Rogers Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts

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Rogers Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts
Rogers CAPA.jpg
5525 Columbo Street
Pittsburgh PA 15206 Coordinates: 40°28′08″N 79°55′50″W / 40.469019°N 79.930577°W / 40.469019; -79.930577

United States
Type Public
Motto Believe, Work to Achieve, and Succeed
Established September 1979
School district Pittsburgh Public Schools
Principal Dr. Ronald Jones
Staff 13
Faculty 40
Grades 6–8
Enrollment 315 as of 1 Oct 2007[1]
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Blue and Yellow/Gold
Athletics conference PIAA District 8
Mascot Wolverine
Representative Thomas Sumpter
Designated 2002[2]

Rogers Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts (Rogers CAPA) was an arts magnet school located in Garfield, near East Liberty, and Highland Park neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[3] Rogers CAPA offers students nine Arts majors: Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental, Multimedia, Piano, Stagecraft, Visual Arts, and Vocal.

Admission is by portfolio or audition. Academic courses include Communications, Computers, Health, Library, Mathematics, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, and Spanish.

Rogers CAPA is one of ten middle schools in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. In 2005 it was ranked 111th of 500 middle schools in the state of Pennsylvania.[4]

In June 2009, this building was closed and the program was merged into the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School.[5]


As part of the court-mandated desegregation plan, the Gladstone School for the Creative and Performing Arts opened in September 1979 for grades 4–8.[3] One of the plan's objectives was to create a unique program that would attract a population that would be drawn from all neighborhoods in the city. Eventually, a process of application and audition was instituted, which has served as a highly successful method of admission to the school.

In September 1980, the program was moved to its present location in the Rogers building and changed to its current format of grades 6–8. A major addition to the program was the hiring of an adjunct teaching staff of artists and performers with a high level of expertise. In its lifetime the school has served over 8000 students by developing their artistic and academic talents.

One of the hallmarks of Rogers School has been the institution of school-wide interdisciplinary units that unite academic and arts subjects, thus enriching and extending student learning. Throughout the years, units have included Shakespeare, the Civil War, Broadway musicals, and the Shapers of History. All arts staff involve their students in the production of stage presentation, and the academic staff creates specific lesson plans that relate to the theme and support the creation of the stage production.

In 1992, the entire staff and student body collaborated with the Pittsburgh Opera in the student-centered production of the opera The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Shadowing the professionals, students wrote copy for the print and electronic media, designed the program cover, conducted the orchestra though some rehearsals, interviewed the principal actors and wrote biographies, choreographed dance sequences, and designed and created costumes worn during the production.

Today, Rogers has grown from a small magnet school that housed only 180 students to a school of over 300 students. It houses a culturally diverse staff and student body that thrives in a collaborative atmosphere where arts and academics combine in a rich program that emphasizes and values the following: discipline, independent work, creative thinking, responsibility, and creativity in all areas of endeavor.

Community partners and supporters include the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Dance Alloy, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Citiparks, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Opera.[3]


The building housing the current Middle School CAPA program was named for James E. Rogers, a member of the Hiland Sub-District School Board for twenty years. It was built in 1915 and had 742 students enrolled that year, by 1953 the enrollment had increased to 900 students. In 1980 the school was closed, and reopened in 1982 for the current CAPA program.[6]

In 2002 the building was designated a Historic Landmark by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.[7]


As of October 1, 2007, the student enrollment of 315 has the following demographics:[1]

Race Number Percent
White American 156 49.52%
African American 133 42.22%
Asian American 3 0.95%
Hispanic 3 0.95%
Multiracial 20 6.35%
American Indian 0 0.00%
Sex Number Percent
Male 92 29.21%
Female 223 70.79%


The faculty at Rogers CAPA[8] teach in either the Arts or Academics, with some teaching both.


  • Creative Writing: Ms. Kathleen Donnelly, Mrs. Janelle Price
  • Dance: Mrs. Denise Azzari, Mr. Anthony Dixon
  • Drama: Ms. Christine Laitta, Mrs. Sara Lamb
  • Instrumental: Mr. Jan Fung (Percussion), Mr. Tom Godfrey (Woodwinds), Mr. James Guerra (Woodwinds), Mr. Dale Hertrick (Orchestra), Mr. Richard Mansfield (Woodwinds), Ms. Dena Miller (Strings), Ms. Karen Sloneker (Brass)
  • Multimedia: Ms. Sheila McBride
  • Piano: Mrs. Ellen Keeney
  • Stagecraft: Mr. William Scheuering
  • Visual Arts: Mr. Victor Capone (Department Chair), Mr. Parris Hugley, Mr. George Morris, Ms. Kyra Schon*Vocal: Mr. Henry Biggs, Mr. Mark Spondike, Ms. Margery Schell


  • Communications: Mrs. Caroline Kelly Anthony, Mrs. Diane Carroll (Acting Curriculum Coach), Ms. Adel Fougnies, Ms. Lynn Marsico, Mrs. Angela Wynert (Curriculum Coach, on leave)
  • Health/Physical Education: Ms. Cindy Haigh
  • Library: currently none
  • Mathematics: Mr. David Hairston (Curriculum Coach), Ms. Ehrin, Mrs. Wilma Rubin, Ms. Alice Rysdon
  • Science: Dr. Terrance Golden, Mr. David Hairston (Curriculum Coach), Mr. Robert Vogel, Mrs. Ilyssa Ringold
  • Social Studies: Mr. P.J. Loskoch, Mr. Robert Vogel, Mrs. Angela Wynert (Curriculum Coach, on leave)
  • Spanish: Mr. Arlo Benjamin

Extracurricular activities[edit]


When Superintendent Mark Roosevelt announced his right-sizing plan on November 9, 2005, it included the relocation of Rogers CAPA to the Baxter Elementary building formerly occupied by CAPA High. Due to the negative response of the students, parents and faculty, this plan was dropped in the final right-sizing plan of February 28, 2006.

At a community meeting on March 28, 2006, Superintendent Roosevelt announced plans to form a committee to find and recommend a suitable destination for relocation. The committee, formed of parents, teachers, administrators and community members, first met on July 20, 2006 and made a final recommendation to the Superintendent on October 19, 2006. On November 1, Roosevelt presented to the Board of Education the committee's recommendation to move the CAPA Middle School program into the recently closed Milliones Middle School building.[9] 40°26′59″N 79°57′45″W / 40.4497°N 79.9625°W / 40.4497; -79.9625

On December 19, 2006 the Board of Education approved a contract with Graves Architects, Inc. "to provide architectural services for interior renovations and theatre/classroom addition to Milliones facility as outlined in the Request for Proposals prepared by the Facilities Division, for the relocation of Rogers CAPA, and as outlined in the Consultant's proposal of December 14, 2006."

At the Business/Finance Committee meeting on February 5, 2007, the Milliones Building Reuse Committee, created at the request of the Board, recommended in addition to moving the CAPA Middle School program there, to also move the K-8 program currently in the Vann Elementary building into Milliones as well. This plan would save $3.5 million from the current capital budget by expanding the needed addition to Milliones for the CAPA program by $1.5 million and eliminating the $5 million expansion to Vann.[10]

On February 20, 2007, the Board of Directors passed a resolution at the Legislative meeting which matched the recommendation of the Milliones Building Reuse Committee.[11]

The Pittsburgh City Council approved Conditional Use Zoning for Milliones Middle School on August 13, 2007, allowing the extension and interior renovations.[12]

The current plan includes a 2½-story, 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) addition on the eastern side of the building for use as an Arts Complex. It will include a Theater for ≈500, Art, Drama and Music classrooms, studios and rehearsal areas, as well as a stagecraft shop and costume design studio. The construction is expected to be completed in time for the schools to move in at the start of the 2008–09 school year in August 2008.


  1. ^ a b "School Directory". PPS Web Site. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  2. ^ Historic Landmark Plaques 1968-2009 (PDF). Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  3. ^ a b c Lynda Lewis, Principal (2006-12-11). "2006-2007 School Plan for Excellence". Rogers CAPA Middle School. 
  4. ^ "Rogers Center Creat & Per Arts, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania / PA school information". School Digger Website. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  5. ^ Smydo, Joe (2009-06-05). "Performance to mark closing of Pittsburgh Rogers 6-8". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  6. ^ "Rogers School". Pittsburgh Public Schools Collection, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2006-11-13. 
  7. ^ "Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation Plaque List". PHLF Website. Archived from the original on 2007-01-27. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  8. ^ "Rogers CAPA Faculty and Staff". Rogers CAPA Web Site. Archived from the original on February 6, 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-17. 
  9. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-11-02). "Roosevelt: Move Rogers school for arts into closed Milliones building". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-11-11. 
  10. ^ Smydo, Joe (2007-02-06). "Task force recommends moving Vann School into Milliones building". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  11. ^ "Board Votes to Reopen the Closed Milliones Building to Accommodate the Middle Grade CAPA Program and the Vann School" (PDF) (Press release). Pittsburgh Public Schools. 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  12. ^ "Proceedings of the Council of the City of Pittsburgh" (PDF). 2007-08-13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 

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