Pittsburgh Public Schools
United States
District information
TypePublic school
MottoExpect Great Things
SuperintendentWayne Walters
Students and staff
Athletic conferencePIAA District 8
ColorsBlack, Gold
Other information
WebsitePittsburgh Public Schools
Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts
Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts
Board of Education's Administration Building in Oakland
Board of Education's Administration Building in Oakland

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

The combined land area of these municipalities is 58.3 square miles (151 km2) with a population of 342,503 according to the 2000 census.[1] The school district operates 54 schools with 3,900 full-time employees (1,985 teachers) and serves 23,331 students with a 2018 General Fund Budget of $625.1 million, or nearly $26,800/student.[2]


The formation of Pittsburgh's public schools was due to the passing of the Pennsylvania Free Public School Act of 1834. This act provided government aid for the establishment of a city school system which included the creation of four wards that were self-governed. Twenty years later, the wards were disbanded, and the Central Board of Education was founded. This board would govern the entire school district which would consist of nine wards or sub- districts. The first city superintendent of schools was elected in 1868. In 1911, the School Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania modified the existing system to include a Board of Public education that would oversee sixty-one sub-districts and two central boards. The Public School Code (Title 22) of 1949 further regulated the provisions and establishment of Pennsylvania state schools.[1]

Feeder Neighborhoods

The following City of Pittsburgh high schools serve the denoted City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods:[3]

Taylor Allderdice High School
Glen Hazel, Hays, Hazelwood, Greenfield, Lincoln Place, East Hills(lower), New Homestead, Point Breeze, Regent Square, Squirrel Hill and Swisshelm Park.
Carrick High School
Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Overbrook, Mt. Oliver (Pittsburgh section), Southside Slopes and St. Clair.
Brashear High School
Banksville, Beechview, Brookline, Chartiers City, Crafton Heights, Duquesne Heights, East Carnegie, Elliot, Esplen, Fairywood, Mount Washington, Oakwood, Ridgemont, Sheriden, South Shore, Southside Flats, West End, Westwood and Windgap.
Perry Traditional Academy High School
Allegheny Center, Allegheny West, Brighton Heights, California-Kirkbride, Central Northside, Chateau, East Allegheny, Fineview, Manchester, Marshall-Shadeland, North Shore, Northview Heights, Perry North, Perry South, Spring Garden, Spring Hill-City View, Summer Hill and Troy Hill.
Milliones University Preparatory High School
Bedford Dwellings, Bloomfield, Bluff, Central Business District, Central Lawrenceville, Crawford-Roberts, Friendship, Garfield, Lower Lawrenceville, Middle Hill, Morningside, Polish Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Terrace Village, Upper Hill, Upper Lawrenceville and West Oakland.
Westinghouse High School
East Hills(upper), East Liberty, Highland Park, Homewood North, Homewood South, Homewood West, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar and Point Breeze North.


Accelerated Learning Academies

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).[4][5] These schools were put on a longer school year calendar[6] with 10 extra days, as well as a longer school day adding 45 minutes of instructional time.[7] The ALAs use the America's Choice Design Model,[8] developed by the National Center on Education and the Economy.

Kaplan Curriculum

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.[9] In July, 2010, Bill Gates noted that the school system is a model due to its teacher performance initiatives.[10]


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.[11]

The Pittsburgh Promise

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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

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.[15]

Board of education

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.[16]


Elementary schools (K–5)

K–8 Schools

Middle Schools (6–8) and Accelerated Learning Academies

Eighth Grade Rankings

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.[17]

Secondary Schools, grades (9-12) and grades (6-12)

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.[18] 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

Charter schools

As required by Pennsylvania state law, the District funds a number of Charter schools:[19]

Federal Stimulus grant

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.[23] 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

Authur J Rooney Middle School 6-8

Prior to 2006

Gladstone was also high school in the past, sent to Brashear in 1976

2006 right-sizing

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Regent Square


Charter Schools Closed


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

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 stay 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

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "2007 Preliminary Budget" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-11-20.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Facts at a Glance". PPS Website. 2016–2017. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  3. ^ EJ. "Discover PPS". Discover PPS. Pittsburgh Public Schools. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Accelerated Learning Academies". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  5. ^ "Accelerated Learning Academies". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "PPS ALAs Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-12-20.[dead link]
  8. ^ "America's Choice". NCEE Web Site. Retrieved 2006-12-20.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Kaplan Parent Presentation" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-12-20.[dead link]
  10. ^ Rujumba, Karamagi. "Bill Gates lauds city's steps to improve schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  11. ^ "The Pittsburgh Public Schools Signature". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Retrieved 2006-11-27.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Superintendent Mark Roosevelt Announce Partnership to Create The Pittsburgh Promise" (PDF) (Press release). Pittsburgh Public Schools. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2006-12-13.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Lord, Rich (2006-12-13). "City schools to promise college funds for good students". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
  14. ^ Smydo, Joe (2007-01-12). "Teachers union gives $10,000 to new city scholarship fund". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
  15. ^ "UPMC Community Citizenship". Archived from the original on 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  16. ^ "About the Board". Pittsburgh Public Schools Web Site. Archived from the original on 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2006-11-25.
  17. ^ The Rankings: 8th Grades, Pittsburgh Business Times, May 15, 2009
  18. ^ Best High Schools 2008, US News and World Report. December 9, 2009
  19. ^ "Pennsylvania Charter School Websites". The Center for Education Reform Website. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
  20. ^ "Board denies renewal of E. Liberty charter school". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  21. ^ "MINUTES Meeting of: March 2 1,2007" (PDF). Pittsburgh Public Schools. pp. p.640-1. Retrieved 2007-04-26.[dead link]
  22. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-11-09). "City schools want to close 2 more charter schools". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  23. ^ Allegheny County ARRA FUNDING Report 2009 Archived 2009-04-16 at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  24. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-09-28). "School board votes to close Career Connections school". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
  25. ^ Smydo, Joe (2006-11-17). "Charter middle school to shut Nov. 29". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-04-26.

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