Friday, March 10, 2017

Fwd: Pittsburgh Public Schools Update - March 2017


Dear Mark,

We are pleased and honored to be named one of the nation's first-ever 'Great Districts for Great Teachers.' We join just seven other districts chosen for this distinction based on the excellence of our system in developing, valuing, and supporting our best teachers. The award affirms how our teachers, principals, administrators, and other members of our district family have collaborated on effective policies and practices that make our district a great place for great teachers to work.
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has created this award to recognize and celebrate the districts doing the most to attract, support, and keep great teachers. NCTQ is a national nonprofit organization committed to modernizing the teaching profession so that all children have effective teachers and every teacher gains the opportunity to become effective.
NCTQ designed the Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative using its extensive experience analyzing district policies and teacher issues. It created the initiative's categories and criteria with the assistance of veteran teachers and key school administrators.
Unlike other accolades, this is not based on test scores. Instead, it recognizes that our teachers say PPS is a great place in which to work, that we listen to teachers' concerns, and that we go the extra mile to help teachers become better.

We became a Great District for Great Teachers after a careful evaluation. As part of a rigorous 18-month process, we provided NCTQ's analysts with extensive materials and answers to over 100 questions. They conducted surveys and focus groups with over 300 teachers to learn their private opinions about PPS and how we treat teachers. They compared our policies to what research has proven helps teachers the most -- compensation, professional support, effective management and operations, career and leadership opportunities, and support services for students. 

This recognition would not have been possible without the leadership of former superintendents Mark Roosevelt and Dr. Linda Lane, and the collaboration they built with the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, more than seven years ago, to transform our teacher growth and evaluation system.  
We hope we can help lead the way for other districts in the same way that our great teachers have become inspiring role models and leaders for the entire teaching profession.  
This is the first year the National Council on Teacher Quality has named Great Districts for Great Teachers. More details about the program can be found at 
Dr. Anthony Hamlet
Superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools

On a recent visit to Pittsburgh Brashear High School, I had the opportunity to hear from students regarding the positive impact the school's new STEAM program is having on their learning.  

Code of Student Conduct Community Forums

As part of the process for updating the District's Code of Student Conduct, we will host three community forums.  The Code of Student Conduct outlines the expectations for student behavior in school, at school sponsored activities and on District transportation.  We want to capture broad input from parents, students, staff, and community as we work to foster positive school-wide cultures and climates in all of our schools and accelerate approaches to discipline that are progressive and restorative. Help inform our recommendations to the Board of Directors in April by sharing your voice at an upcoming community forum.

Miller African Drums
School Spotlight
Pittsburgh Miller PreK-5

Take a look inside Pittsburgh Miller PreK-5. Nestled in the historic Hill District, Pittsburgh Miller is the only African-Centered Academy in the city of Pittsburgh.  Watch this video to learn more.

PPS in the News
Hamlet hears from the community 
New Pittsburgh Courier - March 1, 2017 

Just because Pittsburgh Superintendent of Schools Anthony Hamlet has already held multiple meetings with parents, education advocates and stakeholders from across the city and incorporated the feedback into the district's visioning, it doesn't mean he's stopped listening. 

During a recent forum in Homewood, Hamlet said he will continue to gather community input for as long as he is superintendent.

"I've said this before. I want this to be my first and last Superintendency," he said. "I want to be here 10-15 years because you can't create consistency if every two or three years there's someone new in charge."


PPS Student to Watch!
Natalia Hajlasz Named Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalist 
Join us in wishing Pittsburgh Allderdice student Natalia Hajlasz well as she heads to Washington, D.C. this week to undergo a rigorous judging process as part of the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.  Natalia and 39 other finalists were selected based on the scientific rigor and world-changing potential of their research projects.
Natalia's project models the molecular dissociation of magnesium and water.  This work helps scientists better understand protein folding and DNA interactions.
Natalia will receive at least $25,000 from the Regeneron Science Talent Search for being named a finalist, upon completion of finals week.  She previously received $2,000 for being named a scholar. Pittsburgh Allderdice also received $2,000 for Natalia's achievement. 
This year's finalists will compete for more than $1.8 million in top awards - more than half of the Regeneron Science Talent Search total annual award distribution of $3.1 million. The top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000 for the first-place winner. Winners will be announced at a formal awards gala at the National Building Museum on March 14.

High School Training for Emergency Services Careers 

With the cost of college so high, there have been conversations about adding more vocational training in high schools. The Pittsburgh Public School District is doing that with a new program that began this school year.

The "Emergency Response Technology" program trains high school students to be police officers, firefighters and EMT's, or emergency medical technicians. This program is in its first year and is already getting huge support from the c
ommunity, businesses and the students.

Five-Year Strategic Plan Update 
Community Schools Steering Committee Presents Phased, Tiered Plan to Board.
District representatives from the 26-member Community Schools Steering Committee shared its report and timeline for establishing community schools in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, using a national best-practices model. Under a phased approach to implementing community schools, PPS will invest in all schools to increase holistic support for all students.   Learn more.
Dr. Anthony Hamlet, Superintendent
341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh PA
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"Instruction ends in the school-room, but education ends only with life."

- Frederick W. Robertson
Pittsburgh Public Schools, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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