final vote to close is expected in January.

Upper St. Clair Patch editor Becky Brindle contributed to this report.

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Airdoc December 05, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I read where Moon is doing the same. Wonder how many others will be doing this? Is it a combination of increased cost and students no longer interested in going there?
Larissa Dudkiewicz December 05, 2012 at 09:09 PM
It's a combination of factors. Basically students today and schools have more options for alternative education, which is resulting in fewer students attending ACE and higher costs per student.

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