Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the school reopening for in-person learning?

    Yes. In-person learning at Elizabeth Forward High School will resume on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.  

    Is the building safe to return for in-person learning?

    Yes. Third-party air quality testing continues daily at the high school, and the ongoing reports indicate that the results are below or within normal guidelines. All systems are currently online and operating normally.  The Allegheny County Health Department has inspected the building, including the kitchen and cafeteria, and we received approval on March 27, 2023.

    Will there be a chance to see the high school to ensure it's safe for my child to return?

    Yes. On Tuesday, April 4th, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm and on Wednesday, April 5th, from 4:00pm to 5:30pm, parents, guardians, and students can visit the building and see the progress that has been made. 

    What changes have there been made to the school?  Is the whole building accessible? 

    Rooms and areas adjacent to the auditorium space are walled off and will not be accessible at this time. Updates on what is available and other logistical issues, such as busing and parking, will be provided as soon as possible.

    Will there be any changes to the high school student’s schedule?

    Yes. In order to return to school, the faculty must gain access to their classrooms.  As a result, during the week of 3/27, the faculty and staff will prepare their classrooms for in-person learning. On the days the teachers prepare their classroom, students will work on make-up assignments.  

    In addition, on Monday, April 3rd, and Tuesday, April 4th, all high school classes will be canceled to finalize classrooms for in-person learning. The school will remain closed the rest of the week for the already planned Spring Break. Due to these lost days of instruction, a make-up day for the high school ONLY will be scheduled for Tuesday, May 16. This will allow high school students to meet the 180-day requirement set forth by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.The Fire at the High School


    What happened at Elizabeth Forward High School?

    On Sunday, February 12, at 5:30 am, Elizabeth Township Fire Department alerted district officials of a fire at Elizabeth Forward High School. The fire was contained to the auditorium side of the school building but caused extensive damage, necessitating the high school's closing until further notice. We are waiting for the Allegheny County Fire Marshall to finish their investigation on the cause. Fortunately, there were no injuries to district staff and first responders.


    The Recovery

    What has happened since the fire was put out?  

    Since the incident, contractors have been on-site doing the following actions: 

    1. The Auditorium has undergone demolition 
    2. The high school continues to undergo cleaning.
    3.  On February 28, the district hired Macson Corporation to oversee these two work streams.  
    4. On March 1, the electrical team accessed the switchgear and determined that it would need to be replaced. The district is exploring alternative electrical solutions.  

    Has the district looked at alternative buildings for in-person learning?

    Yes. District officials have visited several sites to determine if it would be appropriate to establish in-person learning. These locations included the former Thomas Jefferson High School, South Allegheny Early Education Center, and the Community College of Allegheny County South Campus. While these sites pose logistical issues, we are evaluating all options at this time. 
    In considering alternative locations, there are many challenges, such as providing meals with our contracted vendor and transporting students in a reasonable amount of time. In addition, we also need to consider the complexity of scheduling multiple grade-level courses in a limited space.

    What is the expected time frame for the school closure?

    We are striving for an April return date.  

    What caused the fire?

    We are waiting for the Allegheny County Fire Marshall to finish their investigation on the cause. 


    Continuation of Education and School Activities


    What is the status of high school classes?


    Remote learning began on Tuesday, February 14th, for Elizabeth Forward High School ONLY. Students are expected to follow the remote learning schedule and attend classes online. High school classes will remain remote until further notice.  

    Is the district working on plans for students to get supplemental tutoring or in-person guidance? 

    Yes. The high school and district-level administration are working to provide opportunities for students to meet in person and receive additional academic support. Please pay close attention to any correspondence from the high school regarding updates. 

    What about extracurriculars and athletics? Are they canceled?

    All efforts are being made to conduct other school activities as usual. Obviously, until further notice, no events, extracurricular activities, or sports will occur at the high school. Individuals should contact their coaching staff and activity leaders for details on rehearsals, practices, meetings, and other events.  


    Government and Community Support


    Is the district getting any additional support?

    So far, we have had visits from Senator Jim Brewster, Representative Andrew Kuzma, and U.S. Representative Summer Lee. In addition, the Deputy Secretary of Education, Jeff Fuller, has also been at the site. We are keeping them informed of our current situation and are ready to ask for specific help beyond our jurisdiction.  


    When is the next School Board Meeting?

    The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 5, at 6:30 pm at District Office.  The public is welcome, as always, to attend. 


    How can I donate to the fire and recovery effort?

    We are aware of the outpouring of financial donations for various groups and activities impacted by this terrible incident. If individuals or organizations wish to donate to the school district, please submit a check made out to EFSD and specify where you want your donations allocated. We will ensure the dollars are set aside for their intended purpose. Please mail or drop off checks at 401 Rock Run Road, Elizabeth, PA, with attention to Al Ragan, business manager. 

    Updated: 3/24/2023