• Imagine PPS Design Teams


    The Imagine PPS process will build off of the efforts of the working group and center around the formation of 12 design teams – led by the District, in partnership with an external community champion and informed by a mix of PPS staff and community members. Design teams will develop recommendations for 12 focus areas within four categories: Student Pathways, School Design, Areas of Interest and School Improvement of Underperforming High Schools.  Drawing on the expertise of local team members and best practices from across the country, design teams will develop action plans.

    Each design team will seek input from student groups, teachers, principals, parents, community leaders and partners.  While engagement will take place throughout the planning, targeted dates for engagement will occur in two phases – January 2020 and April 2020 based on proposal timelines. Simultaneously, the Superintendent, his Executive Cabinet and District staff will collect data and analyze the District’s facilities needs to develop strategies for system and structural improvements in four areas: Education Delivery Model, Feeder Patterns, Magnet Pathways and Technology Enhancements. 

    A description of each design team may be found below.  

    Category

    Focus Area

    Community Champion(s)

    PPS Team Lead (s)

    Engagement  Timeline

     

     

     

    Student Pathways

    Graduate Student Profile

     

    National Institute for School Leadership (NISL)

    Minika Jenkins, Chief Academic Officer

    January 2020

    Graduation Requirements

    Pupil Progression Plan

     

     

     

     

     

    Areas of Interest

    Mental Health/Trauma-Informed Care

    UPMC Children’s Hospital

    Dr. Alicia Johnson, Director, Student Support Services - Social Work

    January 2020

    Arts

    TBD

    Dr. Kymberly Cruz, Senior Program Officer, Arts Education

    January 2020

    Athletics

    Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation

    Karen Arnold, Director of Athletics

    January 2020

     “Homemade” Healthy Food

    Food Policy Council

    Curtistine Walker, Director of Food Services

     

    January 2020

    Special Education Infrastructure

    Achieva

    Ann Herrmann, Executive Director, Program for Students with Exceptionalities  

    January 2020

     

     

     

    School Design

    Birth-Age 8 Programing

    Heinz Endowments/

    Housing Authority of Pittsburgh/Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

    Carol  Barone Martin, Executive Director, Early Childhood

    April 2020

     Career Exploration Middle School

    Economy League

    Angela Mike, Executive Director, Career and Technical Education

    April 2020

    Medical Careers High School

    CCAC

    TBD

    Jamie Griffin, Executive Director, Mathematics K-12. Vincent Scotto, Coordinator STEAM

    April 2020

    School Improvement of Underperforming High Schools

    Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12

    TBD

    Dr. Shemeca Crenshaw, Acting Principal/

    Dr. Nina Sacco, Assistant Superintendent  

    April 2020

    Pittsburgh Perry High School

    Buhl Foundation

    Darrel Prioleau, Principal/ Dr. Nina Sacco, Assistant Superintendent

    April 2020

    Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12

    Homewood Children’s Village

    Stephan Sereda, Acting Principal /Dr. Rodney Necciai, Assistant Superintendent

    April 2020

     

    Student Pathways

    1. Student Pathways
      The Student Pathways design team will be responsible for updating the District’s existing graduate student profile, revising graduation requirements and master schedules and establishing a pupil progression plan.


      A graduate student profile is a document used to specify the intellectual, personal, and interpersonal skills that students should have when they graduate. The profile provides a clear visualization of priority goals for teaching and learning that can be easily communicated to students, parents, faculty, and staff to align their collective efforts. Input from the community will help to identify and prioritize these skills/competencies for the school district and create a shared vision of the District’s destination.

      Graduation requirements are the credits/classes that students must take in order to be eligible for graduation.  In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has a minimum graduation requirement threshold, but local districts can establish their own provided they meet the minimum requirements.

      Updated graduation requirements will lead to changes to master schedules. Each school must have a master schedule in place to schedule teachers, analyze student course requests, and assign teachers and rooms to classes.

      A pupil progression plan is how a student moves from kindergarten to first grade, first grade to second and so on including the move from a student’s senior to post-secondary education or the workforce. It transparently outlines what students need to do to move from one grade to a next for every student and accounts for remediation and acceleration.

    School Design
    Incorporated in the work of school design will be three separate design teams that will focus their efforts in the following areas.

    1. Birth – Age 8 Programming
      The Birth – Age 8 Programming design team will research schools and programs that begin at birth and carry through grade 3. The school model will be student-centered, play-based educational system grounded in standards that will help students from birth to 3rd grade to engage in learning at a higher level.

    2. Career Middle School
      The Career Middle School design team will work to research middle school career schools and design a middle school model that provides students with exposure to a variety of careers. Research has identified middle school as a time when students can benefit the most from career exploration. Through a project-based learning, students will work in teams, learn from real-life scenarios and build self-awareness while they develop a plan for reaching their future goals. The Career Middle school would be closely connected to local and regional corporations, outlining clear pathways to secondary schooling and post-secondary college or job preparatory programming.

    3. STEM School – Medical Careers
      The STEM School – Medical Careers design team will research existing schools focused on preparing students for high-demand medical careers. Students would take college preparatory courses focused on educational experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that increase their ability to gain access to careers in medicine and the sciences.

    Areas of Interest

    1. Mental Health /Trauma Informed Care
      The Mental Health/Trauma Informed Care design team will assess the current programming and staff available to address student mental health and trauma and determine what additional resources, programs, and staff are needed to ensure students are having their mental health and trauma care needs met.
       
    1. Arts
      The Arts design team will evaluate the District’s current art offerings and determine how arts education can be better integrated into other subject areas and/or if additional arts programming is needed.

    2. “Homemade” Healthy Food
      The “Homemade” Healthy Food design team will study existing models in Boston and Houston and determine how to provide fresh, healthier and more desirable options for meals across all schools with a focus on schools without fully functioning kitchens.

    3. Program for Students with Exceptionalities (PSE) Infrastructure
      The Program for Students with Exceptionalities (PSE) Infrastructure design team will evaluate the current PSE model of regional classrooms and explore ways to restructure and maximize resources to support each student’s individual education plan.

    4. Athletics
      The Athletics design team will evaluate current athletic offerings K-12, and board policies so students at Pittsburgh Public Schools have a competitive advantage as participants in the District’s athletic programs.

    School Improvement of Underperforming High Schools

    1. Pittsburgh Perry High School
      The Perry design team will work in tandem with Perry’s leadership team and help to establish ways to strengthen Perry school by ensuring foundational elements are in place and that the school is supported by the community. The design team will build upon the school’s existing school improvement plan, required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Community Champion for the Perry design team work will be the Buhl Foundation

    2. Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12
      The Milliones design team will work in tandem with Milliones’s leadership team and help to establish ways to strengthen Milliones school by ensuring foundational elements are in place and that the school is supported by the community. The design team will build upon the school’s existing school improvement plan, required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The District is working to enlist a Community Champion for the Milliones Design Team.
       
    1. Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12
      The Westinghouse design team will work in tandem with Westinghouse’s leadership team and help to establish ways to strengthen Westinghouse school by ensuring foundational elements are in place and that the school is supported by the community. The design team will build upon the school’s existing school improvement plan, required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Community Champion of the Westinghouse design team will be Dr. John Wallace, David E. Epperson Endowed Chair and professor, University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, and the Homewood Children’s Village.
       

    In addition to the work of the 12 design teams, the Superintendent’s Executive Cabinet will utilize the feedback received as a part of the design team engagement and research process to make System & Structural Improvements in the following four areas:

    • Educational Delivery Model
      The Executive Cabinet will review the District’s current Educational Delivery Model, also known as the school funding formula. The work will include evaluating the current model and aligning a future model with the values identified by the staff and stakeholders of the city. An example may be increasing the number of student service supports such as counselors and social workers or ensuring every school has a full-time Assistant Principal.
       
    • School Feeder Patterns
      The Executive Cabinet will evaluate the District’s current school feeder patterns to determine where adjustments could be made so that students are more evenly distributed while keeping in mind the needs outlined in the most recent Facilities Master Plan.

    • Magnet Pathways
      The Executive Cabinet will evaluate the current magnet schools and programs, the current magnet school/program pathways and determine what changes need to be made in terms of school design, program continuity, magnet policy and magnet themes.
    • Technology Enhancements
      The Executive Cabinet will explore school models in large urban settings that provide a 1:1 model of technology for all students across all grades. The team will also evaluate teacher and staff technology needs and develop a plan of action that also includes updated technology equipment and infrastructure to ensure high-speed intranet and cell service at all school facilities.