Pittsburgh Public Schools

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: Pittsburgh Public School administrators say assessments have to be reconsidered in a pandemic; The POISE Foundation’s latest “Pulse Report” finds a disproportionate amount of high poverty and Black students in fully remote learning; The pandemic is making the digital divide all the more obvious; and two professors take on questions about sleep and computers.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

As of late September, 336 students, or about 1.5 percent of Pittsburgh Public Schools students, had not logged into the district’s online learning platform for remote instruction, or been reached by school staff.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: A+ School’s latest report questions systemic inequities and where they can be resolved in public schools; Local resettlement organizations are preparing to support more refugees; and Marisel Vera’s new novel follows a Puerto Rican family that immigrated to Hawai’i.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools students and staff who returned to buildings this week for the first time since March will again return to learning and teaching from home on Monday.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

This week on the Explainer:

COVID-19 cases are rising in Pennsylvania, with more than 40,000 people testing positive this month. Health and science reporter Sarah Boden breaks down the numbers, noting health officials say there isn’t a particular source of new infections.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Nearly 50 teachers and parents asked the city school district’s board Monday to reconsider its plan to return students to classrooms in-person on November 9.

Virginia Alvino-Young / 90.5 WESA

For seven months Sharifa has been at home with her family. The 18-year-old attends a Pittsburgh Public high school and like her peers, has been learning remotely since March, when the district moved online to slow the spread of the coronavirus. She’s learning English as a second language and says the disruption in her learning has been challenging and frustrating.

Michael Rubinkam / AP

School districts across the Pittsburgh region have reported cases of COVID-19 since the academic year began, causing some districts to temporarily close schools. There aren’t, however, any set rules from the state about how a school district informs parents about a positive COVID-19 case. As a result, communication polices vary district to district.

Matt Rourke / AP

The coronavirus pandemic caused more than one million Pennsylvanians to vote by mail in the June primary, and state officials expect that number to roughly triple in November. With a little over a month until the election, the rules around voting by mail are still in flux, as several lawsuits make their way through the courts.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Black students, especially Black girls, are disproportionately referred to the juvenile justice system by the Pittsburgh Public School district’s own police officers. Superintendent Anthony Hamlet says he plans to change that.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

This summer, as protesters took to the streets to condemn racism and police brutality, two Pittsburgh Public Schools board members continued a longtime call for institutional change within the district.

Craig Mitchelldyer / AP

Some Pittsburgh Public Schools students experienced slow connections or none at all on the first day of online classes Tuesday. All classes are being held online through at least the first nine weeks of school.

Mark Stuckey, the district’s interim chief technology officer, said there was a configuration issue with the district’s Internet bandwidth provider, causing students to bottleneck through a smaller backup server when trying to access the district’s web resources. 

Richard Drew / AP

About 18,000 Pittsburgh Public Schools students are enrolled in a visual arts class this fall. The district, though, did not purchase supplies to send to those students while they learn remotely for the first nine weeks of the school year.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Two days before the school year was scheduled to begin, Pittsburgh Public Schools delayed virtual learning until Sept. 8 because not all students have the needed technology.

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Schools

Just days ahead of the start of what will be an unusual school year, the Pittsburgh Public Schools board voted to renew Superintendent Anthony Hamlet’s contract for another four years.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Four years after Superintendent Anthony Hamlet took the helm at Pittsburgh Public Schools, the school board is expected to vote Wednesday on whether he should lead the district through the 2025 school year.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

 

On today's program: Local colleges and universities plan to welcome students back to campus amid the pandemic; a Pittsburgh-based research firm says one third of parents surveyed are uncomfortable sending their children back into classrooms; and experiences with racism take a toll on the mental health of people of color.


Dannielle Brown hasn’t eaten in more than a month. But she says she hasn’t breathed in nearly two years.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The group Black Women For A Better Education demand transformational change.

Craig Mitchelldyer / AP

Central office staff for the state’s second largest school district outlined a comprehensive plan for remote learning Tuesday, a plan that requires nearly 19,000 computers and tablets that the district doesn't have on hand yet.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools' nearly 23,000 students will not return to classrooms for the first nine weeks of the year.

Craig Mitchelldyer / AP

In a virtual hearing Wednesday evening, Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators heard public comment about a proposal to start the school year exclusively online instead of a hybrid model that would include some in-person instruction. The majority of statements were in favor of the remote-only model.

Matt Rourke / AP

Jill Biden says her husband, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, would have had a plan for safely reopening schools.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA


The Pittsburgh Public Schools first day of school is scheduled for August 31st, just a little more than five weeks away. But it’ll be at least another week and a half before families know for sure what fall instruction is going to look like. While some districts are offering a hybrid model, with both online and in-person instruction, others haven’t made up their minds yet, including PPS.

Pittsburgh Public Schools students might not be back in classrooms for at least the first nine weeks of the school year, although a final decision on the matter will not be determined for another two weeks.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

 


On today's program: Pittsburgh Public Schools look to lower the number of arrests at District schools; and Pittsburgh’s film industry prepares to return to work. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A coalition of advocacy groups is calling on the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Directors to remove police officers from school buildings.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools board members Devon Taliaferro and Pam Harbin say it’s time for the district to be police-free.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Allderdice High School Black Student Union members and alumni described the lives of Breonna Taylor, Antwon Rose Jr., Philando Castile, George Floyd and others killed by police officers Thursday. They spoke about Ahmaud Arbery and other black people killed by white private citizens. They paused after each story and told the large crowd gathered on the school’s lawn to, “say my name.”

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Colfax K-8 Principal Tamara Sanders-Woods spoke to a crowd gathered on the front steps of her school Monday morning, asking for white accountability.

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