State College Area School District

What SCASD Schools Are Doing To Keep Students Safe

Jun 7, 2018
More than 2,000 students walked into State College Area High School's new south building for the first time on January 8, 2018.
Min Xian / WPSU

As the school year draws to a close in State College, teachers and school officials are thinking about the recent school shootings in other cities, and how to keep students here safe. Cindy Simmons talked to some of them for WPSU.   

On April 20th, 1999, 12 students and one teacher were killed at the Columbine High School in Colorado. On this day 19 years later, a school walkout in protest against gun violence spread across the nation. 

“We’re all post-Columbine kids,” said State College Area High School senior Kayla Fatemi. “I think, for us, [school shooting] is just something that we have to grow up with.”

More than 2,000 students walked into State College Area High School's new south building for the first time on January 8, 2018.
Min Xian / WPSU

After 18 months of waiting, the new State High buildings on the south side of Westerly Parkway opened their doors on Monday. All of the classrooms have moved to the new facility, but construction will continue into summer 2019.  

State High held a pep rally, and the energy level was high.

Jeff Straub is a senior architect on the project. He said the new facilities focus on providing more space for small group instruction and one-on-one interaction.

The State College Area School District has proposed changes to the school day. The elementary school day would be longer, and middle and high school would start later.

To talk about these proposed changes and some of the research behind these recommendations, I’m joined in the studio by superintendent Bob O’Donnell, and Penn State researchers Dr. Anne-Marie Chang, who studies the effects of sleep on cognitive performance, and Dr. Ed Fuller, who’s Director of the Penn State Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis.    

Plans for the reconstruction of the Corl Street, Houserville and Radio Park elementary schools are more than half way done. A community forum took place last night in State College to talk about the progress.

Board of Education members and architects answered financial and logistical questions about the site plans for each school.

Jim Leous, vice president of the State College Area School Board, said plans for reconstruction first began in 2009.