Pittsburgh Public Schools

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Pittsburgh Public Schools
Type and location
Type Public school
Grades Pre-K–12
Established 1794
Country United States
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
District information
Superintendent Linda Lane
Budget $542,600,000
Students and staff
Students 28,000
Athletic Conference PIAA District 8
Colors Black, Gold
Other information
Website Pittsburgh Public Schools
Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts
Board of Education's Administration Building in Oakland

Pittsburgh Public Schools is the public school district in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and adjacent Mount Oliver.

The combined land area of these municipalities is 55.3 square miles (143 km2) with a population of 342,503 according to the 2000 census.[1] In March 2012, the superintendent became Linda Lane. She has a performance-based contract until Jan 2014.[2] Lane served as Deputy Superintendent[3] from 2006 until her promotion. The school district operates 65 schools with 5,180 full-time employees and serves 29,445[4][5] students with an operating budget of $533.6 million.[5]

Locations:

History[edit]

Public education in Pittsburgh began in 1835. The Pittsburgh Public School District was formed by the combining of the city's Ward schools in November 1911. At that time the Board of education had 15 appointed members. In 1976, this was changed to the current elective system.[1]

Academics[edit]

Accelerated Learning Academies[edit]

As part of the final right-sizing plan approved by the Board in February 2006, eight of the poorer performing schools were transformed into Accelerated Learning Academies (ALAs).[6] The eight schools were: Arlington Accelerated Learning Academy (K–8, two campuses), Colfax Accelerated Learning Academy (K–8), Fort Pitt Accelerated Learning Academy (Elementary), Martin Luther King Accelerated Learning Academy (K–8), Murray Accelerated Learning Academy (K–8), Northview Accelerated Learning Academy (Elementary), A. J. Rooney Accelerated Learning Academy (Middle), Weil Technology Accelerated Learning Academy (K–8).[7] These schools were put on a longer school year calendar[8] with 10 extra days, as well as a longer school day adding 45 minutes of instructional time.[9] The ALAs use the America's Choice Design Model,[10] developed by the National Center on Education and the Economy.

Kaplan Curriculum[edit]

In early 2006 the district contracted with Kaplan K12 Learning Services to develop a core curriculum for grades 6 through 12. The core curriculum will be phased in over the course of three years: during the 2006-7 school year the district will implement the new curriculum for English in grades 6–10 and Math in grades 6, 9 and 10; in 2007-8 English in grades 11 and 12, Math in grades 7 and 11, and Science in grades 6–11 will start; and Math grade 8, and Social Studies grades 6–11 will start in 2008-9. Lesson plans and curriculum coaching will be provided to teachers, and the students will undergo benchmark testing every 6 weeks to assess student progress. Each school will have curriculum coaches on-site to aid teachers and provide them with professional development. The Key Concepts presented in the curriculum will be aligned with the state standards tested for in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment annual tests.[11] In July, 2010, Bill Gates noted that the school system is a model due to its teacher performance initiatives.[12]

Signature[edit]

The district trademark was created with the Design Department of Carnegie Mellon University. The colorful central building blocks and the Pittsburgh Public Schools logotype together form the PPS "signature."

The multi-colored building blocks are closely associated with children and child development. They represent the multi-cultural community of Pittsburgh and the diversity of the programs and students in the district. The blocks are also versatile in that they can be used in any media either in color or black and white.[13]

The Pittsburgh Promise[edit]

On December 13, 2006 Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and then Superintendent Mark Roosevelt announced The Pittsburgh Promise initiative. Starting in 2008 The Promise will make available to all graduates satisfying the criteria a scholarship to any accredited post-secondary institution within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The $5–7 million per year necessary to fund this will be raised through private contributions from foundations and corporations.[14]

The Pittsburgh Promise is similar to an existing program in Kalamazoo, Michigan known as the Kalamazoo Promise. A joint City and School District task force will be formed to develop the plan. Work has been done by the District's High School Reform Task Force and the Mayor's Business and Economic Development Committee.[15]

In January 2007 the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers made the first contribution to The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program. The donation by the union was to show the teachers' support for the program.[16]

In 2008, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center made a $10 million donation with a commitment for as much as $90 million in additional matching funds over the next nine years.[17]

Board of education[edit]

The Pittsburgh Public Schools have an elected nine-member Board, who serve without pay. Each member represents a geographic region of the City, and serves for a four-year term.[18] As of December 1, 2008, the members are:[19]

  • Terry Kennedy – District 5
  • Thomas Sumpter (President) – District 3
  • William Isler (First VP) – District 4
  • Dr. Regina Holley – District 2
  • Mark Brentley, Sr. – District 8
  • Cynthia Falls – District 7
  • Sherry Hazuda – District 6
  • Carolyn Klung (Second VP) – District 9
  • Sylvia Wilson – District 1

Schools[edit]

Elementary schools (K–6)[edit]

Assistant Superintendent—Barbara Rudiak, PhD

K–8 Schools[edit]

Assistant Superintendent—Jeanine French, PhD

Middle Schools (6–8) and Accelerated Learning Academies[edit]

Assistant Superintendent—Christiana Otuwa, PhD

Eighth Grade Rankings[edit]

The Pittsburgh Business Times ranked 141 western Pennsylvania eighth grades in 2009. The ranking was based on student academic achievement as reflected by three years of results on: math, reading, writing and one year of science PSSAs.[20]

Secondary Schools (6-12) and (9-12)[edit]

Assistant Superintendent—Derrick Lopez, JD

In 2009, US News and World report ranked 21,000 public high schools, in the United States, based on three factors. First, the schools were analyzed for the number of students who achieved above the state average on the reading and math tests in 2008. Then they considered how the economically disadvantaged students performed against the state average. Finally, they considered the participation rate and the performance of students in college readiness by examining Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate test data. Seventy Pennsylvania high schools achieved ranking bronze, silver or gold rating. Fifty three Pennsylvania high schools achieved bronze.[21] Eight high schools in Allegheny County and 2 Pittsburgh School District high schools achieved inclusion in the ranking. Brashear High School and Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts achieved Bronze ranking.

Special schools[edit]

Assistant Superintendent—Patricia Gennari, PhD

Charter schools[edit]

As required by Pennsylvania state law, the District funds a number of Charter schools:[22]

Federal Stimulus grant[edit]

The district received an extra $41,961,757 in ARRA - Federal Stimulus money to be used in specific programs like special education and meeting the academic needs of low-income students.[26] This funding is for the 2009-2011 school years. Some of that money was used for a five-week summer-school program that began in 2010. Summer Dreamers is open to all students heading into grades 6, 7 and 8.

Closed schools[edit]

Prior to 2006[edit]

  • South Vo Tech
  • South Hills Junior / Senior High School; closed in 1986 and sent its students to Brashear High School
  • Fifth Avenue High School – closed in 1976 and sent its students to Brashear High School
  • Central High School
  • Gladstone Middle School in Hazelwood. Gladstone was also high school in the past.
  • Swisshelm Park School
  • East Hills Elementary School
  • Reizenstein Middle School

2006 right-sizing[edit]

Charter Schools Closed[edit]

  • Career Connections Charter Middle School 6–8 — Charter revoked by Board on 27 September 2006[27] — Closed 29 November 2006[28]

Athletics[edit]

PIAA District 8

Elementary school
Winter — Swimming
Spring — Track
Middle school
Fall — Cross Country, Girls Softball, Boys Softball, Boys Volleyball, Girls Volleyball
Winter — Swimming, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball
Spring — Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Wrestling
High school
Fall — Cross Country, Football, JV Football, Golf, Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, Girls Tennis, Girls Volleyball. Water Polo (a non-varsity team at Pittsburgh Schenley High School)
Winter — Boys Swimming, Girls Swimming, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Wrestling
Spring — Boys Baseball, Boys Tennis, Boys Volleyball, Girls Softball, Co-ed Track & Field

Migration to WPIAL begins in September 2012[edit]

Certain sports teams in certain high schools within PPS / District 8 are moving to play within the WPIAL / District 7. All football and basketball teams are going to say within the City League. The better teams that can compete with the WPIAL teams in sports other than football and basketball are moving to new sections.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2007 Preliminary Budget" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-11-20. [dead link]
  2. ^ Schackner, Bill (2010-12-14). "School board votes 8-1 for superintendent - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  3. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-12-13). "City schools hire deputy superintendent". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-12-14. 
  4. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-11-07). "City's schools lose more students". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. A-1. Retrieved 2006-11-11. 
  5. ^ a b Smydo, Joe (2006-11-10). "City schools try to hold line on taxes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. A-1. Retrieved 2006-11-11. 
  6. ^ "Accelerated Learning Academies". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  7. ^ "Accelerated Learning Academies". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  8. ^ "Accelerated Learning Academy 2006-2007 School Calendar". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. 2006-05-01. Archived from the original on 2006-12-16. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  9. ^ "PPS ALAs Frequently Asked Questions". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-12-20. [dead link]
  10. ^ "America's Choice". NCEE Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2006-12-20. 
  11. ^ "Kaplan Parent Presentation". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-12-20. [dead link]
  12. ^ Rujumba, Karamagi. "Bill Gates lauds city's steps to improve schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-07-01. 
  13. ^ "The Pittsburgh Public Schools Signature". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-11-27. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Superintendent Mark Roosevelt Announce Partnership to Create The Pittsburgh Promise" (Press release). Pittsburgh Public Schools. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  15. ^ Lord, Rich (2006-12-13). "City schools to promise college funds for good students". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  16. ^ Smydo, Joe (2007-01-12). "Teachers union gives $10,000 to new city scholarship fund". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  17. ^ "UPMC Community Citizenship". Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  18. ^ "About the Board". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2006-11-25. 
  19. ^ "Board of Directors". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  20. ^ The Rankings: 8th Grades, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009
  21. ^ Best High Schools 2008, US News and World Report. December 9, 2009
  22. ^ "Pennsylvania Charter School Websites". The Center for Education Reform Website. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  23. ^ "Board denies renewal of E. Liberty charter school". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  24. ^ "MINUTES Meeting of: March 2 1,2007" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools. pp. p.640-1. Retrieved 2007-04-26. [dead link]
  25. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-11-09). "City schools want to close 2 more charter schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  26. ^ Allegheny County ARRA FUNDING Report 2009
  27. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-09-28). "School board votes to close Career Connections school". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  28. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-11-17). "Charter middle school to shut Nov. 29". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Pittsburgh Public Schools at Wikimedia Commons