Pittsburgh Public Schools

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program will not use grade point average or attendance as eligibility requirements to receive the annual funds this year.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: VisitPITTSBURGH’s Jerad Bachar says it’ll take a mass vaccination campaign before the hospitality industry recovers from the pandemic; researchers are seeing how machine learning can help Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority find lead lines; and in light of studies showing in-person learning can happen safely, some say teacher unions are prioritizing teachers over students.

Pittsburgh Public Schools

An increasing amount of scientific evidence suggests that in-person learning, especially for younger students, presents a low risk for spreading the coronavirus. But last month, Pittsburgh Public Schools delayed reopening at least until April, a move that frustrated many working parents.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Some members of Pittsburgh City Council are expressing disappointment over a bill intended to stoke action on how the city schools have responded to the coronavirus. Last week councilors Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle introduced a “declaration of educational emergency” to urge the reopening of elementary schools, and to address the widening achievement gap between Black and white students.  

Isabelle Schmeler / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: Pittsburgh Public Schools Board President Sylvia Wilson explains why she abstained on a vote to consider closing buildings, and what might happen next; PublicSource reporter Juliette Rihl found the Allegheny County Jail uses restraint chairs twice as often as any other county facility in the Commonwealth; and a Pittsburgh promoter and concert producer offers her take on how the pandemic is affecting the local music scene following Congress earmarking funds to help ease financial strain.

Jay Manning / Public Source

On this week's Explainer:

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

One day after the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ administration recommended the district close six schools over two years, the board tabled the conversation.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilors Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle want to declare a "state of educational emergency" for Pittsburgh Public Schools, and on Tuesday proposed a bill urging a speedy return to in-person learning in district buildings. The move comes a week after the school board decided to continue online learning for the district -- and the board's president did not welcome the move.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators have proposed closing six school buildings, opening three new schools in existing buildings and reconfiguring the feeder patterns that determine where kids go to school.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

A group of Pittsburgh Public Schools parents, alumni, former employees and concerned community members will endorse a slate of candidates for the five open school board seats this May.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools students will not return to buildings until at least April, nearly 13 months after the district shuttered all of its schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Public Schools board will vote next week on a proposal to again delay the return to in-person learning. A coalition of local groups that advocate for children want the district to better communicate why students and staff haven’t returned to in-person learning.  

Gene J. Puskar / AP

On today's program: Reporter Kate Giammarise explains why fewer people are receiving welfare from the state, despite the pandemic’s ongoing economic impact; Two students from Brashear High School talk about what it’s like to finish senior year learning from home; and after November’s election, voting reform is expected to be at the top of lawmakers’ agendas this year.

Francisco Seco / AP

On today's program: Pittsburgh Public Schools administrators are assessing when to bring some students back to schools; A local environmental advocacy group weighs in on the Environmental Protection Agency’s updated rules for lead and copper and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s work on reducing lead in drinking water; and Erie voters with differing political views discuss the results of the general election.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet says he wants students back in classrooms, learning in front of teachers. But’s hard to pinpoint when that will happen for most of the district’s 22,000 students who have been learning remotely since March.

Scott Sonner / AP

On today's program: We catch up with three Pittsburgh-area superintendents we spoke with in August about how their districts have managed the pandemic; The Pittsburgh Promise has given out 10,000 scholarships, and the organization is looking at becoming more equitable during the pandemic; Experts answer how the U.S.’s international image impacts economics and how a fertilized egg becomes a human

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a $673.8 million 2021 budget. But the board declined to raise taxes on district residents in an effort to fill a widening budget deficit.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

About 1,000 students – 700 from Pittsburgh Public Schools – have spent the past few months logging into their online classes and completeing their homework in churches, community centers, YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

There are about 400 fewer kindergarten students attending Pittsburgh Public Schools this year compared to last and district administrators say they don’t know why.

Matt Slocum / AP

On this week’s Explainer:

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine mandated new restrictions on Thursday, aimed at reining in the coronavirus as it continues to spread rapidly across the state.

Keith Srakocic / AP

On today's program: A professor with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research explains what’s promising and what’s left to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine; Pittsburgh Public Schools considers how to address a $34 million shortfall in its budget; and the latest in WESA’s Good Question! explains how a banner in Regent Square identifies the time just before Fort Pitt, the city’s namesake was built.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The city’s public school district is evaluating program cuts, workforce reductions and school closures to address its $34 million budget shortfall.

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.