The use of Design Principles can serve as a powerful tool to help the District reach Priority Goal 5. Design principles are value statements that can help the community frame what matters and inform the tough decisions the Pittsburgh Public Schools must make related to the strategic allocation of resources to ensure equity, excellence and efficiency.The Superintendent’s leadership team drafted Design Principles in four areas to frame potential decisions based on best-practices.
Pittsburgh Public Schools is committed to eliminating racial achievement disparities by investing in research, curriculum, assessment, data analysis, and accountability constructs that are culturally responsive and prioritize student needs and outcomes.
• All students will have consistent access to rigorous, strong academic programming supported by equitable distribution of high-quality staff and instructional resources, including technology.
• Student-centered teaching and learning reflects innovation, multiple pathways, and choice to positively advance student experiences, opportunities and outcomes.
• Student success is determined by demonstrated literacies, dispositions, and behaviors associated with college, career, and life-readiness preparation at appropriate developmental levels.
• All students will experience culturally competent pedagogy inclusive of their identity to grow their capacity as confident and competent learners.
Pittsburgh Public Schools utilizes an equity lens of access, support, and services to drive decisions that impact student learning experiences and outcomes informed by data.
• Every student will attend school in accordance with the least restrictive and appropriate environment.
• All students across the district will have access to high-quality core academics, technology and resources, regardless of which school they attend.
• Students will have access to a robust menu of support services for whole child development within the school associated with their attendance boundaries.
• All students will have access to highly innovative educational opportunities and programming, regardless of zip code.
Pittsburgh Public Schools embraces consistent collaboration, partnerships, and relationships with key stakeholders inclusive of the most marginalized to create optimal student learning experiences.
• All staff are appropriately certified for their assigned responsibilities and demonstrate a genuine enthusiasm for teaching, learning, and supporting positive student outcomes and experiences.
• Staff members coordinate with families and community-based organizations to achieve successful outcomes for all students.
• Teachers and staff have sufficient, job-embedded support, coaching and supervision to meet teaching and learning objectives.
• Collaborative standards-based professional learning occurs within the workday/week.
• Staff members hold themselves and one another accountable for continuous improvement focused on growing their capacity to meet each student's needs, including culturally competent pedagogy.
Pittsburgh Public school buildings are vibrant community hubs that demonstrate fiscal responsibility through efficient operations while maintaining safe, effective, modern learning environments.
• All schools will have an 80-90% utilization rate.
• All schools will meet a 20% Facility Condition Index (FCI) rating (includes ADA accommodations).
• All schools will support student access to high-quality, nutritional options (food service).
• All schools will have technology infrastructure to support a 1:1 environment and allow for future technology innovation.
• All schools will have adequate space and associated resources for students, staff, families and community-based organizations to function effectively in providing/receiving core and ancillary services.
Finding Agreement Through the Use of Design Principles
Pittsburgh Public Schools is currently challenged to improve student achievement and experiences while eliminating persistent racial and disability disparities. In collaboration and approval with the Board of Directors, Superintendent Wayne N. Walters has identified five priority goals to inform a strategic planning process that will ultimately result in a five-year strategic plan.
The Superintendent shared the draft design principles with the Board of Directors at their March 7, Education Committee Meeting for their feedback and now would like the feedback of the entire Pittsburgh Public Schools community.