Sarah Schneider

Reporter

Sarah Schneider covers education for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people learn in Western Pennsylvania. Her reporting examines how local and national decisions impact quality and access to education. She loves being in classrooms talking to students and teachers.

She is also a local fill-in host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Previously, Sarah was a reporting fellow at WESA for two years by way of an Americorps affiliated program, Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE). She has interned with newspapers in Illinois, Idaho and Pennsylvania. 

Story ideas are always welcome at sschneider@wesa.fm.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet says district-wide reform is a marathon, not a sprint.

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The superintendent of the Beaver Area School District paused before the start of Monday’s school board meeting and told a packed auditorium that she is gay.

During the first Mass of the school year, two students at St. Bernard Elementary School in suburban Pittsburgh stand in front of the congregation and lead their classmates in prayer.

They pray for the leaders of the world, for the sick and suffering, and for the victims of abuse in the Catholic Church.

It is the only time clergy abuse is mentioned during the service. It might be the only time it's mentioned in the school. Principal Anthony Merante says he wants to leave that conversation up to parents.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

During the first mass of the school year, two students at St. Bernard Elementary School stood in front of the congregation and lead their classmates in prayer.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Black students in Allegheny County are suspended at more than seven times the rate of their non-black peers. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale will begin a performance audit this month of transportation contracts and costs in the Pittsburgh Public School District.

The last audit of the district from his office was released in 2015 and did not cover transportation.

PPS has a dozen transportation contracts, something he said could be justified, but is concerning.

“One of the things we’re going to see is would it make sense to have only one vendor or potentially do it in-house,” he said. “Or to see maybe if that could be paired down.”

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A Republican State Senate Committee met with a group of school officials and school police officers from the western Pennsyvlania on Monday, to talk about what resources and support they need to keep schools safe.

Patrick Doyle / 90.5 WESA

Seven cars from a freight train derailed and crashed into the Station Square light rail stop on Sunday afternoon, causing extensive damage, according to Norfolk Southern officials. That number was updated from the original four cars said to have derailed.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Public Schools board approved a resolution Wednesday night opposing state or federal legislation that would arm teachers.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers President Nina Esposito-Visgitis told a crowd of educators from across the country Friday that Pittsburgh teachers are committing to the union in the wake of a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Mike McGrenehan thought he was headed for a life in the suburbs.

Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, not far from the city limits, McGrenehan always figured he’d marry, have kids, and ship off to the open spaces of suburbia. The “McMansion push,” he called it.

He moved to Montgomery County when he and his wife first married, but it never quite felt like home.

“When we left, we were out on an island,” he said.

After a few years, they moved back to Northeast Philly, had three kids, but reached another turning point when their oldest turned five.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Bill Strickland stepped down July 1 from his role as the CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation 50 years after he founded the craftsmen’s guild.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The annual report Kids Count shows the Commonwealth fares better than most by making gains in education, but continues to show poor numbers in economic well-being.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Woodland Hills School District has ranked among the top 10 districts nationwide for elementary school suspensions. Two years ago, several district and school leaders were sued by former students for incidents of alleged abuse at the hands of a former school police officer and a former high school principal.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Emerson Botts is full energy in the morning. Skipping down the sidewalk on the three-block walk to her school, she tells her mom how sad she is that the school year is ending.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A group of local organizations is hoping to include a referendum on the ballot in November to increase property taxes in order to pay for early childhood education programs. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

A local immigrant inclusion initiative, All for All, is recruiting English as A Second Language teachers to participate in a year-long professional development program.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Members of a group working to address challenges faced by black girls told the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Education that sexual harassment is a pervasive issue within the district.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The local alternative weekly newspaper, the Pittsburgh City Paper, fired its editor-in-chief Charlie Deitch Tuesday.

Provided photo / Carnegie Mellon University

Beginning this fall, Carnegie Mellon University will offer an undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence, the first of its kind available in the U.S.

The expansion announced Thursday is an effort to meet the growing demand for AI experts.

Facebook recently announced it had hired two CMU professors to open a new AI lab in Pittsburgh. One of those professors will continue to teach while the other will spend most of his time with the social media company.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Mia Mitchell jumped out of her chair and waved her hands in the air pointing to her Lincoln University T-shirt when a Pittsburgh Public Schools administrator read the name of the school she will attend this fall.

The Pittsburgh Promise and PPS hosted the second Senior Signing Day in Oakland to celebrate the future plans of more than 1,000 students.

More than 150 institutions of higher learning were listed Thursday morning, each punctuated with student cheers.

Mitchell plans to study criminal justice.

Provided Photo / Literacy Pittsburgh

Next week, Nate Bashioum will make a long-awaited walk across a stage to receive his bachelor’s degree from Carlow University.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

During the school week, Fox Chapel High School sophomore Ben Peterson is usually the first in his family to wake up. By 6:15 a.m., the 16-year-old is downstairs pouring a bowl of cereal. He sits in the dark at the breakfast nook checking soccer scores on his cellphone.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

More than 100 Pittsburgh students marched out of their school Friday and stood in Market Square for 13 minutes in memory of the people who died 19 years ago in Colorado's Columbine High School Shooting.

Ryan Devlin / Submitted Photo

For a month last summer, U.S. teachers worked alongside their Ethiopian counterparts to create lesson plans, PowerPoints and videos to give students in the U.S. a more nuanced understanding of the people and customs of Ethiopia.

That curriculum, called Teach Africa, is now being piloted in classrooms across the region.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Public Schools board approved three employee contracts Wednesday night, more than a month after a planned teacher and support staff strike was averted.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A new contract for Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers was accepted by 90 percent of voting members Wednesday night.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Remake Learning began in Pittsburgh 10 years ago to help adults understand how the digital age has changed education and how to best prepare kids for the future.

Rob Long / Provided Photo

A Pittsburgh nonprofit known for its small grants to grassroots organizations will shut its doors in June.

The Sprout Fund will spend its last several weeks as an organization awarding small “legacy” grants similar to the small seed grants that were the basis of the organization.

The Sprout Fund found success by giving modest monetary awards to early-stage community projects. The idea was to close the gap between the grassroots idea and the complicated process of landing a grant from a large foundation.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

After more than two decades of renting space in in other school buildings, a nonprofit that educates children with special needs is now building a permanent space to house its schools for children with autism and who are deaf.

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