Phoenixville superintendent announces change of course locations for tech school students

PHOENIXVILLE — At the monthly Phoenixville Area School Board meeting Thursday, Superintendent Alan Fegley detailed plans for the district’s students’ future enrollment in Technical College High School-Pickering, formerly known as Cat-Pickering.

Specifically, the plan for enrollment calls for students in the future to take their academic courses in-house at Phoenixville and take their career and technical courses at TCHS-Pickering, as opposed to taking both at the Pickering campus.

“We’ve had lots of talks with the Pickering campus. They know I’m going to make these recommendations,” Fegley said.

The motivation for changing enrollment options at the technical and career center was testing.

Fegley said the district would rather handle the education of its own students for the purposes of such government-mandated testing as the Keystones.

Additionally, costs to the Chester County Intermediate Unit will drop with more students being educated in-house in the district.

Fegley said that in the 2013-14 school year, 10th grade students will be limited to part-time at TCHS-Pickering, taking their academics at Phoenixville. Eleventh and 12th grade students have the option of choosing part or full-time schedules at the campus.

Once students chose whether they are full- or part-time, the decision is “not reversible.”

“We don’t want students jumping back and forth between the programs,” Fegley explained.

All new students to the program would be limited to part-time courses.

Beginning in 2014-15, both 10th and 11th grade students will only have the part-time option available to them. Twelfth grade students will still have the full-time option.

From 2015-16 on, Phoenixville students can only attend TCHS-Pickering part-time, according to the recommendations.

Students’ individual schedules will determine where they begin or end the day, whether at Phoenixville Area High School or TCHS-Pickering.

All parents were notified by mail through the district twice of the coming enrollment changes, Fegley said, adding that the district met with parents of the Pickering campus last year so the district could take their concerns into account.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.

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