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PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Specializing in communications, the Gateway Public Relations Department is charged with keeping the target audiences in Monroeville and Pitcairn informed about what's happening in the Gateway schools. The Gateway Public Relations Department produces award-winning communication tools such as the District Calendar, The Future Starts Here (Realtor video), and Spotlight - the District newsletter, handles all media inquiries, works to communicate with parents and other district stakeholders through venues such as Constant Contact email and Twitter, promotes student and staff achievement, and works toward the goal of safety in the schools.
Gateway Leads Western PA Districts in Propane-Fueled Bus Fleet
Gators Give New Meaning to Going Green
Monroeville, PA ~ Gateway School District is now leading the “Green” fuel effort in Western Pennsylvania by being the first District to launch almost an entire fleet of school buses and mini-vans powered by liquid (propane) gas. Sixty-four new buses and vans will utilize the alternative fuel source, which is safe, non-toxic, and more economical than its diesel counterpart.
The District made the “going-green” move when it agreed to a seven-year contract with Student Transportation of America, Inc. (STA), which will supply all transportation needs for Gateway starting in July 2013.
“Gateway is proud to be the innovator of propane buses in Western PA,” said Dr. Nina Zetty, Superintendent of Schools. “These new buses meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) certification requirements; provide a safe and viable alternative fuel choice amidst rising diesel fuel prices; and allow the District to receive tax incentives for purchasing both propane-powered school buses and propane fuel. This is a smarter choice for our students, the environment, and our taxpayers.”
The propane buses and mini-vans, which are manufactured by Blue Bird, also lower operating and maintenance costs, which given the current state of fiscal affairs for Pennsylvania school districts, offers taxpayers additional savings over the course of Gateway’s seven-year agreement.
“In 2008, the federal government appropriated $4.2 million for reducing emissions from diesel engines,” said Paul Schott, Gateway Business Manager. “As we examined our transportation options, STA came to us with the idea of using propane-powered vehicles. The idea made sense to us. By utilizing a full fleet of propane-powered buses, Gateway will receive a tax credit of $.50 per gallon for every gallon of propane fuel that is purchased. We estimate that the new contact with STA will save District taxpayers approximately $327,000 in 2013-14. We are proud to be associated with this going-green approach.”
Propane is a new venture for student transportation; however, propane fuel has been safely used by other industries for over 80 years. Propane bus engines, which have been in existence since the early 1990s, release 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, as much as 60 percent less carbon monoxide, up to 24 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and fewer particulate emissions than diesel fuel.
“It is important to teach our children to respect the environment and to be good custodians of both their world and the world of future generations,” stressed Dr. Zetty. “Research indicates that propane is the cleanest burning fossil fuel on the market. Propane is plentiful, made in America, and offers a quieter ride for drivers and students, which also increases the safety factor while the bus is in motion. Drivers can hear the students and not the roar of the engine. We encourage other Districts to consider alternative fuel choices.”
GATEWAY ANNOUNCES NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR GPA And ATHLETIC REQUIREMENTS FOR 2012-13
Monroeville, PA ~ The District has passed a new policy that requires all students who participate in Gateway School District athletics and/or extracurricular activities, to maintain a 2.0 grade point average or lose the ability to participate in their given activities.
“We (Gateway School District) are notifying parents that effective now through June 30, 2013, all Gateway students participating in athletics and extracurricular activities must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average or above for the previous nine week grading period, or a 2.0 or above grade point average for a 4.5 week interim grading period,” said Dr. Theresa Piatek, Assistant Superintendent. “If students fail to make the grade, they will be deemed ineligible to participate in athletics, activities, or clubs.”
According to the new policy (No. 122.1-R), starting July 1, 2013, Gateway students participating in any sport and/or extra-curricular activities must maintain a 2.0 or above cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Official cumulative GPA checks will be calculated by the District in January, June and August. Eligibility checks will be determined as follows:
- January checks will qualify students for the spring semester of the current year.
- June checks will qualify students for the fall semester of the next school year.
- Students who do not qualify in June will have a recheck conducted in August to include summer school participation with those grades averaged into the final GPA.
- After the single August recheck of grades is exhausted, eligibility will be determined by the January and June GPA verifications.
“Students must maintain a weekly 2.0 GPA during the current term to maintain eligibility to participate in athletic and/or extracurricular activities, in addition to any other weekly eligibility requirements established by the WPIAL or PIAA,” added Dr. Piatek. “Our hope is that students will place importance on academics so that they can continue to enjoy the sport, club, or activity of their choice.”
Gateway’s new policy raises the bar for students, pressing them to work harder in the classroom in order to retain their rights to be able to play sports or participate in clubs such as band, cheerleading, swimming, wrestling, robotics, etc.
The policy takes a year to go into effect, which affords students and parents time to prepare for the change.
“Grades count this year,” said William Short, Principal of Gateway High School. “The new policy will affect students in grades 6 -11. This year’s cumulative grade point average will impact whether a student is eligible to play or participate come fall of 2013. That’s why we are informing parents and students now so they have a chance to prepare themselves for the eligibility requirement changes.”
Mr. Short stresses that the new policy does not affect seniors who are graduating this year.
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